1408 Director: MikaelHåfström Released: 2007 Studio: Dimension films
Titling The titles are all white and the background is at first black. The titles continue in front of the dim scene. As the titles appear they move down and faze out as if to symbolize the rain drops behind them. This is meaningful for thrillers as from the offset as this makes the audience nervous. The titles in the actual scene are the actors names.. When the title of the film appears blurred as if it were light blurred by the rain drops. This brings a slight confusion to the story. The movement from blurring to focus may symbolise the sequence of the story from confusion to clear. The titles of the actors only cover a small part of the screen. This shows the audience that the names of the actors are not as important as the film itself although the film has big names i.e. Samuel L Jackson and Edward Norton. The only time the titles take over a large part of the screen and in the centre is when stating distributors and production company.
Camera movement The camera begins by panning a shot of a road with heavy rain pouring down. This is so the viewer is shown how derelict the surrounding area is. The audience may fell vulnerable for the protagonist as it emphasises how alone he is. The camera tracks the cars movements. Which lets the viewer know that the car or the person in it bares significance to the story. It also brings a relation to the audience as they are following him on his trail. The camera then tracks the movement of the male protagonist into and in the house. Which emphasises that not only is he a central character to the story but also that where he is going bares significance to the story.
Framing of shot There is a close up of the man in the car, he seems worried about something. There is a close up of a sign that says “you are now leaving Fairfield county...please come back!” this suggests that there may be danger ahead. It also may be a warning to the protagonist and audience. Long shot on the road as the man drives towards the camera. Medium shot of the house. Shows how the house is old fashioned with old lamps and consumed with trees and plants. Upward tilt as the protagonist comes up the stairs. Close up of hotel leaflet which has the title “we are HAUNTED!” which symbolises another warning for the protagonist. There is clear danger ahead. The staff also point to the stairs where a woman killed herself many years ago. This close up of the scene of a murder shows the audience that the place has a deadly past.
Camera angles There is a high angle shot of the car in the rain. This shows the mans struggle to try to get to his destination. There is a high angle shot of the protagonist as he walks through the rain. There is a brief low angle shot of the male hotel staff when he is at his desk. This may suggest to the viewer that the man at the hotel may have a significant role in the film. There is a high angle shot of the protagonist as he looks at where the woman killed herself. The repetition of the high angle shots suggests that the protagonist is not safe.
Mise-en-scene The house looks overrun by nature. There are a lot of plants and trees around the house. It looks very old. This shows the viewer that the house has a deep history. The area appears remote as there are no other houses or signs of civilization. The derelict area suggests to the audience that even if the victim would want help they would be unable to get it. The lighting in the scene starts of very low as it is night and the only light is coming from the car on the empty road. When the protagonist is on his way to the house the level of lighting is still low as the trees are covering the lamps. The house is very bright as there is light coming from the ceiling and also old style lamps. The house has some old antiques such as old clocks, pictures and Russian dolls on the mantle piece. Emphasise on the deep history of the house. The dangerous conditions of rain in the night suggest to the audience that there is danger ahead for the protagonist. The fact that he is in the middle of nowhere immediately alerts the audience that the protagonist may struggle to find help if he is in danger.
Editing directions The editing is fast paced as the scene changes from one shot to another in a short amount of time. This shows the viewer the many warnings the protagonist has. There are reverse shots when the protagonist comes to the hotel to check in.
Sound techniques The sound begins as if there were wind and goes into a subtle orchestrated rhythm. This brings a relaxed ambiance to the setting to the scene. The first sounds are non-digetic as the scene begins you can here a rain storm. The sound becomes digetic as you can see the rain. You can hear the protagonists’ radio, on his radio you hear a man preaching about the devil and hell. This tells the audience that something sinister is going to happen in the film. There is a contrast in the accents between the protagonist and hotel staff.
narrative The hero appears to be the male protagonist in the opening s he is being subtly warned repeatedly to avoid this sinister task but persists on oblivious to the signs of danger. The villain may be a supernatural being as the place he is staying is haunted and the man on the radio talking about hell. From the warnings you feel there is something sinister to arise in the film. There are three principle characters. The story follows a man who is going to stay at a hotel. It is told chronologically which gives the viewer a closer relationship with the protagonist on his journey. Questions left with? Why does he want to go to that specific hotel? Why did the maid kill herself? Why are they giving him advice on how to lock his door? Do they fear his safety? Why does he want that particular part of the hotel? Is he looking for something supernatural?