The opening of the trailer begins with a slow pace to helpset up the films basic narrative. We can hear a gentle non-digetic soundtrack being played in the background, over anover the shoulder shot of the films main female charactertalking. Through her opening lines of, “why can‟t Iremember what happened that night?” the audience isimmediately introduced to feelings of confusion and thesense that something bad and ominous is going to happen.
This then cuts to a medium close-up shot of a lantern falling to the floor and smashing. As the lantern is seen smashing, the audience hears the enhanced sound of the glass within it breaking, before the light is extinguished. This is reflective of the protagonists feeling of a broken home as her world has come crashing down leaving her in this state of confusion and obscurity. Some questions as to why she is in this emotional state, are answered in the next shot where the trailer cuts to a medium action shot of a house on fire. This accompanied with a further enhanced digetic sound of an explosion, complements the scene which can be seen happening on screen.
The girl is shown talking to what is presumed to be a psychiatrist in amental institution, as enhanced through the use of a tracking shot of herlegs running down a long corridor before being followed by the use ofan eagle eye shot with her exiting the building. The psychiatrist is thenseen stating, “You lost your mother in a fire, maybe it isn‟t such a badthing to forget. Go home. You‟ll figure it out.” The use of slow pacedediting here allows the audience to fully appreciate the death of thisgirl‟s mother and gain some idea of the films background and an outlineof the trailers basic narrative. The audience feels empathy for the filmsprotagonist and is able to understand her confused emotional state. Thevulnerability of her persona and fragile mind state is conventional seenwith he psychological thriller genre.
The non-digetic melody heard at the start of the trailer is once againintroduced as a bird‟s eye shot is shown of the trailers protagonistrunning from the psychiatric institute. This is continued as a car isshown driving to a lake house and the protagonist is reunited with hersister „Alex.‟In relation to Freytag‟s theory the complication of the trailer comes inthe form of, “dad‟s new girlfriend.”Through the introduction of this character to mood of the entire trailerchanges and darkens. The light and calming non-digetic soundtrackpreviously played changes and becomes a low and eerie hummingnoise. This automatically indicates some negative and evil associationthis woman carries.
In the next shot we cut to scene of a funeral service, withRachel‟s character bending over to lay a rose over the coffin. Asshe is seen doing so a sharp noise is introduced with the presenceof a ghostly little girl shown behind her. The use of a slowmotion and an edited shadowy, almost echoed effect, duplicatesRachels figure adding a supernatural feel to her persona. Thefollowing shots then quickly flash with an edited negative effectplaced over the shots of the little girl. An ominous andforeboding feel is created through the aligning of these twocharacters as the little girl is shown appearing from behindRachel‟s character linking her to this supernatural and evil.
After the heavy non-digetic sound of a drum beat in conjunctionwith a text screen the audience is shown that the film was producedby the creators of „The Ring‟ and „Disturbia.‟ The topography of thistext is written in a simplistic black Ariel font making it clearlyvisible against its clouded background. The centrally positioned textagainst the dimly filter clouds creates a sense of pathetic fallacy andforeboding for the rest of the trailer. This foreboding is also cratedthrough the films mentioned in the text as they are recognise to bedarker genres of film. This therefore allows the audience to relate tothese works in comparison to this one.The shift in the trailer comes justbefore this point through the presenceof the ghostly figures of the children,therefore, suggesting ominous anddark things are going to happenfrom this point.
The introduction of another character stating to theprotagonists father, “your daughter has got it into hermind somehow that your fiancé killed the family sheworked for,” confirms the audience preconceivedideas of Rachel‟s character murdering the childrenseen in the graveyard. This idea is then physicallyreflected through the images of the children alongsidea murder report on a computer screen.
The trailer then cuts to a low angled shot of the films protagonistand her sister looking up a murder report on a computer. This is thenfollowed by a sequence of short quick cuts accompanied by a violentstabbing noise. The shots include images of the little girl in theprevious shots, a knife and newspaper articles. The inclusion of theshot with the little girl allows the audience to relate to the previousshot of her in the grave yard, making a connection between herpersona and cause of death.This is then followed by a silent black out, creating a high point oftension for the audience as they link these murders with Rachel‟scharacter.
From this point on we see Rachel‟s persona positioned in astate of superiority over the Anna‟s character, as shownthrough the use of a low angled shot of her standing upon ahill top.The following shots of her character pulling a pearl necklacearound the protagonists neck while sating, “You know whatAnna? I don‟t think this is going to work out,” is particularlyindicative of physiological thriller genre.
As we enter the climax of the trailer, a non-digetic soundtrack of heavily beating drums is played over quick cutsof the film. This is juxtaposed with flashing white shotsof light, successfully building tension and creatingsuspense through the audience. This is as these flashingquick cuts create obscurity and build confusion for theaudience as well as reflecting the feeling of the filmsprotagonist.
As we cut to a shot of the little girl, we see her drop aglass of milk which just as before in the previous shots ofthe lantern and glass ball, we see it smashing to theground. In contrast to this however, the milk turns intovivid red blood. This red colour imagery can be seenthroughout the trailer and is highly effective in portrayingthe films genre. This is as the colour red has strongconnotations of the gothic and death therefore,successfully establishing the physiological thriller genreof the film.After this point, the trailersuddenly becomes silentapart from the sound of theprotagonists heavy breathing.
This is then finished with a medium close-up shot of the filmsprotagonist covered in blood with an obscured figures handreaching out to grab her. A shorter sequence of shots follows this,including images of an eye peering through a key hole and„Anna‟ screaming. This screaming is carried on over the shots togive a frightful and hard hitting ending to the trailer before it issilenced by the films title appearing on screen. The title of thefilm is written in the same topography as the other textinterjections throughout the trailer, placed against the same dimclouded background.
The trailer concludes on a medium close-up shot of a bleedingkey hole. The use of a zoom takes the audience close to theanswer of whose blood it is before fading to black. This shot injuxtaposition with the previous shot of an eye looking througha key hole may hold some answers for the audiencehowever, this is not fully confirmed in the trailer. As a result ofthis withholding of information, the audience are left with anarrative enigma and intrigued to find out more.