Horror Movies - Nancy Paton

Writing a Horror Film and loving it.

Going to have a stab at writing a Horror film and here are my reasons why?

I have been watching horror films since as early as five years of age, just don’t tell my parents though as it wasn’t them who allowed me to watch them. Older cousins and slumber parties were the usual culprits for watching from behind the sofa or duvet. At 5 you would think you would be sacred of a horror film, however I remember finding them really funny and quite silly. It wasn’t until my late teens when I started getting scared. When the innocence of childhood had left me.

I watched Paranormal Activity during the day, with all the lights on! However, this still didn’t help, I think it might have made it worse, I listened to most of the film from the room next door. I was too scared to sit and watch all of it. Yes I was alone, however you think I would have just turned the film off, but no I stuck right through it, to the end. If someone was watching me they would have probably been in hysterics, seeing me running in and then out of the room every time I got scared would have brought anyone down to their knees in laughter.

You think I would have learnt than never to watch a horror film again, but no, instead I learnt never to watch a horror film alone again and now I make my husband sit right next to me, right until the end of the film whilst I cover my face with a pillow.

I feel horror films will always be apart of my life. I love the adrenaline rush they give me, and from the popularity of the genre in the last couple of years, it is clear that there are a lot people out there who feel the same way so I don’t know why it has taken me so long to put pen to paper on an horror film trilogy idea that had been lingering at the back of my head for the last five years.

I guess I kept postponing it because I just didn’t think it was a genre suitable for me to embark on. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to give the story justice, if I would make the story scary enough. I was scared that there wasn’t a market out there and that people would think badly of me after I wrote it. Is it even appropriate for a women to be writing horror?

Yes, I have watched horror films since I was a little girl however writing a horror screenplay is whole other ball game. All these fears blocked me and it wasn’t until early this year that I finally overcame them and put pencil to paper. The further i got into the story the more fun it got to write. Writing a horror screenplay is very different to writing a drama.

There are no limits!! You can go as far and as crazy as you like and boy is it fun. Your imagination gets to go places you never thought possible, or desirable. I am not sure if I will ever produce this trilogy however it’s been intriguing to explore this genre and to get to write something I never thought I would be allowed to write.

If you are someone like me, who has a great idea for a horror film, however doesn’t see the point of leaping into this genre, here is an interesting clip by BBC Culture which looks at how horror is changing and speaks from Cannes to the film-makers behind Contracted and Horsehead. 

I hope it inspires you to take that leap into writing your first horror screenplay. Trust me, once you start writing it, you won’t be able to stop. It’s a really fun journey that all screenwriters should embark on at least once in their career.

Happy writing : )

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