Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Shyamalan: Tricks of the fear trade

Undated Film Still Handout from After Earth. Pictured: JADEN SMITH as Kitai Raige and WILL SMITH as Cypher Raige. See PA Feature FILM Shyamalan. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Sony UK. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Shyamalan.
Will and Jaden Smith star in M Night Shyamalan's After Earth

M Night Shyamalan has revealed the sure fire way of scaring an audience has nothing to do with blood and guts.

King of the fright flicks Shyamalan has just released fear-filled thriller After Earth and spilled his secrets on how he gets viewers hiding behind their hands.

The Sixth Sense director said: "The unknown is what makes things scary. The why, how, what... That story is more frightening than 'blood dripping down the wall' horror. Plus, it's much cheaper to film."

After Earth stars Will Smith as futuristic army general Cypher, who takes his son Kitai (real-life son Jaden Smith) on a bonding trip that ends in a crash landing on Earth, which has been deserted long before.

Shyamalan said he had explored what fear can do to people while researching the film.

He said: "Cypher teaches Kitai that when you get scared, you close your senses off. It's a very Zen thing - be present, stop anticipating what's going to happen in the next moment. It's also very much about mindfulness."

He mentioned that part of his research involved a true story about a bank robbery: "There was a police officer yelling at a woman who was in the bank to 'get out', but she couldn't hear him because she was totally focused on the man with the gun. She was so scared, her senses had become completely tunnelled."

After Earth is in cinemas now.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Nightlife Galleries


Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News


Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant


Joining a discussion group will be lots of fun. You'll enjoy brainstorming with fellow visionaries. The idea for a community improvement project is worth developing. You and your neighbours will benefit from a beautiful gathering spot. It's easy to feel alienated in this technological age. Create a space where you can escape computers, telephones and artificial lighting. Don't be surprised when you feel compelled to visit this sanctuary every day. Spending time outdoors will make you more relaxed and productive.More