UBC Graduate Research

Designing for the screen and screams : The Architectural Language of Horror Film Set Design Letkeman, James


This thesis analyzes how filmmakers use architectural and cinematic techniques to create spaces of horror. It determines what attributes of set design are most successful at conjuring lasting emotional reactions from viewers, both during and after their viewing experiences. To do this, this paper looks to previous theoretical works that discuss psychological responses to unsettling spaces. These theories are then applied to the realm of cinema by uncovering how filmmakers have used specific design techniques and cinematic methods to create and depict new spaces of horror on screen. This thesis then examines how our perception of the spaces we occupy in reality changes after viewing horror films. Finally, this paper showcases my Graduate Project Part II design proposal and installation of a new space of horror based off an original screenplay.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International