Joshua Hoffine's Horror Photography
April 24, 2008 4:11 AM   Subscribe

Horror photography by artist Joshua Hoffine. NSFW, via The Horror Blog
posted by Faint of Butt (41 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Pretty cool stuff and preying on some primal fears of childhood. Now I'll step aside for the inevitable outraged me-fites.
posted by acetonic at 4:20 AM on April 24, 2008


Zoinks! That's spooky!
posted by punkfloyd at 4:20 AM on April 24, 2008


Now I'll step aside for the inevitable outraged me-fites.

That would be me. Browser-resizing pop-up? WTF!
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:42 AM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Baby and spider! (shudder, flesh crawl...)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:49 AM on April 24, 2008


Hasn't Metafilter had enough vaguely-pederastic FPP's for one week?
posted by Avenger at 4:50 AM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


There. Was. A. CLOWN! NSFAnywhereever
posted by merocet at 4:51 AM on April 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hmmm dunno. There is something really quite rubbish about it all. Like someone popped into the Puppetmaster IV: No Budget Left props cupboard and arsed about with a kid and a camera. I can think of so many ways those concepts could have been executed better. Looks a bit plastic and devoid of real menace. Not much room for subjectivity with these.
posted by The Salaryman at 4:56 AM on April 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


I do like how he plays on childhood fears, but the pictures are a little obvious and the cheese factor is rather high. It looks like something you'd see hanging in a guy's dorm room.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:02 AM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Some of them were slightly creepy, but I found more of them kind of amusing.
posted by Atreides at 5:18 AM on April 24, 2008


Hello, all of my childhood nightmares! Good to see you all again!
posted by ColdChef at 5:30 AM on April 24, 2008


I like the one on his splash homepage best of all.
posted by biscotti at 5:33 AM on April 24, 2008


Now I'll step aside for the inevitable outraged me-fites.

Actually it's Mefites, no dash needed.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:35 AM on April 24, 2008


NOM NOM NOM can I has more childrens for eats plz kthxbye
posted by WalterMitty at 5:46 AM on April 24, 2008


The anti-wolf-defamation league will be in contact with you shortly.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:48 AM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I will refuse the league's advances, because I have nothing but the highest respect for anti-wolves.
posted by DU at 5:54 AM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dr. Tongue's 3-D House of Photographer's Personal Issues
posted by fleetmouse at 5:55 AM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pretty on the surface, but kind of sterile...maybe it's the site design. Having said that, I like Prozac Chainsaw, Death, and Hands.

I was about to say Gas Mask Child as well, but then I realised how sexualised the wearing of gas masks has become for me (thanks, various clubs of Berlin!) and it kind of creeped me out, but not in a good way.
posted by cosmonik at 6:15 AM on April 24, 2008


Now I'll step aside for the inevitable outraged me-fites.

I find his use of actual lens flares in the picture Shallow Grave to be a little outrageous.
posted by delmoi at 6:23 AM on April 24, 2008


I only thought they were kind of cheesy until I got to the lens flare. Still pretty good, I wish the execution was a little more subtle.
posted by bradbane at 6:37 AM on April 24, 2008


Once again, low rent Gregory Crewdson FTWL.
posted by The Bellman at 7:10 AM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, I was very disappointed. The massive photoshopping involved leaves the kid completely disconnected from the subject matter. And since when does sexy zombie, sexy corpse, and sexy evil nurse qualify as horror?
posted by Pastabagel at 7:14 AM on April 24, 2008


Should we call a spade a spade? Yes? Then let's call a photographer a photographer...
posted by oxford blue at 7:16 AM on April 24, 2008


Ugh, can't wait forever for these things to load. I'll come back when everybody on earth's not trying to access them.

That, or dude needs more bandwidth.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 7:17 AM on April 24, 2008


I liked Shallow Grave and the very first image you click to enter the site (though probably only because I just recently watched Blood Simple and spent the last three days playing the Condemned games). The rest, not so much.

Which is a shame because I like my horror and I thoroughly approve of the core idea behind these pictures.
posted by slimepuppy at 7:20 AM on April 24, 2008


Looks to me like the guy wants to be Simen Johan.
posted by xo at 8:49 AM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I like the one of the little girl and the clown with balloons.

It's sweet.
posted by mattoxic at 9:06 AM on April 24, 2008


Hm... as a fan of horror and horror imagery, this makes me wonder about the difference between "classic" and "trite", because his portfolio seems to straddle that divide.

The clown with the balloons is so painfully overdone, and it's been overdone better... yet the image of the arms reaching over the couch is quite chilling.

It doesn't help that much of the work deals with the victimization of children in a way that feels more exploitative than insightful. (I'm not accusing the artist of exploiting children, but I think he's handling a potent metaphor clumsily, to the detriment of his photographs.)
posted by Robson at 9:06 AM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


fleetmouse: "Dr. Tongue's 3-D House of Photographer's Personal Issues"

That's kind of what I'm getting at, though -- I don't see the photographer working through his personal issues here. If he were, then there'd be more insight into the subject matter. Some sort of take on this classic horror imagery that shows me some element or facet that I hadn't seen or considered before.

But it's not there currently.

I'll be eager to see what he's producing in 10-15 years, though.
posted by Robson at 9:13 AM on April 24, 2008


Gas mask child - inspired by Dr. Who much?
posted by Planet F at 9:43 AM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


The spider ones bug me (hah), but ultimately I've never found static visuals particularly horrifying. (An exception is made for real journalistic pictures and so on, ogrish things and the like.) Moving images, sounds, and so forth are what get me. I've often wondered whether, if you could sneak into someone's house and put half a dozen subwoofers in the walls which constantly produced a low-frequency hum and a periodic "click" or two, they would go crazy within the month.

I would.
posted by sonic meat machine at 9:44 AM on April 24, 2008


He's like the Thomas Kinkade of the horror genre ...

Some sort of take on this classic horror imagery that shows me some element or facet that I hadn't seen or considered before.

I'm not even sure he understands the genre well enough to see what makes it tick ... the images feel forced and clich├ęd to me.
posted by squeak at 9:47 AM on April 24, 2008


I'll be eager to see what he's producing in 10-15 years, though.

I thought this as well. He may very well find an edge and get into his subject matter more, and hopefully it'll show through his work. At first these shots seemed interesting, but then their stilted nature becomes apparent - when you see the links to shots by Gregory Crewdson, Simen Johan, you can tell both are much more successful at being what Hoffine's trying to be.
posted by cosmonik at 10:07 AM on April 24, 2008


Can we have a ten year moratorium on spooky children and clowns?
posted by Artw at 11:12 AM on April 24, 2008


Too much topless little girl and not enough freaked out little boy.

(' Cause I was one freaked out little boy and I knows that monsters don't care about gender...)

I give it a traditional "eh".
posted by djrock3k at 11:34 AM on April 24, 2008


Not bad...I tend to favor J.K. Potter for this sort of photography, though. And yes, some images are NSFW.
posted by TexArcane at 11:57 AM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fun stuff. Makes me with more people still dried their clothes on a clothesline.

And he'll start making crappy Hollywood horror movie posters when?
posted by jabberjaw at 12:15 PM on April 24, 2008


And since when does sexy zombie, sexy corpse, and sexy evil nurse qualify as horror?

Some of us might call this a "relationship history."
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:55 PM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I do believe I've seen the clown behind the clothesline bedsheets before.

And the little goblin under the stairs can't compete with the clown in storm drain.
posted by dgaicun at 2:27 PM on April 24, 2008


I want these to be so much or much more subtle.

Picasso (or somebody) once said "art is the lie, which tells the truth" These pictures are the truth that sounds like lies. See that's the thing about art. There's lossy compression involved. That's where the skill of the artist comes in, dealing with that lossy compression.

Photos don't have sounds or movement, or smells. Most of our senses are telling our brain the same message: nothing has changed from a moment ago when we read that dinosaur thread. Our vision is meekly saying "oh...it seems a silhouette of a girl might be treading into a basement where a goblin faced man is under the stairs. Also, you have a new IM"

A Wolf is attacking a poor naked girl...but wait! There's a man's arm! Oh, I guess he's a werewolf. Right. Ho-Hum.

Why is this boring? The same reason watching a video of a roller coaster from the ground is boring. Sure you can empathize about how scared the riders (or naked girl) might be, but a large part of feeling fear is the adreniline boost that occurs when you cannot predict your surrounding. Our empathy with regards to fear is limited because fear can throw several switches in our brain that we cannot.

So, how do you, as an artist, do it? How do you deal with the limited sensory compression in a photograph. How do you unnerve people when you are handicapped with a fraction of one sense? When no matter what is in that image you will have at least 4 senses working against your prediction of danger?

J.K Potter deals with the rules of the game by breaking other rules. Compare the wolf image on Hoffine's site with this one on Potter's. Potter's was probably done with an enlarger and traditional retouching tools. If you look (not even too) closely at the top blending line, it seems to be a simple fade. I feel like the light might be inconsistent and it's a duotone photo -- something that you would only see if you were a strange form of color blind. Much less realistic than the Hoffine wolf photo, which is in color, a normal perspective, has realistic effects, and only seems to have obvious Photoshopping at the top. Yet I, and I imagine others, would find the Potter photo much creepier.

I think it's because of the way nature forced her hand. If you asked a creative person to design a guy with a fish head, he'd probably look cartoony. necks would morph into other necks. There would be clear divisions at the edges of body parts you could name. But because she couldn't really distort the form of either one, she had to put it in an unconventional place, with impossible physiology.

In essense, she's saying "keep your office smells and sounds, but I'll break the laws of nature in mine and that will make you feel threatened."
posted by Brainy at 3:30 PM on April 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Someone has issues.
posted by kjs3 at 6:57 PM on April 24, 2008


Joshua Hoffine is a casualty of too much post-processing. They look like slick cartoons rather than photography. Too polished. Works as horror for some, but not for me.

But wow, thanks Brainy & TexArcane for the links to JK Potter. That's the stuff of my childhood nightmares. I need to go and watch some kitten videos to cleanse the palate.
posted by saturnine at 8:05 AM on April 25, 2008


« Older Kip Macy is a well-known developer and mentor in t...  |  Metafilter Zombified... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments