So, for the past year or so, I’ve been having an internal (and external, to anyone who will listen) debate about how long a horror movie should be. I’ve been a firm believer of the 90 minute-or-less horror film. The pacing of a horror film is probably one of the trickiest things in filmmaking. As many critics have pointed out, there is a bit of a formula to horror-movie making. While most of us are not cognitively aware of this formula, I feel that anyone who has seen more than a few has at least a subconscious understanding of the major beats. This means two things. First, some of the best horror films are the ones that play around with these beats (which is probably why I enjoyed Housebound and The House at the End of Time). However, if you’re going to make a fairly straightforward horror film (I’m looking at you Devil’s Pass and Poltergeist (2015)) you better keep it short or else you risk people getting bored. So, please, try to keep it less than 90 minutes.
Those are my thoughts. I’d love to hear what you have to say about the length of horror films? Should they be longer (or shorter) than 90 minutes)? Can you think of any examples of straight forward horror movies that are longer than 90 minutes that you enjoyed?