How Filmmakers Can Use Lighting in the Dark Genre – Horror Film Making Tactics

Lighting is essential in entertainment. It supports the scene and promotes the mood. Light is especially important in horror movies, as it helps in creating an environment of unease and also making it more suspenseful and tense for the audience viewing it. Not only is horror a problematic genre to achieve, but it also calls for many unique and creative lighting techniques. Unlike other styles of movies, like action or adventure movies, the horror genre focuses on the texture, the tone and the mood of the scene.

The Most Important Parts of a Horror Movie

One of the most critical elements other than for lighting is sound. The sound is the main reason why people are unnerved by certain movie scenes. It is our first instinct to run when you hear something strange and unexplainable, which is perhaps why many shut their ears or in some cases close their eyes when something scary pops up. Another essential part of a horror movie is the cinematography. When it comes to shooting a film, many rules must be followed; however, when it comes to shooting a horror movie, most of these rules can be broken. For example, horror movies continuously break the rules about the normal lighting that can be used by making them flicker extensively or use hardly any light at all. The breaking of these rules is what makes a horror movie so successful.

Scenes Though an Object

Many horror movies and their filmmakers find that to make a scene more intense; they would create a series of extreme close up shots to show the stress and fear of the character. Instead, a broader perspective and shooting through an object such as a glass window is much more effective, as it obstructs the character’s faces slightly making the viewers pay closer attention to the facial expressions of the on-screen happenings. Using an extreme close up is also useful, however, it can be used to promote a feeling or emotion that is being felt by the character. But if you are showing a scene through a pane of glass, it can conclusively demonstrate the isolation of the character and how unaware they are of their surroundings. 

Colored Gels

In horror movies, you can try out and discover different ways to promote a specific scene. Colored gels are the perfect way to unnerve an audience. There is something about the vibrancy of the color that makes the viewer feel intense and uneasy. Using a colored gel on a person’s face can show that the subject has sinister or evil intentions. Not only will the gel light bleed over the contours of the character’s face, but it can also accentuate any creepy features and shadows of their faces as well. The main reason as to why filmmakers suggest not using standard lights in a horror movie is because the lack of suspense and the images during the entirety of the film will just come out looking strange and awkward.