The Art of Horror

At its core, art—no matter the medium—is all about the process. So in the spirit of Halloween, we took a closer look at our favorite horror flicks to uncover which creative choices made the final cut and why.  

Rosemary’s Baby
Release date: June 12, 1968
Runtime: 2h 16m

According to lead actress Mia Farrow, Roman Polanski’s intense directing style inspired her to employ the method acting technique during several scenes. This included eating raw liver through multiple takes, even though she was a strict vegetarian, and running through New York City traffic—while pregnant—with no blocked streets or stunt drivers.

The Shining
Release date: May 23, 1980
Runtime: 2h 22m

Remember that iconic scene where Wendy locks herself in the bathroom and Jack takes an ax to the door? Well, that took not one, not two, but three days to film. By the time the crew had gotten all the shots they needed, 60 doors had been destroyed.

Release date: September 8, 1960
Runtime: 1h 49m

In an attempt to keep lead actress Janet Leigh in a continuous state of fear while filming, director Alfred Hitchcock repeatedly hid dummies of Norman Bate’s deceased “mother” in her dressing room closet.


Release date: October 25, 1978
Runtime: 1h 42m

Michael Myers wasn’t a product of pure imagination. The character was inspired by a teenage boy director John Carpenter observed during a visit to a real psychiatric ward with his psychology classmates.


The Birds
Release date: March 28, 1963
Runtime: 1h 59m

Unlike other films made before and during the early 1960s, The Birds doesn’t include “The End” at its conclusion. This was an intentional decision made by director Alfred Hitchcock, who wanted the audience to feel an unending sense of terror.

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