[[quoteright:260:[[Film/{{Dracula|1931}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/119123_f260.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:260:The Eyes Have It, or so it seems.]]

The lights dim and the character is thrown into deep shadow (or sometimes even total darkness)--except, for some reason, for a mysterious rectangle highlighting the character's eyes. Sometimes this is used to indicate intense concentration, sometimes it's used to show the character's powerful hypnotic abilities. And sometimes it's just to tell the audience, "This next part is supposed to be creepy!"

Almost never combined with GlowingEyesOfDoom. A form of HollywoodDarkness. A subtrope of {{Chiaroscuro}}.

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!!Examples

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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Used twice in the OVA of ''Manga/AngelDensetsu'', when the sunlight reflects from Takahise's knife into Kitano's eyes.
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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* P'Gell was once drawn this way in ''Comicbook/TheSpirit''.
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[[folder:Film]]
* The likely TropeMaker is the 1922 film ''Film/DrMabuseTheGambler'', which features the eponymous character (a hypnotist/psychiatrist/master-criminal) in several of these sorts of shots.
* As seen in the picture above, in the 1931 adaptation of ''Film/{{Dracula|1931}}'', Creator/BelaLugosi was given this close up with this effect.
** This kind of shot is used in almost every movie that Lugosi starred in.
* ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets'' has this on Lucius Malfoy near the very end of the film.
* Gomez and Morticia Addams display this for comic effect in the film adaptations of ''Series/TheAddamsFamily''. Likely as an homage.
* Le Chiffre , played by none other than Creator/OrsonWelles in ''Film/CasinoRoyale1967''.
* Creator/RainerWernerFassbinder used this effect in his mostly orange-lit 1982 film adaptation of Genet's''Querelle de Brest'', where actors' eyes often get a rectangular blue spotlight.
* This happens every time Lamont Cranston uses his mental powers on someone in the 1994 movie version of ''Film/TheShadow'' with Alec Baldwin.
* The slits in the window blinds at the police station create this effect on Christine Collins' face, in order to see the emotion in her eyes (and quite possibly take attention away from her lips) in the 2008 film ''Film/{{Changeling}}''.
* The 2008 film ''TheHauntingInConnecticut'', did this to the kid in the dumbwaiter.
* ''Film/TrueLies'': Harry eyes are the only thing lit during the hotel scene. At the very end the lighting is adjusted so that Helen's eyes are highlighted like this when she gets the "Boris and Doris" phone call.
* ''Bufford's Beach Bunnies'' has the [[PunnyName Incredible Foreskin]] and his [[PowerPerversionPotential hypnotic abilities]].
* Harold Oxley has a beam of light appear around his eyes when the Soviets have Indy stare into the Crystal Skull in ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull''.
* Light encompasses Jack Slater's eyes right before he flashes back to his son's death in ''Film/LastActionHero''.
* In ''Film/{{Highlander}}'' the camera zooms across Madison Square Garden, over the heads of the crowd, until finally settling onto [=MacLeod=]'s eyes, which are lit in this fashion.
* In ''Film/TheBluesBrothers'', the eyes of Henry Gibson's Neo-Nazi leader are lit like this while he's standing in front of Wrigley Field declaring war on Jake and Elwood.
* The movie version of ''Film/SinCity'' does this, though it's not really for "spooky" reasons, but as a way of reproducing the original comic's visual look of having a character only be visible as a silhouette with only their eyes really visible.
** ''Film/ThreeHundred'' does something similar with the Persian ambassador, until the last thing we see of him are his eyes.
* Happens to Creator/PaulMcGann's character in ''Film/{{Alien 3}}'' at one point, probably for spookiness. [[HilariousinHindsight Hilarious in hindsight]] given the ''Series/DoctorWho'' TV Movie example four years later (see Live Action TV examples.)
* In ''Film/CitizenKane'', Kane's eyes are lit at the opera house during Susan's disastrous debut. It shows his monomania and disconnection from the audience reaction.
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Happens surprisingly often to [[TheCaptain Captain Kirk]] in ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}''.
* In the 1996 ''Series/DoctorWho'' Telemovie, this effect happened to the Doctor just after his regeneration scene.
* ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'' uses this effect a lot to show the Rangers talking inside their helmets when they don't want to just use a Go-onger scene with them talking.
* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', the Yellow-Eyed Demon [[spoiler:who we later find out is named Azazel]], gets a few shots like this, highlighting his - wait for it - yellow eyes.
** This appears again in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' in [[Recap/SupernaturalS02E19FolsomPrisonBlues "Folsom Prison Blues" (S02, Ep19)]], when the eyes of Dean, a prisoner, and a ghost are lit through light coming from a slot in the cell door.
* Used extensively with "the Captain" on ''Series/HowIMetYourMother''
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[[folder:Music Videos]]
* In the music video for {{Shakira}}'s "Objection (Tango)", there is a sequence where Shakira is in the car looking for her wayward lover. Her eyes are illuminated by the reflection from her rear-view mirror.
* Done several times in SiouxsieAndTheBanshees' "Peek-a-Boo".
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the intro cutscene of ''BloodRayne2'', Rayne appears eyes-first in the backseat of a car.
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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'': [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=178 The last panel here.]]
* ''TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob:'' Galatea [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20100807.html here,]] just as she [[TookALevelInBadAss Takes A Level In Bad Ass.]]
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