If you’re planning to write a horror movie involving a monster of some type, it helps to start with something scary to begin with such as dinosaurs (“Jurassic Park”), sharks (“Jaws”), or Satan (“The Exorcist”). When you start with a scary monster, it’s much easier to write a scary movie.
So what happens if you start with a ridiculous monster? You’ll probably wind up with a ridiculous movie. The first rule of horror movies is to trap the hero in a situation he or she can’t get out of such as in an isolated hotel (“The Shining”) or a spaceship (“Alien”). For some odd reason, somebody thought it would be a really cool idea to create a killer health spa for a movie called “Death Spa.”
Of course, the only way people could die in a death spa would be if they kept going to that spa. Stop going and that pretty much ends the plot right there. You can still trap someone in an isolated area, but the monster has to be terrifying and not just a bunch of house cats such as the movie “Strays.”
How hard is it to get away from a house cat? Not hard at all, which deflates all possibility of suspense right there. Even worse is a killer refrigerator.
How do you avoid a killer appliance? How about walk away from it? Unlike a killer refrigerator that stays in one place, killer slugs can actually move but so slowly that the idea of fleeing from a slug makes no sense, yet someone decided to write a movie about killer slugs.
When you think of monsters, you might think of a wolf or something with sharp teeth. You probably won’t think of a story about a wereturkey. Like a werewolf, a wereturkey is a man who turns into a killer turkey and attacks people in the movie “Blood Freak.” Are turkeys really that scary?
So the lesson in writing horror movies is to isolate the heroes so they have no choice to fight the monster, and make the monster truly terrifying. If you focus on those two elements, chances are good you won\’t write a bad horror movie involving killer house cats, wereturkeys, or evil refrigerators.