In Eraserhead, cinematographers Herbert Cardwell and Frederick Elmes collaborated with David Lynch, creating a highly textured, black and white tale of an industrial wasteland. Filled with shattered glass, menacing metals, electricity, dust, thick liquids, and filth. Our protagonist, Henry, is trapped in his tiny apartment, in a cold, ugly city, trapped even inside his own nightmares. Everything about the way it is shot amplifies this feeling of claustrophobia, despair, madness, disgust: poorly lit rooms, tight spaces, close shots.
In his dreams, Henry manifests a desire to erase something, most likely the mutant child. Said dreams are conceptual, highly symbolic, and become increasingly hard to distinguish from reality – providing that strong surrealistic aura that makes Eraserhead a disgusting, eerie, terrifying experience.