About this Strip:
I like to joke that these power outage strips are great to do because they help cover up my bad photography, but holy cats were those flashlight effects a pain. I’m fairly happy with the results, but there’s certainly room for improvement.
For some reason I’m endlessly amused that no one seems to know the maintenance guy’s name. He seems like he’d be a pretty important fellow at the studio; you’d think people would make some effort to learn at least his first name.
Zombie Cliché Lookout:
It doesn’t matter how modern and flashy the horror flick is, it’s still common to see directors putting their characters in the dark with only an underpowered flashlight to illuminate a tiny sliver of the screen while the rest remains shrouded in murky darkness. This plays off people’s fairly considerable fear of the dark. Sure, most of us gave up the nightlight a long time ago, but plop the average adult in a dark cave, and just see how long it takes them to start losing it.
Throw in the fact that there are flesh-eating zombies in that cave, and I’ll bet they freak out in less than a minute.
I have some experience in this regard (minus the zombies). During a geology class in college, the professor took us to a closed-down gypsum mine. After hiking in for a ways we all turned off our flashlights and just sat in the dark for a few moments. Never before have I experienced complete and total darkness. It was horrifying. I doubt we were there for even thirty seconds, but the sense of dread latched on almost immediately and the seconds crawled for what seemed like an eternity until the teacher told us to turn out lights back on.
The cheap flashlight trope is also nice because it lets us get just a hint of what could either be help of danger. Look at the maintenance guy in the last frame there: is he looking a little gray and zombified, or is that just a trick of the light? Films like Rec and the American remake Quarantine used the technique a lot, and to great effect.