Unfriended (2015): A group of online chat room friends find themselves haunted by a mysterious, supernatural force using the account of their dead friend.
But you can be terrifying without pop scares. Just look at It Follows! There's 2-3 pop scares in that entire film, and yet it is one of the scariest films the genre has seen in a loooong time. So, for all you filmmakers out there, how is It Follows so great and creative? How does it succeed at thinking outside the box when Unfriended does not? Well, first off, it puts rules on its antagonist. Its entity, so to say. In Unfriended, that entity could do whatever it wanted, so you knew it could be anywhere and everywhere at the same time. There was no rules for it. I would argue that this greatly reduces the scare factor, because you're expecting it to be everywhere. The entity in It Follows was limited by rules, and thus you knew there was stuff it could not do. By grounding the entity with rules, the filmmakers made what the entity did do that much scarier. Next up, for the love of God, don't wait until the last moments of your film to reveal the entity to the audience. Yes, it makes those final pop scares more dramatic, but if you allow the entity to show itself early on, there's so much more you can do with it! Insidious was a good film, but had the lady in black revealed herself early on in the film, it would've been that much creepier. Unfriended waits until literally the last moment of the film to actually reveal the entity, which was a complete waste of something that should have been extremely creepy from the start. Even though yes, it was a great last scare. But there could be a lot more if they had revealed the entity earlier. Finally, don't have a gimmick be your selling point. Because if it is, and your film is successful, we're gonna see that gimmick used 100 more times. Paranormal Activity was scary because of the fact that many people were sold on it being ACTUAL found footage. But now, how many "found footage" films have we gotten? I mean there's only 457 Paranormal Activity films now. Plus that Sinister film, which is now somehow getting a sequel too. And a lot more. Unfriended uses the "found footage" formula as well. But show some creativity! You don't need a clown suit to sell your scary movie. (Aka Clown's selling point) After all, there is nothing out of the ordinary with the entity in It Follows. They're ordinary people following our protagonists. No super weird makeup or anything. But each and every time we see the entity, it's memorable and creepy.
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