ByJancy Richardson, writer at
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

I'm not hating on CGI when I say that I prefer movie special effects to be more homemade. CGI can create incredible things but the horror genre in particular benefits from good ol' fashioned buckets of blood and creative makeup. Check out some of the coolest horror movie special effects ever used!

The Exorcist

Remember the moment when the demon is flung from Regan MacNeil's body? That horrible noise is an actual recording of pigs screaming as they're taken to be killed in a slaughterhouse.

It wasn't the squealing pigs that disturbed the young star, however: young Linda Blair hated filming the freezing cold bathroom scene so much - the air was kept cold enough to freeze sweat, so they could capture the breath of the cast - that she still loathes the cold as an adult.

Oh, and the vomit? That's Andersen's pea soup. Apparently, they attempted the scene with Campbell's pea soup and weren't pleased with the effect!


The awesome scenes with bees pouring from the Candyman's mouth used no special effects at all. Star Tony Todd simply filled his face with real live bees, using only a small guard over his tongue to stop the bees from being able to crawl down his throat. Now THAT'S dedication to a role!

Interview with the Vampire

This is pretty interesting. To achieve the veiny look of the vampires in Interview with the Vampire, the actors hung upside down for half an hour before makeup. The makeup team then traced over the bulging veins and blood vessels in their faces.

The Thing

The incredible SFX in The Thing are legendary. It took over 40 people months to make the props and gadgets for the movie. FX head Rob Bottin worked for nearly 60 weeks on end, evening having to check himself into the hospital with exhaustion at the end of the project. Not a single CGI scene exists in the movie - just lots of hard work, creative models and a heck of a lot of animal organs.


You may have heard before that the skeletons on set for Poltergeist were real human ones. Yup, that's totally true. It worked out cheaper to buy human bones than plastic skeletons, so the filmmakers did the logical thing. This is also true for several other horror movies including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (which has its own rich and fascinating SFX backstory).


The skeletal creature at the end of [REC] used no CGI - Spanish actor Javier Botet (pictured above) has Marfan syndrome, giving him an unusually tall and thin appearance. Gamely donning the makeup and prosthetics to become a terrifying female creeper, Botet ROCKED [REC]!


Do you prefer CGI or handmade SFX?

Source: Youtube, Cracked, The Chive, Raindance


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