Trailer analysisThe Happening is a 2008 horror thriller film written, co-produced and directedby M. Night Shyamalan that follows a man, his wife, his best friend, and hisfriends daughter as they try to escape from an inexplicable natural disaster. The happening
• The genre of the film is a horror thriller. This is obvious within the first few shots of the trailer. As it shows a police officer being zoomed in closer as though something is coming towards and then the next shot you see the police officer on the floor dead. This is showing a key element of a thriller with suspense because eave the reader hanging, trying to figure out what has killed the police officer. Another key shot is the shot with the intertitle of Friday the 13th. They have purposely set the opening date to Friday the 13 th. This is because Friday the 13th is supposedly one of the unluckiest days of the year that something bad will happen . This instantly adds a scary element to the film.The target audience for this film seems to be around the age of 18-30 predominately male but it does target towards female. Thetrailer initiates this target audience as we are witnessed tocharacters which are around the age of 30. This includes the maincharacters who we are witnessed to at the start. A very clear shotthat indicates this target audience is the shot with the trainconductors. I believe the target age goes down to 18 because itincludes a variety of shots which initiate with 18 year olds.
The film trailer last for 2 minutes and 24 seconds this includes a varietyof 84 shots. Throughout many of these shots the audience are witnessedto many fades of black. This is done so it will disguise the audience formthe event happening, how the people are dying and instantly making theviewer come to there own judgment which will make them want to watchthe film.Dietetic sound is used very smartly within the trailer. As it uses thecharacters within the film to ask questions and describe the outcomes ofthe event. What the trailer is doing here is feeding questions into theviewers mouth . It also cancels out some of the things that the viewermight believe what the event. For example when on the radio thebroadcaster explains, “A terrorist which is deemed responsible may beless and less likely”. This immediately makes the audience wonder whatthe vent is. Non dietetic sound is used as a lead up to an action happening within the trailer. This is shown by using a low key sound when building up to the action , however when the action is about to occur you here a loud thud and it cuts away with a black fade, this is evident within the two shots with the police officer. Throughout the trailer the audience are witnessed to the sound effect of the wind. This instantly adds a supernatural natural effect that something is coming for you but you cannot see it .
The main character within the trailer is presented as a teacher. But he is alsopresent him saying that “honey bees are beginning to go missing but nobody isinterested about what is happening to the bees”. This is a very important quotebecause it instantly makes him as a top characters within the trailer because heis one of the first characters shown interested in the events. Throughout manyof the characters they are presented as ordinary people, there is no one whichis presented as a leader or superhuman or even a villain, instead they haveincluded familys, teachers, police officers, train conductors all under attackfrom something. This is done so the audience are able to relate to thecharacters within the trailer. As people who often spend their money to watchthese films are often ordinary people with civilised jobs.
Throughout the trailer the narrative is often showing the journey of the teacher throughout the events, as though he is on the run. The audience is also shown how widely spread the event is through shots of new York and other states of America. This shows severity of the event and it also shows the effect of the event., however it never shows what the event or how it is killing people this creates that sense of enigma. Within the trailer the teacher quotes the words “ there are forces of work beyond our understanding” this immediately reveals a little bit about the plot of the film that the event is something worse than we have ever came across and the event maybe something natural not man made.Throughout the trailer the titles of “the event we cannot see” “on ascale we cannot imagine” “the unthinkable is happening”. These titleall shown that something new is happening. Which is communicatingto the audience that you cannot image what is going on but if you comeand watch our film we have done it for you. Within the trailer theintertitles of films that the director of the happening has alreadydirected. One of these films was the six sense which is a horror, andthe other is signs which is a thriller. This immediately gives theaudience confidence about the making of the film and makes themexpect that this will be successful like the other films because thedirector has done it before. It also sets a scary mood by involving otherfilms with a similar genre.
Within the trailer there are many close up shots as this makes the viewerable to see the reaction of the characters face to what is going on withinthe trailer. It also makes the audience see how dramatic the event iswithout even knowing what the event actually is. As you can see with thebottom picture on the side there is a high angle close up. This show s thevent having power over the character and presenting the character asweek and vulnerable. In the trailer there are many establishing shots to show to the audience where the event is being caused and constructs the mise en scene. These shots show where the event is happening so it is technically giving the event some kind of identity and helping the audience understand how big the event is.
The happening was in co-productionwith Twentieth Century Fox, BlindingEdge Pictures and UTV Motion Pictures.
• The film trailer is very successful in targeting its audience . This is because it doesn’t involve anyone laughing, having fun or making jokes, but it does involve people being very serious, scared and shocked. Which will grab the attention of the audience in which they want to which is a serious horror thriller. This also proves that the trailer is a very important promotional device for the film.• There are many other factors which show that this trailer is a very important promotional device for the film. These factors include the montage , which is shown when the audience are brought back to the main character telling us that there are forces of work beyond our understanding while he is still teaching and it is linking it to the different points which are going on within the film. What this does is that it speeds up the time of shots and it gives the simple shots like wind blowing the trees
• The film however received mostly negative reviews, Evan though it was a negative film it still did surprisingly well in the box office. This was evident to its opening day gross of $13 million and over the weekend it came to a gross of $30,517,109. These figures show that the happenings promotional tools were very successful, and even though the trailer isnt the only promotional device it s preferably the main one to get people to come and watch the movie.