One crucial aspect of cinematography in horror/thriller films is lighting. The use of low light, shadows, and contrasts can create a sense of unease and suspense. The lighting should also be used to create mood and atmosphere, such as in scenes with eerie or supernatural elements.
Another important element of cinematography in horror/thriller films is the use of camera movement. The use of handheld cameras can create a sense of immediacy and realism, while the use of dolly shots and crane shots can provide a more sweeping and epic feel. The camera should also be used to create tension, such as in scenes where the camera moves towards a character, creating a sense of danger or threat.
The use of color is also a significant factor in cinematography for horror/thriller films. The use of muted or desaturated colors can create a feeling of dread, while the use of bright, contrasting colors can create a sense of shock. The use of color can also be used to create a sense of place or time, such as in scenes set at night or in a haunted location.
The use of sound and music is also crucial in horror/thriller films. The use of sound effects such as creaking doors, footsteps, or eerie music can create a sense of suspense and tension. The music should also be used to create a sense of rhythm and pace, such as in scenes with action or chase sequences.
In terms of shot composition, the use of close-ups, extreme close-ups, and point-of-view shots can create a sense of intimacy and immediacy. The use of wide shots and establishing shots can provide context and help to create a sense of place. The use of Dutch angles and off-kilter compositions can create a sense of unease and disorientation.
Source: “The Art of Film: Cinematography” by David W. Samuelson.
In conclusion, a successful horror/thriller film in terms of cinematography requires the careful consideration of several elements, including lighting, camera movement, color, sound and music, and shot composition. These elements must be used in conjunction with one another to create a cohesive and effective visual storytelling experience for the audience.