Jaws. Cat People. Alien. Through creative editing and an emphasis on atmosphere, these classic films clearly demonstrate that nothing is more terrifying than what the viewer cannot see.
Except, perhaps, what the viewer cannot comprehend—supernatural forces that exist far beyond the narrow realm of human experience. Ringu/The Ring captures this flavor of fear, as does Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. But few movies dissect psychological horror as thoroughly as Bernard Rose’s Candyman (based on another Clive Barker tale), which generates agonizing, excruciating suspense by asking a single, simple, chilling question:
“Can belief bring to life the monsters that haunt our dreams?”
Rose’s numerous soaring overhead shots, which reduce human beings to the size of ants, suggest a disquieting answer.