How to Make Cheap Horror Movie Effects at Home

Written by daniel sanz
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to Make Cheap Horror Movie Effects at Home
Blood, cuts and slashing effects are common elements in a homemade horror film. (sangue image by from

Making your own horror movie can often be a creative challenge. The appeal to most horror films typically revolves around the special effects and gore used to thrill and scare the audience.

Blood is often the primary effect, and although it can be used in a variety of ways it is commonly used in stabbings and cuts. These effects can be produced on a very small budget using household items and props purchased from a Halloween or make-up store.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • Corn syrup
  • Milk
  • Red liquid food colouring
  • Blue or green liquid food colouring
  • Mixing bowl
  • Fake knife
  • Kitchen sponge
  • Scissors
  • Crazy glue
  • Disposable plate or plastic container lid
  • Liquid latex
  • 2 make-up sponges

Show MoreHide


    Simple Fake Blood Recipe

  1. 1

    Pour the corn syrup into the mixing bowl. Pour as much syrup as the amount of blood needed. Add a tablespoon of milk at a time until the syrup is no longer transparent. Stir until the milk and syrup are mixed evenly.

  2. 2

    Add a teaspoon of the red food colouring and stir. Keep adding a teaspoon of red colouring until the mixture turns from pink to the desired red. Add a few drops of blue or green food colouring to give the blood a darker, more realistic look. Continue to add drops until you achieve your desired colour.

  3. 3

    Stir the mixture to make sure all of the ingredients have mixed evenly and to remove any bubbles. Refrigerate it to keep the milk from spoiling. It is now ready for use in your horror movie.

    Slashing Knife Effect

  1. 1

    Take the kitchen sponge and use scissors to cut off a strip that is the length of the sponge and approximately 1 inch tall. Glue the sponge strip to one side of the fake knife near the blade. Let the glue dry before continuing.

  2. 2

    Pour approximately a tablespoon of fake blood onto the disposable plate or plastic container lid. Press the knife sponge-side down into the fake blood and lightly release so that the sponge can absorb the blood. Wipe away any blood that gets onto the knife blade itself.

  3. 3

    The knife is now ready to use for the slashing effect. Press the sponge side of the knife against the person you are "slashing" and tilt it so that the sponge is being squeezed against their skin.

  4. 4

    Pull the knife across the skin, keeping light pressure applied so that the sponge releases the soaked-up blood into a realistic trail across the skin. Keep the knife tilted so that the camera never sees the side with the sponge.

  5. 5

    Stop the camera and wipe up the remaining blood to prevent the blood from staining other surfaces. Squeeze the sponge under running water to wash out any remaining blood.

    Cuts and Torn Skin Effect

  1. 1

    Dip the make up sponge into the bottle of liquid latex. Chose a location on the actor's skin that will appear cut, and apply the latex onto the skin into the shape of the cut desired.

  2. 2

    Layer the latex thicker on the sides of the wound so that the centre is indented as if it were cut into the skin. To make the cut look jagged and torn, apply the latex unevenly so that it clumps along the edges.

  3. 3

    Let the latex dry completely. Check it to make sure there are no wet or runny spots in the latex before you continue.

  4. 4

    Take the second make up sponge and dip it into the fake blood and apply to the indentation of the fake wound. Continue to add blood until it completely fills in the wound. Your actor is now ready for filming.

  5. 5

    With the camera rolling, have your actor tilt the wound so that the pooled blood will run and trickle out, adding more realism to the effect.

Tips and warnings

  • Adding smoke from a fog machine or harsh shadows in your lighting will often add a darker mood to your scene and can help hide imperfections in the effects.
  • Crazy glue is an extremely strong adhesive. Use it with care and follow all precautions on the label.
  • Use caution when running the fake knife across your actor. If the knife if plastic, check for any chips or jagged edges. Make sure the knife is safe and will not actually cut or hurt anyone.
  • The red food colouring in the blood will stain. Be sure to wear old clothes and clean up thoroughly when you are finished.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.