Why Do Indie Filmmakers Prefer Making Horrors And Thrillers Films?

Psychological thrillers have become one of the leading genres in the book section as well as films. One way or another, we will always find an excuse to watch a good thriller. Thrillers are sometimes weather-dependent, too; like if it is raining outside or if there is a hint of gloominess, a thriller movie is always a good pick. Not only psychological thrillers, but crime thrillers are often picked by most of us. This likeability is somehow responsible for a bigger paradigm. Today, we are going to discuss something out of the box. Let’s get on with it, shall we?


The modern world has offered something greater than ever to the people, i.e., you can indulge without any danger. Just like non-alcoholic beer or temporary tattoos, humans nowadays love to be part of something by avoiding the dangers that come with it. A thriller offers the same. In your daily routine, it is quite a nice thing to have your veins indulged in something thrilling, something mysterious. It offers a sport that we all want to take part in at some point in our lives. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be Rambo or a detective who catches a serial killer? This is where the love for thrillers grows.

That goes with why we like thrillers. Now, for the main discussion regarding this article, why do indie filmmakers prefer making horrors and thrillers? There are two ways of explaining it. The first is already explained as an audience that likes horrors no matter what. The second important thing about making horror movies is that they are quite easier to shoot than contemporary stories with a gripping tone in them. Well, you might have an opinion about it, saying that contemporary movies are easier to shoot, but in definition, it is quite the opposite. So, without just sharing opinions, let’s get started.


As an indie filmmaker, the budget is always a hard number to settle into. Assuming that you have a gripping story that can attract the audience, it is also important to make your shoot as budget-friendly as possible. While you cut off plots and sequences to make a budget film, there is a high chance that the story might lose its grip at the very least. So, to avoid such a nuisance, it is essential for the filmmaker to pick a genre that is budget-friendly as well as carries a notion of amazement to the audience. Thrillers or horror are the kinds of genres indie filmmakers tend to put their trust in.

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The Pope of Pop Cinema

Roger Corman is mostly known for his “Machine-Gun Kelly,” released in 1958. Corman introduced a certain style of filmmaking that consists of a budget that wouldn’t even cover the catering costs of Marvel movies. He has made almost 400 movies, including “The Little Shop of Horrors,” “Death Race 2000,” etc. He launched the careers of James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, and Martin Scorsese and inspired tons of modern-day filmmakers. Corman always says that a film is always about the story and the confidence in making it. What else does ‘The Pope of Pop Cinema’ have to offer? Let’s see…


Story: Crafting a thriller is always an easier job rather than establishing a grip on a contemporary storyline. People tend to find an interest in horrors and thrillers as it drives them into something uncalled for. So, when you’re thinking about budget, you’re somehow thinking about how to make the audience befuddled by the story too. Thrillers and horrors help you create an atmosphere where you can lead the audience into ecstasy and then amaze them with the story you have put together.

Production: As you have already thought about making a horror or a thriller, the next thing that comes to your mind is how to carry on with the project. To establish the essential elements of horror or thrillers, you must create an atmosphere that represents the essence of it all by itself. For that, you can always use low lights, some establishment shots, and goofy music. In a contemporary story, if you use establishing shots with a slight hint of music, after some time, the frame becomes boring. But, in the case of horror or thrillers, the elements themselves will create an ambiance that will drive the audience into the plot.


Set Design: When you are creating an ambiance to stage your thriller or horror, the set design is always crucial. It leaves a deep impact on the minds of the audience and helps you create your case. In horror, if you are using very low light, you don’t have to be very specific with the set as there will be a very small amount of it in the frame. A lot of black shades, very low light, and a candlestick can work in your favor. If you want to shoot it in the daylight, showing the vast openings of a set can do wonders. Creating a deep space with a hip angle can cause absolute fear. Also, movies based on aliens or paranormal activities in the early 70s introduced the style of creating handmade set designs. It helps to lower the budget as well as denotes a tone of structure in the minds of the audience.

Sound: Thrillers and horrors are mostly based on the ambiance you create for the audience. One of the major portions of it is the sound. The sound is very obvious to make the audience of the thriller feel anxious at the least. Suppose you are shooting a character who is walking down a wide lane alone. The element of fear can be created by not using any sound at all. For a contemporary story, it may seem tedious, but for horror…it is a time when there will be pin-drop silence in the audience. They will shiver, if not be amazed. So, the sound is also a profitable aspect in the course of making a horror movie, as most of the scenes can go mute at times.

So, in all familiarity, now we all know why making thrillers or horrors is very much a money-saving for a maker. Filmmakers, especially indie filmmakers, always look for these kinds of trickery situations where they can actually save money and yet deliver a gripping story to the audience. Corman always believed in storytelling rather than producing something that looked costly to the eyes. 

In many ways, Coppola and Scorsese tried their fundamentals and became successful in their own way of filmmaking. If you want to save money and make a name for yourself as well, try and create a horror movie today! Horrors do leave a mark on the audience. Think about “Evil Dead” or “Paranormal Activity.” Do you think they cost much? No way! They were just beautiful representations of horror. Creating a horror requires a perfect ambiance, not a big production.


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Shovan Roy
Shovan Roy
Shovan Roy is a creative content writer. Formerly he used to write film reviews on an international film festival website named Beyond the Curve International Film Festival. He also interviewed global directors. He also interviewed one of the characters from the show 'Trailer Park Boys', Mr. Bernard Robichaud, platformed in Netflix. Shovan tends to write through the third person narrative and he loves to do psychoanalysis. He can't say that he has mastered it but that is some sort of hobby of his. Film is a platform where he loves to spend most of his time learning.

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