Of Light and Shadow - Reprise

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The last time I wrote of the use of light and shadow, it was specifically about Carl Dreyer's "Vampyr". In that film, shadows act of their own accord - sometimes independently of the objects casting them, and sometimes with no original objects at all! It just seemed like such a great idea to me...

Anyway, I got to thinking about the other ways old B&W directors had to use light and shadow to create effects. They had no computers, of course, but they also could not simply parade a naked woman across the screen or drench the actors in gore - or both - to distract or shock the audience. Their effects had to be accomplished on a much subtler level. Maybe I'm just a prude, but it seems like their way was more about craft. It also seems more in line with what I want to accomplish with a haunt.

I have nothing against those who want their haunts to be all about "shock and awe" and gallons of blood. There is certainly a place for that. Hell, if there is one with naked women running around, I'm sure there's a place for that, too. Personally, I want my haunt to be one that anyone can enjoy. I want it to be creepy and uncanny and maybe a little surreal. I am not above using triggers and actors to get startle scares either. The overall effect, though, should be something that affects people on a level a bit deeper than an adrenaline rush.

Having said that, here are some pictures from old movies that show just how effective simple light and shadow can be to hide, reveal, and generally create mood:

And one last one to take with you:

Love to hear what you think of these!
Happy Haunting!