Psychological Fear



How do you show Psychological Fear? More specifically, how do you make it feel real. Is there a specific formula or do you just do it based on what feels right?

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
visual audio clues

visual audio clues

I think it is safe to say you might start with looking for what visual and audio things clue you in to the fact taht someone is in fear.



I agree with Kim, analyzing and/or studying the various forumlas, approaches and techniques used to build suspense in a psychological thriller is crucial, because it's really about what you don't show them that keeps the audience captive.


New member
I'm not a director but I know what fear looks like..most people when they are scared to death are indeed feeling helpless, they throw up there arms in an instinctive pleading posture to the threat ,when adrenaline gives a full dump the knees buckle, the eyes and face give a pleading for mercy look unless they turn it into aggression then rage comes full throttle, also when real fear hits there is a freeze, anyone ever have a gun pulled on em or been threatened then theres an instant freeze if you dont know how to control fear, I'm not sure how you would show that to a viewer but i could think of some ideas..go to and read an excerpt from his book red mist..he's a martial artist and he knows fear, they way he describes it is dead on and a good guideline on how to maybe show it..just my two cents..