To wit, as to what Salem's Lot is good for...
... take for instance its introducing female lead Susan (played wanly, with offbeat, mumbly presence, by Bonnie Bedelia) via a gentle, anchored tracking shot that seems to begin out of nowhere. The responding shot - a tracking shot that follows a starry-eyed David Soul - reveals this below shot a starry-eyed POV... though only after she appears to us first a floating sylvan apparition:
Or this sotto-voiced dramatic scene where Susan officially breaks it off with Ned Tebbets.
Following the busy shot of Ned jumping back in his van and driving off in a huff, we cut to the first still below, which places Ben respectful, just taking in from afar that everyday provincial sight of a strong and independent woman; then, as they continue the walk that Ned rudely interrupted with his presence, Hooper simply pans along with them. Any speaking they do is now out-of-earshot and our view is kept obfuscated by rosebushes - a recognition of the adulthood on display.
Or this shot that immediately follows the one above, juxtaposing two couples, the above sincere and plain, the below false and treated with mocking stylization (a romantic-like, circling shot of goodbye kisses) - mocking, but also provocatively disorienting to us, the audience, about what we should already know: that these two people are deceiving each other. (Momentarily touched on in the background is the uncomfortable presence of the very man she is fooling around with.)
Here Hooper and DP Jules Brenner accurately locate the Marsten House as literally part of author Ben Mears's writer-head-space:
These shots that also epitomize their respective characters:
An appropriately hard-hitting moment in a film that direly needed more hard-hitting moments:
Or the following two striking scenes that I may like to give individual posts to in the future. In the first, while the men deliberate matters of importance, Hooper grants the camera's attention decisively to Susan, and has the scene play out with solely her senses and her experience in mind. In the second, which particularly deserves breakdown, we're intimately introduced to Mark Petrie's room, as well as to the thoughtful, sensitive Mark himself... as well as to the relative detachment existing between the boy and his parents, as well as to Hooper/the camera's marveling attitude towards the gifted youngster, the camera in this scene scrutinizing - literally angling in on - his aura of quiet pretension (the scene shows him rehearsing his lines for the school play which he is granted recognition for writing himself).
Mark Rehearsing in His Room
Ferdy on Film on SALEM'S LOT