Suspense does better with fewer settings.
Limitations make movies better. That’s just a truth of creativity: scarcity makes us more adaptive, which makes for more unique solutions to problems and more interesting depictions of art. Thrillers exemplify that, especially when it comes to the location of the drama.
Will DiGravio, using films like Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope and Dial ‘M’ For Murder, Terence Young’s Wait Until Dark, and Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight as case studies, dissects why exactly that is in this video essay.
If you’ve ever understood claustrophobia or the wall-scratching anxieties of cabin fever, you understand a bit of the psychology at work here, but this essay does a great job turning that instinctual idea into visually communicative fact.