Lights, camera and action! Horror movies, where lighting and sound effects play a major role in creating a scary ambience that will make a lot of people jump out of their seats from the jump scares. Of course, when it comes to movies and other kinds of entertainment, actors, actresses and directors normally get all the praise and exposure to the media.
However, we can’t forget the ones behind the camera, who contribute a lot to make movies as realistic as possible to create a reality where people can escape for just a moment or two. Those who are in charge of editing, audio and visual effects, costumes, writing the story line, make-up team and so on, are critical in movie production, especially in an intricate and complicated genre like horror.
Decorating and preparing costumes to fit the horror theme is one thing, lighting is another. Different kinds of lighting are important, such as wholesale lighting, spotlighting, prominent projected shadows and many more, to provide the eerie and spooky vibe throughout the whole movie.
What is horror and why is it so popular?
Stories in the horror genre are typically terrifying or otherwise jarring or exciting. Varied kinds of horror might have different meanings, but they always share a fundamental villain, monster, or menace that speaks to the anxieties of contemporary society. This individual or entity is known as the “other,” a phrase used to describe someone who is feared due to their differences or misunderstandings. Similarly, this is why horror has evolved so much through the years. Horror is a dynamic genre, adapting to shifting social anxieties.
Are there any subgenres to horror?
The popularity of the horror genre has led to the development of a great deal of hybrids and offshoots of the various subgenres that fall under this category. In spite of the fact that each one addresses a unique subject, the primary objective of all of them is to terrify the viewer. Some of the subgenre of horror are listed as below:
- Found Footage – It’s a first-person shooter narrative, therefore the camera’s viewpoint is used.
- Lovecraftian – Stresses the terrifying aspects of space travel. Unfathomable to human thought, monsters exist.
- Psychological – This subgenre specialises in psychological terror.
- Science Fiction – Focuses on the terror and repercussions of technology. Monsters are frequently aliens or robots.
- Supernatural – Has a primary emphasis on the afterlife. Ghosts and demons are the main characters.
- Slasher – This monstrosity represents a maniac with a taste for murder. Punishment for sexually active youth is a common theme.
- Torture – Like a slasher film in that it involves the brutal murder of innocent people. The antagonist gets a rush out of seeing his victims suffer both emotionally and bodily.
- Vampire – Dracula and other vampire-like characters are staples of this subgenre of horror, which dates back to the early 20th century.
- Werewolf – When a full moon is out, beware of these monstrous shape-shifters.
- Zombie – In most cases, a group of survivors will be ambushed by a swarm of flesh-eating zombies.
With all these various subgenres of horror, how do filmmakers create such intricate experience?
They kick things off by tactfully relaying the plot through images that gradually increase the tension by playing on the inherent mystery of any horror picture. It is explained that horror films are predicated on the doubts we all have about immortality. In a way, this is what terror addresses for each and every type of individual. People are always confronted with the question of life and death, and it is believed that horror is all about facing this dread.
Altering Emotions with Light and Color
Reduce the number of colors used to prevent visual chaos and aid in the creation of a sense of physiological suspense, essential in horror. The darker the scene, the more the director of photography may play with a limited color pallet.
Find out just what audiences are afraid of. Less light makes the situation feel more mysterious, which plays into the fear of the unknown. It’s crucial to have a well-regulated color palette and an awareness of how natural and artificial light interact in a given area.
The clarity of forms and shapes is enhanced by lighting that is both direct and uses a limited color palette. Getting the frame in focus is the main concern. By filling the frame with darkness, the production may evoke feelings of foreboding and mystery, drawing the viewer further into the story.
Lighting tricks are utilized frequently in horror films to confuse the viewer and highlight the difference between the evil and the hero. Some of the techniques are:
- Harsh light (hard light, chiaroscuro)
- Relating to the theme of “being watched” via shooting through props.
These laid-back aesthetic touches set the hero apart from the unapproachable enemy and let the viewer relate to him on a deeper level. Then we may take the last girl’s hand and venture into the darkness of the unknown, where we can confront our anxieties as a group.
Methods of Character Development Utilizing Set and Props
It’s possible to ratchet up the tension by employing the correct color palette, lighting scheme, and stage design. Often times in horror movies, sometimes the antagonist of the story isn’t a mad masked man, or a psychotic murderer, or an alien or other supernatural being, but sometimes it can often be a building or a house.
Horror movies always take up a notch in making things interesting by utilizing every props, space and characters to bring an eerie masterpiece to life. It is also explained by David Farrands, who is a director, screenwriter and producer for horror projects, saying, “The point is to empathize with the experience of feeling unsafe even within one’s own four walls. You can’t trust your own home, so what do you do? Not the masked man this time, but the home itself is the villain.”
Farrands claims he always begins his writing with a locale in mind. Is it a quiet Midwest town? Summer camp in the woods? It’s always the arena where evil enters, and the most effective ones are the ones we can connect to. A babysitting job, summer camp, or school are places most people have been. In your own area, you’re not safe. It’s commonplace. The more accessible it is, the more the audience buys in.
Farrands claims he always begins his writing with a locale in mind. “Is it a quiet Midwest town? Summer camp in the woods? It’s always the arena where evil enters, and the most effective ones are the ones we can connect to. A babysitting job, summer camp, or school are places most people have been. In your own area, you’re not safe. It’s commonplace. The more accessible it is, the more the audience buys in.”