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Re-Imagining Re-Animator

Assignment: Take a horror movie of your choice, re-envision two costumes and an set/environment. I selected Re-Animator (1985) as my subject.

My goals for the project were: 

  • Take larger inspiration from the original H.P. Lovecraft short story

  • Enhance the juxaposition between Dan Cain and Herbert West through color and shape

  • Change the color of the Reagent from neon green to gold and incorporate that color into the characters/costumes

  • Utilize a larger scale set to add more space to the final conflict - from a basement lab to a old farmhouse as was written in the original text


Creating the Costumes

I first complete a series of sketches to compare the shape and forms between both characters. Since Dan and Herbert are supposed to be opposites, I wanted to exaggerate their shapes while maintaining realistic proportions. I wanted Dan to be a soft and cozy presence, something for the audience to connect with. In contrast, I wanted Herbert to be slick and sharp, like his personality. 

Next, I complete color tests for both Dan and Herbert. I knew I wanted to include yellow/gold in both costumes. For Dan, I used warm browns with lots of texture. Once again in contrast, I wanted Herbert to be cool purples both to contrast Dan and the Reagent that he constantly interacts with. 


Dan's Final Design

  • Preppy in aesthetic but not rich in form

  • Leaned into the jock stereotype to contrast Herbert's nerd stereotype

  • Old clothes that have been heavily worn and weathered (lots of texture)

  • Warmer browns to compliment Herbert's cool purples

  • Blonde Hair to add yellow/gold to upper body as a compliment to Herbert's glasses 

  • Wanted him to fit within the environment of the farmhouse significantly more than Herbert

  • Wearing a Miskatonic sweatshirt, the name of the school where Herbert and Dan meet 

Herbert's Final Design

  • Rich and sleek but not ostentatious

  • New clothes that are well maintained

  • Cool Purples and darker values to contrast the warmth of Dan 

  • Yellow-lensed glasses with side shields to add a more iconic costume piece than compared to the original

  • I want him to feel foreign in the small farming town to subtly stand apart

  • University of Zurich Three-Quarter Zip, the name of the school where West was studying under Dr. Hans Gruber

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