Success Criteria

  1. Get from the situation to a story as quickly as possible
  2. The ending should leave the viewer with an uneasy feeling or a cliffhanger
  3. The change of location (more specifically sudden location changes) help increase tension
  4. The right sounds are implemented at the right time to create suspense
  5. A calm mood to a sudden change can create something scary
  6. Changes in speed should be implemented to create an uneasy feeling or suspense
  7. The viewer should feel empathy towards the character
  8. Using unique camera angles to create a specific mood
  9. The film should not consist of that many dialogue as silence/peace creates a calm mood and make something sudden even scarier
  10. Using unique lighting angles to create a specific mood or scene


  1. It is important to introduce the situation (characters and location) and towards the story (plot) fast because there is nearly no time to develop the characters or create a detailed backstory.
  2. The ending is important as it is how a lasting impression is left on the viewer. If the viewer does feel either uneasy or wanting more then, it is a sign that the film was able to scare the viewer.
  3. It is important to change locations to keep the viewer interested and to feel the suspense of an important event arising such as a jump-scare for example.
  4. It is important to implement sounds in the right places to maximize the impact of the action, for example, a jumpscare should almost always have a loud, sudden sound.
  5. It is important to utilize a calm scenery and change into a sudden motion because if a film is only fills with a scary atmosphere then it will become boring.
  6. It is important to change speed and transitions throughout a story because it creates variety making the viewer more intrigued and invested in the film.
  7. It is important for the viewer to have the ability to connect to the character’s emotions because it emphasizes how scary the scene is.
  8. It is important to use unique camera angles to create a specific mood because certain camera angles make a scene seem scarier than it actually is.
  9. It is important to not include much dialogue and to create silence/peace instead because too much talking can distract the viewer from the story or a specific scene.
  10. It is important to use unique lighting angles to create an atmosphere that is unfamiliar to unsettle the viewer.

For Lights Out

  1. The lights out film is successful in getting from the situation to a story fast as from the beginning the character turns off the lights and finds out soon that something is off leading to the plot.
  2. This film definitely achieved this criteria as the ending of the film left the viewer with a cliffhanger as the monster chasing the character is still alive right next to her.
  3. This film does have one major location change which is from the living room hallway to the character’s bedroom. This change does increase tension as it occurs when the character is in danger and the speed is faster.
  4. The film was successful in using the right sounds to create suspense. This is because without the sounds, the viewer would not have known that the monster was still around outside the bedroom. In addition, the sounds in the jumpscare contrast with the other sounds that are more silent and mellowed out which makes the act even scarier.
  5. The film was able to use a false sense of victory to reveal something scary. For example, at the end of the film, it seems as though the monster is gone as the character seems to feel relaxed but as she turns the monster appears right there which was unexpected given the calm scene that came before.
  6. The film was successful in changing speed throughout the story to create an uneasy feeling. An example of this is at the start where the character continually flicked the lights off and on for a long period of time which built suspense towards the jumpscare.
  7. Though the film could not develop the character as such, the viewer could visually see how scared the character was through her expressions.
  8. The film did not explore that many unique camera angles such as a bird’s eye view or a tilt shot but instead used shots that were more general such as wide and point of view shots.
  9. The film was successful in not using any dialogue, and being able to achieve two main jumpscares as the silence leaves the viewer have an eery feeling.
  10. The main key that the film used was lighting to reveal the monster in a scary way. The first way this was achieved was through the light switch and the next was when the monster turned off the lights. The film was successful in using the darkness as a symbol of danger as light was symbolized as safety.

The Jigsaw

  1. Instead of getting to the situation fast, the short film had a long introduction of setting up the location. Throughout the film, the situation or problem was not that apparent but it was implied when the store owner was acting strange therefore the situation did start around the middle of the film.
  2. The ending of this film did leave the viewer with a cliffhanger as the character turns around to reveal another character attempting to break into the house as implied by the sound effects used.
  3. There are several location changes in the film as the character goes from the outdoor market, store, car, and house. Each location change is significant to carry on the meaning of the story but it did not really induce or increase tension in each transition.
  4. Sounds are used efficiently in the film as it corresponded with telling the story and increasing suspense. For example, when the character was solving the puzzle, the increasing sound of the clock ticking signaled that something was out of the ordinary and that an important scene is coming up.
  5. The film efficiently uses a seemingly normal situation turn into a scary ending. They did this by showcasing the character doing normal things such as going to the store, driving and solving a puzzle which gives out a calm mood but when the last puzzle is places the mood changes drastically into an unexpected and scary scene.
  6. The film does use some changes in speed to create an uneasy feeling such as when the character was doing the puzzle, this scene was long to give the viewer a false sense of safety. Again, this type of speed was used when the character puts the last puzzle as the speed was slowed down to create suspense.
  7. The film did not really showcase much of the characters emotions as two thirds of the film seemed to be normal with the character fairly with calm. At the end of the film though, it is clearly shown that the character is truly scared of what is behind him.
  8. The film did explore various camera angles such as over the shoulder, closeups, wide shots, bird eye views, and more to create specific moods. An example of this was when they used a camera angle of only the clock to create tension.
  9. The film was successful in using dialogue and silence parts in certain scenes of convey the certain moods. For example, the puzzle scene again was a silent which was essential because it brung out the sound of the clock ticking which created suspense towards the arrival of the “monster.”
  10. The film did not really use unique lighting angles to create a mood but it did use lighting to make the monster in the end look scary showing only their head.