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SFX work best when you let the audience ‘fill in the blanks’. Director Alfred Hitchcock used to merely suggest something without actually showing it and let the audience ‘do the work’. That famous ‘Shower Scene’ in “Psycho”, everyone remembers how bloody and horrific it was to watch that woman get stabbed over and over. Actually, you didn’t ‘see’ any of that happen. The shot prior showed a victim’s POV of the knife coming at them. The next shot was the murderer’s POV of the victim screaming and raising her hands in defense. Ultimately, the sequence ends with ‘blood’ (actually chocolate sauce) pouring down the drain in copious amounts.
When on a budget, the less you show and the more you suggest, the better it will come off. When you’ve got money to throw at it the opposite is true but you can over do it and still not pull it off. Originally in ‘THE THING’, they were going to use stop motion animation for the first true appearance of the monster. However, though the animation was outstandingly done the timing was off just enough to fail meeting with Director John Carpenter’s vision. With extra money for the budget, they went the animatronic route much to critical acclaim.