YouTube Scares: How to Create Compelling Horror Content

November 29, 2023

Written by Ella Rebecca Horton

Ella Rebecca has been in love with the horror genre since an early age. The Bride of Frankenstein began her love of the classics and she's been writing and collecting since.


Moviemaking has never been more accessible for independent directors and filmmakers just starting out, thanks to various tools like YouTube that make movie-making simple and efficient.

YouTube gives small movie creators an ideal platform for breaking into the industry and honing their skills as filmmakers. YouTube offers invaluable advice – helping individuals master all aspects of film-making necessary for creating memorable content.

Horror is an engaging genre with wide appeal; many audiences find its themes captivating. To achieve an immersive horror experience for viewers, suspense and anxiety must be introduced at some point; otherwise, the delicate line between scary and funny may be crossed.

Choose the Right Setting

Horror film locations and settings play a pivotal role in creating suspenseful films; their unsettling atmosphere often builds suspenseful tension that leaves audiences on edge. Furthermore, this element creates an atmosphere by setting an unnerving scene, which leaves audiences on edge while keeping suspenseful
tension alive within viewers’ bodies and minds. YouTubers will want to ensure they use classic features of horror movies, such as abandoned and creepy houses, haunted locations, and even dark forests, as these
can all create suspense. If it is not possible to find one to use, then it may be possible to source royalty stock footage of an environment and incorporate it into the film with good editing skills.

Use Lighting Effectively

Aside from the location that is being used, it is important to get the lighting correct with each scene that is shot. The shadows and silhouettes that are often used in horror themes add a scary dimension to the movies that are shot, as audiences can become tense and anxious about what they see. In order to achieve this, the lighting needs to be correct. There are various techniques in which this can be accomplished, but the most basic is to ensure low lighting is used, as these can create bigger and scarier shadows.

Sound Effects and Music

Sounds are a huge aspect of horror-themed films, with the beats and audio used creating suspense and tension. Audiences will be drawn in when they hear a sound that gets quicker and faster, as they know that danger can be expected. However, it is important to remember not to go too overboard with sound effects and music. Too many or those that do not fit the tone of the film can be off-putting and may lead viewers to turn off the YouTube video and watch something else.

Build Suspense

Suspense building and maintenance is key for an engaging film experience; thus it should always remain consistent during its course. We’ve already discussed it here; making sure suspense stays intact is crucial!
No one enjoys watching an ineffective YouTube horror film that fails to engage them or becomes predictable, making the plot easy to predict. Filmmakers must employ sound and visual cues that create anxiety while using them effectively in this genre of film.

Don’t Forget the Storyline

If the story is all over the place, a little random, and does not make sense, then interest is easily going to be lost. it does not need to be complex, but it needs to make sense and be interesting. Making it consistent with the mood and tone set throughout is a good way to ensure potential success.

Often, the story can become forgotten. Directors may focus on trying to make things look as scary as possible so that the story gets lost. It can be a difficult task to successfully navigate, but one that is necessary.

A Huge Challenge But Potentially Rewarding

Producing an engaging horror film and finding success on YouTube are difficult endeavors that should only be undertaken after careful consideration, yet completion can prove immensely satisfying if achieved successfully.
Consider your target audience when planning horror content that performs well on YouTube. Doing this will help to increase the odds of its success. Keep the points outlined above in mind for success, with particular consideration given to being unpredictable, as this will shock and scare audiences in ways they never expect!

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