Suspense in movies

After watching A Tale of Two Sisters I couldn’t help but think of this video. I liked the film; it had good acting, was shot nicely, and had a decent story. But the horror elements slightly annoyed me.

It’s not what he meant when describing the difference between shocks and surprise and just tension, but Hitchcock’s explanation kind of echos how I feel about films with horror elements. I love it when films build tension: having that overwhelming feeling of dread and despair, wanting to shout at the TV, the characters, and tell them “Don’t look under the fridge! Leave the house! Run away!”. But as soon as the shock comes, as soon as the hand appears from under the fridge and grabs the character’s leg, or as Hitch puts it “the bomb goes off”, I feel cheated.

I tried discussing it with one of my housemates, a guy who likes horror and monster films. He thinks I’m wrong, he thinks I’m wrong. He thinks that if the bomb never goes off then there can never be tension.

I don’t know. I just really hate it when the bomb goes off.