What kind of horror movie is the scariest?

  Why are horror movies so scary?
  Some people say that because of visual factors, there are many scary-looking monsters and perverted killers in horror movies. But look at Godzilla, isn’t it much more exaggerated than demons and ghosts? Why isn’t it scary? Some people also say that because of the plot, the protagonist always has a bunch of terrible encounters. But in a war movie, people suffer a lot more, and we don’t feel scared. Others say it is unknown. Supernatural phenomena often appear in horror movies. Because they do not understand, they are afraid. But isn’t there more unknown factors in science fiction films, why not horror?
  So, what exactly is a horror movie? Horror movies actually follow a set of core algorithms called subversion of the underlying order.
  We have a basic cognitive order for the world in our hearts, whether it is visual, auditory or psychological, and you can also understand it as a causal relationship. Once this order is broken, you will feel particularly terrifying.
  We can give a few examples. For example, in terms of vision, suppose there is such a picture in a horror movie: at night, you are walking in a dark corridor, and you see a girl with a long braid with her back facing you. She turns abruptly as you approach. May I ask, what do you feel most afraid of when you see it? It wasn’t the pale face, it wasn’t dripping with blood, but when she turned around, you found that there was still a long braid on the front.
  Isn’t it creepy? Suppose this girl turns around and you find that she is not from Earth, but an alien, in short, something beyond your understanding, would you still feel scared? Your fear will definitely be reduced a lot.
  This is strange, since fear stems from the unknown, then your unknown degree of aliens must be higher than a braid. Why do braids cause more fear than aliens? Because the appearance of braids conforms to the core algorithm of horror movies, it subverts the underlying order in your heart.
  First of all, your cognitive order is that the back of the braid should be a face. No matter how horrible she looks, she still has a face. This is the most basic law, and once it is broken and replaced by braids, it is scary. So why doesn’t it feel scary to be an alien? That’s because aliens were not in your cognitive order to begin with. No target, no target, how can there be subversion?
  This is a visual subversion, as well as a causal logic subversion. For example, there is a very famous Japanese horror film called “Midnight Ring”. The plot inside is that there is a video tape, and anyone who sees it must die. Seven days after watching this video tape, a female ghost named Sadako will appear on his TV, then crawl out of the TV and kill people. This is a knot that no one can resolve. Carefully observe this plot, and you will find that every link is subverting the basic order of your heart.
  First, in most stories, there is a cause and an effect. As the saying goes, if you don’t do anything wrong, you won’t be afraid of ghosts knocking on your door. When a person is targeted by demons and goblins, it must be because he has done something bad. Taking a step back, even if a good person dies innocently, there will definitely be a mage to subdue the demons. As the saying goes, good is rewarded with good and evil is rewarded with evil. This is the most basic order of cause and effect. But in “Midnight Ringer”, this rule is subverted. Regardless of whether you are a good person or a bad person and what you have done, as long as you watch the video, sorry, you are unlucky.
  Second, there is a tendency in the world of stories that everything has a solution. No matter how bad the situation is, even if it is a disaster movie, where the world is destroyed, there will always be a turning point, and the fire of hope will never be completely extinguished. This is the basic expectation of those who listen to the story. But in this story, the doom is completely inexplicable. Anyone who hits it can only wait to die. This is another subversion.
  Finally look at the details. Suppose at the end of the story, instead of climbing out of the TV, Sadako suddenly appeared a wormhole, and she came out in a spaceship. Not only is it not scary, but it is ridiculous. Because wormholes and spacecraft are too far away from our daily cognition. But the TV is something we’re all familiar with, and we’re pretty sure there’s no way the stuff in it could crawl out. Once this layer of psychological order is broken, fear quickly strikes.
  So, what kind of horror movie is the scariest? The more it subverts the order at the bottom, the deeper it takes root in your cognition, the more terrifying it is. In the famous science fiction novel “The Three-Body Problem”, there is such a plot. A physicist committed suicide because aliens interfered with her physics experiments with a technology. The previous laws of physics do not work in experiments. For example, if you hit a billiard ball, the ball will definitely fly out in the direction of the force. However, once the aliens intervened, the results became unpredictable. Sometimes the billiard ball rises as it is hit, sometimes it turns into two balls, sometimes it turns into a flower. This upends the most basic cognitive order of a physicist. She couldn’t bear the fear and eventually committed suicide.
  We Chinese sometimes watch Western horror movies, but we don’t actually find them scary. For example, movies about exorcism are not scary to us, why? This is also because we lack objects to be subverted in our hearts. In these stories, the object of subversion is the Christian creed. The various behaviors of the devil have surpassed their deep-rooted belief system, so Westerners feel afraid.
  Okay, let’s put this high-energy topic aside for a moment. Speaking of which, you probably have already discovered that many stories follow a set of core algorithms. This set of core algorithms is based on the lowest order in our hearts, and then on this basis, a series of forces are applied. This is a common feature of good stories.
  For example, there is a genre in Hollywood called gangster movies. Not all movies with gangsters are called gangster movies. For example, we have seen many Hong Kong movies with gangsters as the theme. In fact, most of them are martial arts movies with gunfights in gangsters. They follow the algorithm in the martial arts world, eliminate the strong and support the weak, punish the evil and promote the good. In this kind of movie, if a good guy wants to take action against a bad guy, he must have already obtained certain evidence to prove the crime. Let you make sure that the villain deserves what he deserves, and then the story begins. From the cause at the beginning to the effect at the end, this logical chain is very clear. This underlying psychological foundation is the unique martial arts culture of our Chinese culture.
  Hollywood gangster movies are different.
  Its underlying psychological foundation is trust. In our traditional cognition, trust is often premised. For example, the other party is your relative or friend, or he is recognized as a good character. In short, these trusts are conditional.
  The core algorithm of gangster movies is to rewrite this basic cognition. Turn conditional trust into unconditional trust. Unconditional trust, this is the core algorithm of gangster movies. For example, in a very famous movie “The Godfather”, there is such a plot at the beginning. One comes to find the godfather, the head of the mafia family. He told the godfather that he had been treated unfairly and was bullied, and hoped that the godfather would seek justice for him. The godfather agreed without saying a word, and told this person, I will help you with this favor, and I will return this justice to you. Correspondingly, you owe me a favor.
  You see, throughout the conversation, the godfather did not do any research. He doesn’t have a deep friendship with this person, and it’s not clear that this person has bullied others. But the godfather showed no doubt, but unconditional trust. Unconditional trust, this is something that is not in life, and this is the source of the charm of gangster movies.
  Almost all genre films, or even all stories, must have touched the lowest order in people’s hearts. If you want to write a good story, you must find this order, find the contrast, and rewrite it. A good story was born like this.