How to Make a Short Horror Film the Right Way

Don't say we didn't warn you.

Sometimes less is more.

Watching Paranormal Activity for the first time was one of my most memorable moviegoing experiences.

Midnight. Home alone, laughing at the idea of being scared by a story on a screen.

I killed the lights and hit play and an hour and a half later, every light in the house was on as I cowered beneath a blanket listening to feel-good music praying nothing would snatch me from my bed.

Director David Sandberg’s Lights Out may put you in a similarly catatonic state – and it will do so in less than three minutes.

In its own way, Sandberg’s short film demonstrates the truth Ebert articulates in his review of Paranormal Activity: “that silence and waiting can be more entertaining than frantic fast-cutting and berserk f/x”.

Go ahead and give it a watch… With the “Lights Out” if you dare.

…Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

 Michael Koehler, with


Want to make your own horror film? Then we invite you to learn filmmaking online with us! Our online film school is everything you need to learn how to create professional narrative and documentary films using the equipment you already have, wherever you live, with guidance, community, and resources at a fraction of the cost of traditional film school.

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