The fear of the unknown, is it scarier than anything else?

Movies with a villain that never actually materializes.

When you’re laying in bed at night and hear a weird noise come from across the room.. Do you usually freak out? Then when you turn the light on, and see it was just the cat, or the wind, you breathe a sight of relief. It’s that moment before you turn the light on that is what I love to find in the horror movies I watch. It’s the fear of the unknown– not knowing exactly what is there, but knowing that you are absolutely terrified of whatever it may be.

Not many movies successfully achieve this. It takes a lot of well, I hate to put it this way, but it takes a lot of mindfucking to accomplish this sort of fear in the audience. One movie that many have come to love to hate, that I think does a phenomenal job at this is The Blair Witch Project.
The way the tension and the fear builds in the movie is amazing to me. The scenes in the tent when you hear the baby crying and the last few minutes of the movie are why I love these type of horror movies. They can seriously get to you, and not knowing exactly what you are afraid of makes you feel like it could be real.
You know how in a movie, when you see the alien or the monster, and it looks creepy but you flat-out know the thing was crafted by CGI and the like so you feel a little less scared because you know you’ll never really encounter such a thing? Well, when you don’t know exactly what it is that you’re fearing, then you have no idea of knowing how real or fake it may be.

Other movies that have achieved this are Absentia, Session 9 and The Mothman Prophecies. All three of them do this brilliant job of creating a creepy atmosphere and leaving the viewer with an eerie feeling when it ends.. all without ever actually showing the villain or monster. A recent movie named Resolution has a very different take on things and the end reveals a villain you may not have ever thought of. I won’t give it away but it definitely is something you’d never expect, and definitely fits into this category.
In any event, these type of movies scare me more than all others.. more than ghost, alien, slashers, vampires, etc. Does anyone else agree?

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