Analysis of existing horror
By Amelia Barrett
Women in black film opening
In this film opening it starts of with three young girls having a tea party. This may seem normal but the creepy looking dolls and old fashioned tea sets
create this scene to be very frightening. The clothing the girls are wearing is very old fashioned as well which I feel makes the scene earey . The first 4
shots in this film opening are close up shots this is affective because it doesn't’t show the setting straight it builds it up. Then the establishing shot is
after this is to show where the action takes place. The setting it is very old and has huge beams, plain walls and old fashioned furniture for example the
pram. I feel that the setting is very cold and sets the scene for a horror film. The young girls have pale faces and cute bows in there hair which shows
there innocents which makes this opening even more creepier. I feel that the mise-en-scene in this opening film is very affective and creates this film
opening to be the genre of horror.
When the young girls all look towards the door you cant see who there looking at. This gives the enigma which is who are they looking at. The young
girls all looking left then right and get up and walk to the window and the same time. This is affective as it brings a shiver down my spine and carries on
the enigma of is the person they were looking at controlling them. There faces are very emotionless when they do this. This adds to the creepiness of
the film opening. When the young girls look at the door for the first time from then on the movements are very slow. As they walk towards the
window they stomp on there dolls and tea sets this could represent a sign of death which it leads to. The last shot of is a close up of one of there dolls
this could indicate that the doll was controlling them or a women has. The camera travels backwards to show a cold and empty room afterwards.
The lighting starts of very bright as the young girls are happily playing with there toys. However once the young girls have been deeply controlled to
jump out the window the light begins to dim and then when the shot travels back into the empty room the lighting is very dark to show death and to
link back to the title which is women in black.
There is no credits or titles in this film opening. However titles and credits are a main convention for a film opening therefore I will be using them when
I create and construct my horror film opening.
Lastly the music in this clip is very slow and scary. The music builds up slowly and reminds me of chimes in a church. As the young girls jump out the
window a strong ghostly wind sound is used. Once they have jumped there are voices of the mum screaming “my babies” and crying this is echoed out
and then finished with a high pitch noise. This music and all this sound contributes to the horror conventions and makes this film opening very intense
which will make the audience want to watch more.
The film opening for se7en
The shot types in this film opening are mainly close up shots and extreme close up shots.These are of someone’s hands cutting and
drawing in this washed out book.The shots contains this hidden person crossing out certain images and writing and sticking pictures of
people who us as a audience have no clue who they are and why this mysterious person is doing this.This hidden person has very dirty
and beaten hands which could infer that they could be in danger in the film.The shots are very different to other horror films as they don’t
give any clue of what's going to happen in the film.Therefore this would make the audience want to see the film even more.
The editing of this film is mainly straight cuts this is to keep the shots short and snappy which will cause the pace to be quick.This will
cause tension with the fast pace.There is also a few fade to blacks which credits appear on.This is to create a dark and mysterious mood.
The mise-en-scene of this film opening is that there is a lot of unusual images being displayed which gives a disorientated feel to the film
opening.The images show a mysterious person which would make the audience feel curious.There are also images of violence being
taken place this creates uncomfort towards the audience.
There is the colour red being displayed in one of the shots.This is an indicator of blood and foreshadowing that blood will be present in
this film which shows murder of danger that could occur.
The lighting is very low in some shots this is to make the scene more tense and show darkness which is associated with horror and bad
The font of the credits is very bold and messy which flashes up this could reflect the characters personality and emotions in this film
The sound in this film opening
The music which is non-diegetic used in this film opening begins slow and mysterious and gets faster as the film opening goes on this
could show that something important is going to appear and this will make the audiences hearts race.
The voice overs says ‘you’ve got me closer to god’ this could relate to death.This could infer to the audience that many people will die in
There are non-diegetic sounds of the music and squeaking noise and there are diegetic sounds of the unseen person turning pages,
sticking things down.
American Horror Story
This film opening begins with flames coming upwards and a lock down has been used to skip back and forth . Flames are a main
convention of horror and illustrates danger and death which this horror film could be hinting what will happen later on in this film.The
camera angles in this film opening are very well composed as there is no excess space in them.The main camera shots used in this film
opening are close ups and medium close ups.The close up that stood out to me was the camera shot showing the fierce tiger opening his
mouth in anger.The shot is in a off black and white effect and the tiger fits the horror carnival theme.The camera shot is very sharp and
doesn't’t drag which builds the tension of this film opening. The medium close up that stands out to me is the camera shot of the man,
women and young boy.This is because it zooms inwards and slowly erases the mans face.This could show that the man dies in this film
opening or becomes evil.The camera shot is again in an off black and white and this fits very well with the credits as they have been
composed and created in a newspaper effect.
The credits are very bold and always have blood dripping around or on them.The bold black credits always are positioned in theCentre
and have a different transition for each one.These credits are separated from the filming which is inspiration for my groups film opening
as that’s something we aim to edit our credits like.The credits only show the names of the people who are staring and the film crew but
they don’t establish who did what.This film was released in 2011 which shows how film credits have developed to showing the roles of
each person as well now.
The mis-en-scene of this film opening is that the lighting is very dark this creates the film opening to be very sinister.The costumes used
are carnival costumes which vary from long magician suits to show girl petite dresses.This establishes the carnival theme and also
establishes where this film is set as the word carnival is American.This film opening uses the props of a long knife that a character pulls
out his mouth in one of the shots.The use of the knife as a prop shows violence and danger. In this film opening the producer has decided
to always go back and show a silhouette of a person this is shown immediately at the beginning and several times in the middle and end.
This is very mysterious and frightening and is giving of an enigma code to its audience which is who is this person? Could he be a hero or
The editing of this film opening is that each individual camera shot are straight cuts but cut very quickly this is to build tensions and keep
the audience understanding what's happening without confusing them. At the end of this film opening there is a fade to black this shows
the end of something and the use of a dark fade makes this horror film opening very ominous and creepy.
Women in Black- Conventions
The conventions of women in black that fits the genre of horror are that the film opening uses the shock
factor of vulnerable young girls being the victims and dying at the beginning.The conventions of this is
death.The audio codes were eary sinister diegetic sound used in the background is a convention for the
horror genre and plays through out the whole of the film opening to keep the horror genre being
established through out. Another audio code used was that at the end of this film opening there is a non-
diegetic, asynchronous scream and voice saying ‘my babies’ this establishes that this women could be
there mother and the use of the scream is a main convention used in horror films
The visual code of this film opening are costumes of the young vulnerable girls areVictorian dresses with
puffy sleeves and this matches the props they are playing with which are antique tea sets and rag dolls. All
these are conventions of horror and create a creepy affect that frighten the audience.The furniture in the
room is very vintage and old which creates the sinister creepy affect that the producer wants to show. The
lighting of this film opening is very light which isn't a main convention for the genre of horror however the
location that the young girls are in is a wide open space mansion which is a main convention for horror.
The action codes young girls follow an invisible person with there eyes and then move towards the
window.This could suggest there is a ghost in the room which is again a popular character uses in horror
films.At the end of this film opening there is a non-diegetic, asynchronous scream and voice saying ‘my
babies’ this establishes that this women could be there mother and the use of the scream is a main
convention used in horror films.There is a close up shot at the end of the film opening of a rag doll that
they were playing with this is a conventional character used in horror film. Furthermore the doll looks
possessed through her bold glassy eyes this is another main convention that in many horror films
characters become possessed. There is a fade to black at the end of this film which appears a lot on horror
films as darkness creates a mysterious and scary affect.
Continuing ‘Women in Black’
The narrative code in this horror film opening is the narrative theorist ofTodorov.This is
because it starts of with an equilibrium of the young girls playing with their dolls and tea
set.Then the disequilibrium is when the young girls were controlled to jump out the
window by the women in black. Lastly the women screaming who is the mum of them
young girls will have to start a new equilibrium with the pain of now seeing them
The enigma codes for this horror film opening are that the audience will have lingering
questions on who is the ‘Women in Black’? Why was the young girls easily controlled?
Were they possessed?These questions will make the audience carry on watching to figure
Technical codes are used in this horror film opening and these are that there are slow
motion shots are used through out the film opening this is to give the film opening a
mysterious and suspense atmosphere for the audience to become unease and on edge for
what's about to come.
The action codes were the conventions of horror that this film opening uses are: this film open
uses quick and sharp camera shots to create tension and to emphasis this unknown person
who's hands are just showing. Another action code was that the pace of this film opening gets
faster and faster as each credit appears.The whole film opening has no major colour and this
creates a dark and enigmatic affect for the audience.
The audio codes were a diegetic sound that was very tense and uses both high and low
pitches and is played throughout the whole film opening to build the tension
.The film credits used are a horror font and flash up quickly to match with the fast pace.The
colour white stands out from the black background and they have been sized to not over
power the action that is taking place.
The visual codes were that the props used in this film open are scrap paper, scissors, hidden
photographs that are unknown to the audience.These props are accompanied with the
occasional screeching noise which is a convention for horror. The use of the colour red is used
which is a main convention in horror and has conations of blood and death.
The action codes were that the pace of this film opening gets faster and faster as each credit
appears.The whole film opening has no major colour and this creates a dark and enigmatic
affect for the audience. Another visual code was the lighting through out this film opening is
very dark and mysterious this creates a terrifying affect.
Technical codes that are in this horror film opening are that the shots begin at a normal pace and
then it increases I speed to become a fast pace.This is done to build the tension of the action and to
show that something is going to happen.
The narrative code in this horror film opening has not been shown this is because the narrative theory
invented by ‘Propp’ is the theory of establishing characters. In this horror film opening the camera
shots are only showing a mysterious and unknown hand which doesn't’t establish its identity therefore
not being able to show its characters personality and name.
The enigma code in this horror film opening is that the mysterious and unknown hand is cutting up
and sticking photographs on a scrap book with several lethal weapons being used.This would
express the enigma codes of who is this unknown character? What are they doing with their hands?
How does this link to the horror film? . All these questions are answered in the film.
American horror story
The visual codes that this film opening use are that the location that that they have used
isn't a typical horror location but the theme of a carnival is very sinister.The use of the
tiger being used creates even more fear and frightens the audience through the tigers
anger.The use of the silhouette that appears several times is an unknown person which
creates mystery.The dark lighting is very scary and provokes fear.The use of flames and
blood both have conations of death which is a main convention for horror films.The
credits used are very bold fonts and appear very quickly.The credits have the
background of stained newspaper articles which is very bleak to look at.
The audio code of the diegetic sound that is played in the background through out
creates panic and makes the audience very unease .The diegetic sounds fits the creepy
carnival theme that is used through out the film opening.
This horror film opening again doesn't’t have a narrative code this is because this horror
film opening is part of a series of films therefore the characters which would come under
the narrative theory of ‘Propp’ have already been established in films already made and