How to Make a Horror Movie (Video)

You must create “the edge-of-your-seat feeling,” director Yam Laranas tells TheWrap

Last Updated: November 2, 2016 @ 6:33 AM

Whether you’re shooting a horror movie on a multi-million dollar budget or an iPhone, the most important thing is “always the story,” says director Yam Laranas.

Just in time for Halloween, Laranas took a break from making his upcoming psychological thriller “The Wanting” to tell TheWrap about the art of scaring people silly. (You can watch the full video of his best advice above.)

Because story is so vital, he starts by reading a script at least 10 times before devising a shot list for the entire movie. The “real scary stories,” Laranas says, touch on people’s “fears, nightmares and the skeletons in their closet.”

It’s important to create an atmosphere in which the audience becomes “afraid of the shadows, the unknown… the edge-of-your-seat feeling,” said Laranas, whose previous films include 2011’s “The Road” and 2004’s “The Echo.”

“The Wanting,” which stars Adam Brody and Amanda Crew, follows a New England couple who descend into the depths of paranoia as they try to wrestle from the grip of a specter who seeks to take over their lives.

Laranas, who is working in Toronto on “The Wanting,” took us through his entire process, from music to lighting to location. And he told us the one simple element can make or break a horror movie.