The trailer starts off
with an establishing
shot that sets the
scene and location of
where the action in
the film may perhaps
establishing shot is
also a flashback
whilst the mother is
talking and breathing
heavily in the
shot sets the time and
day of which the film
may begin in, in this
case in Autumn.
Just like the film posters, the main characters in the film are the mother and daughter.
The daughter is positioned in the centre of the frame with directional lighting on her face
to show her facial expression as her mother is verbally abusing her. Her hair is parted
down the middle down across her face whilst her clothes are neatly buttoned up, which
suggest that her character is not revealing and there is more to her. The mother looks
serious and upset, which is a contrast to the daughter. Likewise the film poster the
mother appears to be very serious and independent. Nicole Kidman plays the role of the
mother which is a unique selling point as she is a very popular well known actress
therefore it will promote a wide range of audiences globally.
A motif that appears in the trailer is the spider crawling up India‟s feet
and on the banister. This is a subtle motif which links with how
mannered the trailer is and the film poster. Some may say that spiders
symbolise patience for the way it hunts with its web traps, also mischief
and malice for its poison and the slow death it may cause. Other says it
symbolises possessiveness. This could be a theme explored in the film
and also a reflection of each individual character.
This is a typical convention seen in
most horror films. A death and
funeral scene as it adds the fear and
reality of life that most audiences do
not like to accept. In this film the
funeral scene is of India‟s father.
From the trailer we don‟t know why
her father died or how he
died, therefore it brings a lot of
questions to mind which links with
the subgenre of psychological
thriller as it‟s a daunting process of
life especially if taken in a malicious
In the promotional film poster, the
theme of it was woodland and there
where various objects and
figures, one of which was the Uncle.
However this wasn‟t clear until
shown in the trailer where in the
extreme long shot there is a strange
figure standing on top of a building.
This gives an eerie feeling.
The uncle is well groomed and
handsome with dark hair and pale
skin. This is a convention that Bram
Stoker used to create Dracula.
Dracula is a vampire who feeds off
people. Could this perhaps be a
character trace in the uncle?
This scene in the trailer is of the
mother and uncle kissing. This is a
shocking shot as you would never
expect to see relatives having
sexual contact. We see this shot
through the eyes of India, which
suggest that she will be the
narrative in the film. This also
links with the subgenre because
the word „psychology‟ means the
“scientific study of the human
mind and it‟s functions, especially
those affecting behaviour in a
given context.” This type of
behaviour happening in the film
does question if the uncle and
mother are in the right mind
This is a school scene. This is not a typical scene that will be found in a horror
film/trailer. This scene is a contrast compare to the other scenes in the trailer. At
first things are very slow paced and well constructed, but the school scene brings
in an element of a busy frantic environment. This also draws more attention on
the main protagonist as she looks very unhappy. In most films where the
protagonist is unhappy and unsettled at high school there tends to be a lot of
anger within the character.
This is a supernatural theme in
this long shot film still. The
phone box appears like it is
glowing which is a convention in
supernatural films. Also in this
scene the Uncle is attacking a
vulnerable old lady. This is
where the horror/thriller will
arise in the film.
Around the phone box it is dark
and there is an eerie colour of
the isolated location which is
another convention of horror.
These are screen grabs of scenes from the trailer. These scenes
are iconic conventions of horror.
This is a close up of a dead body buried in the freezer. Death
and hiding evidence is a typical plot shown in most horror
This is a iconic shower scene seen in most horror films, such as
Hitchcock‟s Psycho. The form of the two scenes are close up
shots with the subject at centre frame. The scenes look very
cold and lonely, this is because of the blue lighting.
This is one of the props used in the film with blood on the end
of the pencil. This is not a typical murder weapon, which makes
this film different from other horror films.
This mid shot scene is shown near the end of the trailer as it summaries what the
trailer is trying to depict. The family are sitting around the dining table and there
facial expression and body language demonstrates a seriousness and stern
atmosphere that the film is about. The characters are costumed to appeal very
neat and in shape. The characters look very dated alongside the interior location
which looks out of fashion. This makes the film seem disturbing as it‟s
something the audience may not be able to relate too.
This is one of the last shots
shown in the trailer.
This is a graphic match of
India burying something that
the audience is obviously
unaware of. This shot may
An iconic location/ setting
seen in psychological thriller
is a wood. Just like „The
Cabin in the Woods‟ this
trailer also has a scene set in
a wood where a murder may
or may not of happened.
The first title that
appears in the
trailer is of the
director of a well
film, Old Boy. This
is a way of
promoting the film
as it draws
attention to the
those who enjoyed
The rest of the titles appear at the end of the trailer, first we see the names of the actresses and actor of the
main characters, which suggest that the film will mainly focus on them. The film title appears next followed
by the film website which is ironic as the trailer has shown scenes which are disturbing caused by the family
rather than any other characters. This is also an example of cross media convergence
„Stoker‟ film trailer is a contrast to „The Cabin in the Woods‟. For example in
Cabin in the Woods the editing used are quicker than Stoker. The transition
between each scene in Stoker is very slow, subtle and well mannered. This makes
the film genre seem more psychological rather than a post modern teen drama, as
everything is very frantic from the very beginning.
The movements of characters shown are very inactive and not a lot is given out
about each individual character. In Cabin in the woods it was very clear to see
what stereotypical characters where being depicted straight away by the use of
their body language and positioning in frame.
Another motif shown in the trailer is the soundtrack of the Piano which builds to
a crescendo at the end of the trailer. In the trailer we see India and her Uncle also
playing a piano which implies that the piano will be a significant prop used in the
film. A piano is a classic instrument which links with the way the characters are
positioned in the film posters, to look laboured.