The mood seems to me to be somber, eerie, uncanny, sinister, even surrealistic. If the reader identifies with Sanger Rainsford and really gets into the story, the reader will feel on the verge of panic. Rainsford is cut off from the world, marooned on an island ruled by a madman who is an expert hunter and kills human beings for sport. The island is dark and uninhabited except for Zaroff and his small staff. Even in the daytime the island seems dark because all the heavy tropical vegetation cuts off so much of the sunlight. The reader has no sense of direction. Zaroff knows every inch of the island, but the reader, identifying with Rainsford, knows nothing about the setting. There could be traps everywhere. Rainsford cannot move without leaving footprints for Zaroff to track and his scent for the hounds to follow.The mood seems similar to that of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum," in which the viewpoint character is helpless, frightened, unable to see, subject to horrible imaginings, at the mercy of merciless captors. Perhaps the best term to describe the mood of "The Most Dangerous Game" is "a living nightmare."