Tim Melideo is a Los Angeles based photographer whose fine art photography work is typically very observational. They’re a little clever, his …For Spacious Skies poking fun at the modern American landscape (or lack thereof) and Anonymous Collaborations showcasing various art pieces he made with unkown artists (AKA accidental art). These are fantastic but they all were not as interesting as a series of photos he staged and took that got at horror film tropes: Horror Stills.
The series stars a cute, young blonde constantly caught or putting herself in horrific scenarios. Her approaching a fairly rundown house. Her running through a forest, panicked. Her hitchhiking. Her undressing in the middle of the woods. They’re all wonderful cliches in the horror world, where this girl–out of nowhere–will become the prey of some masked fiend who was slinking around a few trees. Melideo provides this photoset with a grit that evokes that 1970s idea of horror. They’re noisy and they are hazy and they play with presentation. As you can tell by the bottom two, the background seems to be a projection, which both calls in the idea of voyeurism and performance, both two themes heavily tied to the genre.
I am a huge horror film fan so it is probably no surprise that this series of photos are appealing to me. This normally wouldn’t be of interest but Melideo does such a superb job of executing the concept without really doing that much. A lot of the burden is placed on the model/actress in the photos, who was able to camp up these scenarios without them seeming fake or staged. There isn’t actually a murderer, yes, but everything else is nearly there in the photos, from the shitty rape shack to the yellowed desaturation in lighting. You can find plenty more in the sereies here and should definitely poke around Melideo’s other work here.