Things that go bump in the night

Photographer Joshua Hoffine‘s latest series is his vivid interpretation of childhood fears. Such “classics” include the monster under the bed, the monster in the basement, and the not-so happy scary clown in the vein of Pennywise that I’m sure resulted in many night terrors everywhere. With a pinch of Gottfried Helnwein‘s morbidity, there is an aspect of Hoffine’s work that dances a fine line between cartoony camp, psychological anxiety, and childhood nostalgia.

With such detail and intricacy, it would be easy to think that his horror series would be complex photoshop collages. You’d be wrong to think so. Hoffine describes his horror photography and process :

I stage my photo shoots like small movies, with sets, costumes, elaborate props, fog machines, and special effects make-up. I use hotlights rather than strobes, because they give me better fog effects as well as a warming color shift. My images are not photoshop collage. I use photo shop to finesse details and to adjust color and contrast for printing. I use friends and family as actors and crew. Everyone works for free. We do it for fun.

I believe that the horror story is ultimately concerned with the imminence and randomness of death, and the implication that there is no certainty to existence. The experience of horro resides in this confrontation with uncertainty. Horror tells us that our belief in security is delusional, and that the monsters are all around us.

View more of Hoffine’s work here.