A Guide to The Camera Angles and Cinematography in Horror Movies


A Guide to The Camera Angles and Cinematography in Horror Movies
A Guide to The Camera Angles and Cinematography in Horror Movies

Horror movies are one of the most popular genres of filmmaking. Horror movies are enjoyed by a plethora of audience around the world. Everyone loves a little thrill created in the dark theatres by the ghost in the attic or a horrifying clown. But, it takes some useful camera tricks and smart cinematography skills to squeeze the adrenaline in the audiences. Let’s try to know some of the methods by taking the example of The Conjuring movie. The Conjuring is one of the most popular horror franchise in the world. A family relocates into a house where they encounter supernatural events. However, they ask demonologists, Ed and Lorraine, to help them get rid of the sinister entity possessing them. 

Establish Shot

An establishing shot in films and television shows, sets up the base for a movie or scene by disclosing the kind of relationship between its prominent figures and objects. This shot comes at the start of the movies to show the place which might be haunted. In the case of Conjuring, the movie starts with a shot of the farmhouse. In which the Perron family is going to move in with a piece of mysterious background music, which helps build tension among the audience.

Close Up Shot

A close-up in filmmaking, still photography, and television production is a kind of shot that precisely frames an object or a person. Close-ups are standard shots used typically with a medium as well as in long shots. A close-up shot allows the audience to see the emotions of the actors and makes them cringe when a scary face appears suddenly on the screen. A close up when used to show the faces of terrified people in haunted places helps to transfer the terror on the faces of the audience. In Conjuring, the sudden close-up shot of the fat ghost who suddenly appears on top of a character who was sleeping is scary enough to make our heads turn away from the screen.

Point Of View

A point of view shot is a short scene that shows the viewers what the character is viewing. When a character walks into a dark room, the camera shifts to POV shot and we are uncertain if the character will find a ghost or not and then suddenly the ghost appears from outside the point of view of the character. In Conjuring Lorraine with the supernatural mirror in her hand, looking for the ghost is the best example.


In the field of cinematography or photography, panning means turning a video or a still camera along a horizontal line from a stable position. This movement is akin to the movement of an individual when their heads turn from side to side. In the end image, the frame looks like what a passer-by spectator would view on one end of the screen to the other end. In the movie Conjuring, when the supernatural mirror is left in a storage area by Lorraine, and the entryway is closed, we see the camera move from end to end towards the mirror where we finally see the entity.