The eyes are the most chilling and alluring aspect of any horror character, capable of delivering all seven deadly sins simultaneously and powerfully. Hollywood filmmakers combine a variety of make-up techniques with creative colour contact lenses to transport their character's souls into the very depths of hell. We only need to look at Regan McNeil's eyes in the Exorcist, which are transformed from innocent rich brown irises to deranged glaring gargoyles, to see how evil can take hold of a character and propel them towards unabated perdition.
In Regan's most terrifying state, her pupils constrict so far as to make them pin thin, before rolling back, becoming an opaque, cloudy white, as her spiritual state reaches a ruinous nadir, far removed from the physical world.
In the '80s cult horror film, The Evil Dead, the producers used custom-made opaque contact lenses to produce a similar effect. By removing all natural elements of the eye, including the pupils, irises, colour, light and hue, they produced depraved blood-shot eye-balls:
In this year's remake of The Evil Dead, contact lens designer Kevin Carter supplied producers with bespoke colour contact lenses to create a series of new and gruesome effects. His lenses, created using a fine brush technique and a variety of coloured dyes, have been used in a number of horror films, including Dracula 2001, Exorcist: The Beginning, Hellraiser: Hellworld and Resident Evil:
"What stood out in my head when it came to special-effects lenses were the contact lenses that vampires wore in the movies that made their eyes so bright and vivid," said Kevin.
"I love horror films so a lot of my own designs are quite scary and creepy - I look at a blank lens and try to imagine something bizarre. Artistic contact lenses really have the power to transform faces," he added.
A sightless face of evil, where evil spirits don't need eyes to see, is reflected in the '90s space horror odyssey Event Horizon. Here, when Sam Neil's space ship crosses a time continuum and enters hell, he removes his eyes from his own skull and delivers the classic ominous line: "Where we're going we don't need eyes to see":
Short film maker Bloody Cuts produce a series of short horror films which can be viewed on their successful YouTube channel; watch their new Blu-Ray commercial to see how they have created a warped eye-ball effect for this despicable clown character:
Eyesbright.com supply trained make-up and special effects artists with professional lenses which cover the entire eye. These Sabretooth Sclera Contact Lenses are particularly haunting, creating a black-hole notion, as if you have entered into the gates of hell never to return.
Eyesbright.com also supply a range of contacts for home use, allowing you to recreate your favourite horror characters. For example, Louis De Point Du Lac lenses recreate Brad Pitt's aristocratic vampire from Interview with the Vampire, combining small black pupils and fiery white irises to reflect the insatiable desire of his vampire:
With Halloween only around the corner, colour contact lenses provide an ideal opportunity to transform your eyes into something visually terrifying. Why not take some inspiration from Hollywood and recreate your favourite evil horror film character?