How movies cleverly tilt the camera angle to influence what we see and feel

The Dutch angle is a film technique where the camera is tilted a bit so that the shot looks purposely off, what’s happening in the shot is not parallel to the frame, it’s at an angle instead. The Dutch angle heightens tension and is disorientating and can make us uneasy (to match the character’s uneasiness). It’s an interesting technique that can also be terribly abused.


Jacob T. Swinney put together this excellent video that shows how different films use the Dutch angle and ta what degrees. He writes:

Being that the tilted camera angles lines that are straight in reality, we become disoriented as our eyes try to adjust to the tilted environment. When a character makes a devastating realization, a slight tilt of the camera can make the moment all the more uncomfortable for us as a viewer (even on a subconscious level).

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I never knew this was a ‘thing’ until I watched Thor (loved it, by the way) and saw quite a lot of criticism sent its way for overusing the Dutch Angle.

I thought it gave the film a unique character but then I didn’t see much wrong with JJ’s use of lens flare in Star Trek so what the hell do i know... :p