How to add horror movie sound effects and suspense to your film.
Go for gasps and shocks with the scariest horror movie sound effects.
Sound design holds the power to make or break a horror movie. Scary sounds and music build tension, support jump scares, and create a general sense of dread or unrest — all the best parts of a horror film.
Learn how to make viewers leap out of their seats with different types of horror movie sound effects, and get tips on using sound design effectively.
Types of horror movie sound effects.
Horror filmmakers and editors use a few classic techniques to get the scary feeling just right:
- Minor keys: Switch a composition or sound bite from a major key to a minor one to yield a dark, dreadful sound.
- Dissonance: Rearrange standard musical structures to achieve a sense of conflict, unrest, and instability
- Infrasound: Inject low sound waves (about 20Hz or less) that human ears can’t hear, but human bodies can feel.
Some other timeless options include the Wilhelm scream, strings (like violins), and synthesizers.
You can lay these audio techniques over some of your scenes in post-production to make the audience feel uncomfortable and not know what to expect. Search through stock audio tracks to find the perfect sound effect or partner with a composer for original scores.
Get creative with a foley artist.
There are some sounds in horror movies that you just won’t find in the stock audio catalogs — this is where a foley artist comes in. Foley artists use everyday objects to recreate specific sounds. You can partner with a foley artist to create incredible horror movie sound effects that sound completely real and are 100% original to your film.