Adam Gambrel is a skilled director/producer from Kentucky. In his 2nd short film, “Intruder”, he built up suspense with a yet simple situation: a man in a cabin awaken by strange noises. Let’s explore how this efficient short succeed in terrifying us.

Before reading the tips below, watch the film here BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK.

Hitchcock has exposed in many lecture/articles the power of suspense over surprise: when you inform (the audience) about something (a bomb is about to explode) the protagonist is unaware of, audience engagement gets stronger.

GIVE SOMETIMES YOUR AUDIENCE HEADS-UP BEFORE YOUR CHARACTER

This is exactly, what is happening in INTRUDER: in one single shot (after the man went asleep the camera lingers in the same room, revealing a strange shape in the background) something is given to the audience. We don’t know what is it but we know there is a threat with him…This subtle frame expose enough, without revealing too much.

REVEAL JUST ENOUGH, NOT TOO MUCH

In one frame we get what’s any horror director should do: reveal enough info to create suspense but not too much, so audience will continue to engage without losing interest? With that in mind, watch some Hitchcock, Carpenter, Lynch movies and learn how those masters create suspense (reveal information to the audience, not the protag.) enticing interest.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Learn more about Adam Gambrel career & upcoming projects here: www.adamgambrel.com