As I mentioned we went to the Fright Nights event the other night. It was pretty cool!
Of course they had a spooky vibe going with some intense background music and lots of people walking around in costumes, getting some serious scares out of over-reacting teenagers. Hilarious to watch, and actually really impressive to see how much effort went into the makeup, clothing and everything. There was a bunch of skull-dudes in suits that had their skulls decorated with neon paint which looked great in the dark, and a couple of scarecrow folks with masks that could move lips and teeth separately. In hindsight, they might’ve been those face-fitting masks. You know, the ones that mimic the movement of your face?
The vibe wasn’t what made it all scary though. It was mostly all jump scares. And while it’s a surefire way of getting spooks out of unsuspecting victims, it isn’t very high-quality horror you get out of it. I’m no expert by any means, I visited my first haunting house just yesterday, but nearly everything was all about the jump scares. Things suddenly happening, a masked dude making a noise behind you to surprise you, and so on.
Since it’s easy and consistent, it’s great for money-making like this. It can be applied to nearly your entire audience, so with just one trick up your sleeve you’ve got most everyone covered. But what if we want to really get into people’s heads? Inspire genuine fear instead of the feeling you get when everyone around you’s hyping over being afraid of getting jump scared? We need to bust out the creepiness. Get some serious “shit man is this even legal” business going. Because if you need to stick to all rules and regulations, then you may be having a hard time setting everything up just right. (Everything still being decently visible, for example, can un-scary a lot of scary scenarios.)
But creepiness if generally slightly more tightly coupled to specific audiences, so you won’t be catering to the masses (or at least have a hard time doing so). Tougher money making means organizations won’t go for it too quickly.