The first two scenes in the trailer are an establishing shot of the location and a
mid shot of three characters in the film. The lighting in the two specific
scenes are very bright which connotes happiness. Also, the sound in the
background creates the happy atmosphere that the producers expected the
audience to feel. The mid shot of the characters allow the viewers to see
their facial expressions. The first establishing shot is of a boy on a
skateboard, enjoying the sun. The camera’s panning movement in the scene
connote to the audience that the characters will be moving to a different
location. There is no effect on the audience because this is how most horror
film trailers begin.
This is a close up of a female character. This female character is a key
convention of horror. In a typical horror film, we always have a blonde
female character. During this scene, the female character says that the place
that there are going to does not come up on the GPS. This insinuates that the
main characters are lost. Also, the use of the trees shows the audience that
they are near the woods, hence the title, Cabin in the Woods. After this scene,
the sound fuzzes and distorts which connotes that there might be danger or
uncertainty created in the atmosphere. There is a slight effect on the
audience because if they paid attention to the dialogue in this clip, they
would notice that the main protagonists in the film were lost and therefore, it
connotes that danger will occur later on in the scene.
This is a title of the distributors of this film. This is a promotional technique.
The reason why Lionsgate is promoted in the trailer is to promote their
company and other films that they have distributed as Lionsgate Films
(Cinépix Film Productions) is an independent film studio. The word
“Lionsgate” has a bevel text effect and blends in with the black
background. The red smoke in the middle of the black background
connotes danger that may occur further on in the trailer. This is effective
to the audience because the viewers will want to watch another film that
Lionsgate has distributed as they thought that Cabin in the Woods was a
This is a wide shot of a bird colliding into an electrical beehive designed barrier.
This creates confusion amongst the audience because before this scene “YOU
THINK YOU KNOW THE PLACE” is used in a title. The beehive designed
wall is shown in the background of all titles which signifies that it is a motif
for something. The wide angle shot could connotes that the characters are
trapped within a control zone, revealing an important aspect of the film. Also,
from this wide shot, we are shown that the when the bird is flying we hear the
diegetic noise of the bird swooping past and then a loud chirp. This brings
attention to the bird. As the bird gets further away, a noise emerges, and
becomes louder and louder as the bird continues to fly. The noise builds up
suspense within the audience. When the bird hits the barrier, an explosion
changes into an electric noise to emphasize that the bird has disappeared into
the barrier. The effect on the viewers is that it engages & confuses the
audience as they don’t know who is controlling this area, what the barrier is
there for or what they are planning to do.
This picture denotes a close up of an unknown person’s hand holding a lever in
an unknown setting. This specific shot size was chosen to hide the identity of
the person. This part of the trailer is effective because it makes the viewer
question who this person could be and what their involvement is the plot.
The viewers want to figure out where this character is and what they look
like. This character intrigues the viewer because we cannot see what they
look like. All that we can see is a switchboard. This character creates
intrigue because they are in a completely new location compared to the 5
main characters we are introduced to. The title “YOU THINK YOU KNOW
THE PLACE” and “THINK AGAIN” were shown before this clip. These titles
was specifically chosen to come before this clip to deliberately create
confusion amongst the viewers. This trailer is also effective because shots of
the HQ are added but don’t reveal the purpose of the location which sets off
questions in the audiences mind.
This picture is a eye level shot of the antagonist carrying a torture weapon.
The lighting of this shot is really dark which is a key convention of horror
trailers. This weapon has been used on all of the characters. This links
with the next scene in the trailer of a birds eye view shot of one of the
female protagonists getting attacked by the antagonist. The effect it has on
the viewers is that the lighting doesn’t show what the weapon really is.
Therefore, this would make the viewers want to watch the film to figure
out what the weapon is.
This is an over the shoulder extreme close-up of a girl screaming at a
silhouette. This shot is effective because it doesn’t look like the cabin
that they are living in. Also, because she is screaming at a silhouette,
the viewers will want to see what this suspicious figure is. It also
disturbs the audience because in typical horror films, this facial
expression is used when the characters are getting tortured. This
entices the viewers to want to watch the film as this shot may stick in
their head while they are watching the trailer. This is effective for the
viewers because screaming is a key convention of the horror genre.
Therefore, this indicates to the viewer what type of genre it is.