Why do you always turn the lights off when watching a horror film? Because you want to be scared.
But there are many more tricks other than a darkened room to bring a scary film to life. Here are some perfect preps for watching a horror film.
Dark and eerie surroundings
Close the blinds or the curtains to make the room as dark as it can be. Instantly the room will be spookier and the TV will become the main focus. Then, light some candles to provide some eerie light so people can just about see trip hazards (you don’t want snacks flying everywhere) but also so that the flames dance against the walls, creating ominous shadows.
If you want to go the extra mile, you could add a few props – I collect animal skulls (these might not be something you have to hand!) and often I’ll bring one or two out for the evening if it suits the mood.
Horror films are renowned for their use of escalating music and jump scares to send their audiences into a frenzy. I like to exaggerate as much of the sounds as possible so we always hook our TV up to the sound system speakers to make every slash, footstep or scream more terrifying. It’s pretty simple to do, all you’ll need is a speaker lead from either your laptop or your TV to your sound system.
Whilst surround sound can be perfect for making your entire body more aware of every noise, you’ll get crystal clear clarity if the sound is right up close.
Get rid of distractions
You don’t want people coming in and out so don’t watch the film in a communal area, unless you know that nobody is coming home. Also, unplug your phone and any other electronics that might bleep at you.
Invest in your viewing kit
If you regularly watch movies and appreciate the cinematography, mise-en-scene and picture quality, you might want to treat yo’ self and upgrade your TV. We’re currently looking to upgrade to the UHD TV Panasonic 4K Pro as it ticks all the boxes in terms of cinematic quality. Apparently it has been fine tuned by filmmakers so it will have all of the components, as well as a sleek design, to help you bring the cinema to life in your own home.
It has a 65 inch display, with a huge colour palette, so every detail is displayed as close to the director’s vision as possible. Imagine the deep reds of splattered blood and the flaking, decaying flesh of a zombie brought to life on this machine – it’s what every film fan craves.
Choose snacks wisely
When watching horror films, engagement is key, so you don’t want to be going back and fourth to the kitchen to have your fill as this will disrupt the experience. Nor do you want the jump scares to be drowned out by someone munching. So, for horror films, popcorn is out because it’s too loud, and if it’s in a tub someone might chuck it across the room if they get too scared.
I like something soothing like a cool glass of pop or a fragrant herbal tea with something sweet like chocolate.
Get comfortable…but not too comfortable
Chairs at the cinema are designed a certain way so that they’re comfortable, but not comfortable enough for you to fall asleep in. It is possible to fall asleep in the cinema, if the movie is bad enough, as some of my friends have been known to. However, you’ll no doubt be watching your film either in bed or on the sofa. For either room, you could remove a few cushions so you’re not slouching. Or if you’re in bed, don’t get tucked up because you’re in your usual environment for sleeping If you do watch in bed, don’t get in your PJs because otherwise you’ll be relaxed and might nod off. I can speak from experience as I have succumbed to what I call “film narcolepsy” one too many times.
*This post was in collaboration with Panasonic – all words are my own.