One of the things I look for in movies, be they horror or otherwise, is a ‘cinematic’ look, which I often have difficulty describing though what I mean is a movie that looks like a movie.
Which sounds fairly obvious, but bear with me.
I mean there’s some actual cinematography going on, as in the movie is appropriately lit, images are crisp and the camera isn’t bouncing all over place.
And here’s my latest bête noir: Drone shots.
I get the feeling that many independent genre filmmakers use them because they think they somehow add value to a production, that they help establish atmosphere.
And they can, if done well and used sparingly.
If you’re interesting in seeing an aerial shot done particularly well, check out the opening below for Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining – which was likely done with a helicopter but the idea remains the same – the camera moves over the landscape, establishing the remoteness of the location, visually isolating viewers in a similar fashion to the way the Torrance family are trapped in The Overlook Hotel.
In other words, it serves a purpose and I’m willing to wager that if Kubrick though it didn’t work, he would have excised it.
Now, I don’t expect too many flimmakers to have the visual sense of a Stanley Kubrick, though I do expect that they’re more cognizant of what does – and what doesn’t – help their cause.
And overuse of drone shots don’t.