Horror movie idea: The Catacombs.

In short, gore is gore, and gore isn’t scary. Monsters are monsters, and monsters aren’t scary. 

Lets plan out a horror movie which is actually scary.

The setting is an archelogical dig under the catacombs of Paris. This is a good setting for two reasons. The first is that we have actual true darkness. The second is that it’s a fully legitimate reason for the characters to be both in a enclosed, yet large space and separated from both exits and supplies.

It will be shot entirely in first person, from the main characters PoV. To emphasise the tension, we shall have our main character unaware of what the monster / evil actually is. We shall do this by the heavy denial of visual observation. We will have our main character observe the aftermath, hear other characters being killed. We want to cultivate an atmosphere of being stalked.

We shall have liberal use of non visual scenes. In these, all light sources are extinguished, and only sounds of breathing, hushed conversation and the scrap of feet on rock will be presented. Explanation will be the use of infrared cameras by other character.

The movie will start with the separation of all characters into minor dig teams connected by radio. We shall only ever see the characters in our main characters dig team (1st person PoV remember). However, as they progress into the catacombs, all teams start finding weird symbols, and bones in their various paths. Radio contact starts fading in and out, and maps turn out to be useless.

Character drama pulls the first half of the movie along, as conversational interplay keeps tension running, with unsettling radio messages having started imaginations and adrenal glands running. They choose to abandon the investigation after coming across what looks to be a fresh ritual site of some kind.

As the midpoint of the movie approaches, our main characters dig team should not have been preyed on yet. However, they should be both lost and out of contact from the other teams, with very grim sounds echoing from around them, the tunnels making audio location impossible.

As the second half of the movie progresses, more and more flashlights should be turned off to save battery, creating areas of actual perfect darkness in which the evil starts to work on our main characters dig team. They should be systematically killed in a number of non shown events, with the disturbing factor of the kills ramping up. The group is in full flight towards any exit. Finally, we have our protagonist alone with a flashlight. The movie should end with them running down a tunnel, dropping the flashlight and their PoV running into the darkness and a non specified fate.

If you’re imaging this movie, at the height of tension, imagine a dark theatre, 200 other people in hushed silence watching nothing more than a black screen, not a light to illuminate anything, and the sound system letting you hear the sounds of crunching footsteps through the dust, whispered murmurs from the other characters, and just faintly the first time, the sound of something rending flesh, the sound you would make by ripping a steak apart with your hands.

I present: The Catacombs, an actual Horror Movie.