Inventory: How to make a good horror movie: 9 lessons from the genre’s latest triumphs

Horror never goes out of fashion. Trends may shift, box-office prospects may vary, and crazes may come and go, but there’s always a market for films designed to scare the bejeezus out of people. That said, the genre has had its artistic low and high periods—and right now, we’re living through the latter, a quiet horror renaissance. With the excellent It Follows opening this week, we’ve singled out nine highlights of the last three years, identifying the lessons that could be taken from each. In other words, let’s keep this winning streak going, young horror hopefuls.

1. Use space and technique to your advantage (It Follows)

Horror, like action, is a genre that relies heavily on the manipulation of formal elements—the control of perspective, for example, or the way editing can be used to create stretches of pregnant tension or sudden, expertly timed jolts …

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