Blog/Video: Thriller Horror on a Budget (Simon Berry)

If there is anything that a film such as Paranormal Activity can demonstrate, it is that a creative idea doesn’t actually need an extravagant budget in order to be brought to life. I would argue that is especially true when it comes to the thriller/horror genre. And I will share a video that demonstrates that quite nicely. But first…

For the sake of my blog space I want to touch on just two (of the admittedly many!) components that contribute to the success of a thriller or horror. If you would like more, well, Google will be your friend.

Firstly, we need a good story. In a large majority of thrillers and horror films alike we will find a variation of this common theme: protagonist falls victim to someone/something else’s scheme – gets stuck in a moment of dread. There is a reason for that: it lends itself to being a good story. What happens to the protagonist? Do they get out? Are they overcome? Why does this other person/thing want the protagonist involved at all?  Etc etc etc. Exploring this style of thriller doesn’t need a big budget to be brought to life: just an intuitively thrilling way for the story to be told.

Secondly, we need good pacing. This is critical. Just think about the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. Seriously. The guy was able to develop a proverbial stranglehold on his audiences! I recently read some reviews that suggested Hitchcock was slow and stodgy in his work – honestly, the effects of the reduction in attention span have clouded their judgement! Thrillers and horror are all about the suspense and the tension – and mark my words, Hitchcock was the best at that genre… and he held the mantle for a very long time. He was a maestro who knew how to effectively pace his stories in order to build the suspense. Like all thrillers, he was able to keep the audience in that constant tension of asking, “What comes next?”

So then – let us turn our attention to the video part of today’s blog. This is fresh off the press, and is a little gem. At under 4 minutes, Simon Berry does wonders with this short thriller/horror. And more to the point – he did so with just a two day turn-around, and working with a micro-budget! He crafts a simple story, and builds tension with the pacing. Simple, yet effective. I think you will enjoy it.

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