The horror movie has been a curiously gratifying medium for over one hundred years due to its almost paradoxical effects on the human mind. Since the first horror movie in 1896, people of all ages have spent precious hours of their weekends making their way to the local cinema, spending their hard-earned money on movie tickets, finding a seat in one of many crowded rooms, and sitting down in darkness for hours, all in the hope that this newest horror release will genuinely disturb them. Perhaps some in the theater just want to experience the thrill associated with death and despair. Humans are attracted to these bizarre images, so horror movies have been known to push the limit of socially acceptable entertainment. As horror veteran Stephen King puts it, the horror film "has become the modern version of the public lynching . . . It deliberately appeals to all that is worst in us" (King 498). In any case, horror movies have seen immense success around the world regardless of their explicit and sickening nature.
It is simple enough to watch a feature-length film as an ordinary audience member, but just as necessary is the point of view of the director. Fear manifests itself in many shapes and sizes, and the director bears the responsibility of evoking the strongest reactions possible. He can make his audience hide their eyes in fear while tantalizing them with the possibility of a happy ending. A crafty one can develop intimate relationships, forcing the viewer to cling to the plotline while trying his best to remain emotionally unscathed. The storyline of a given horror film is equally important as its ability to agitate teenagers. However, many of these movies are ridiculed by critics for their obvious continuity errors and gaping rifts in plot structure. Paranormal Activity (2007) is a recent example of poor story development. This four-part franchise boasts a pitiful 6.