In the following slides I will be analysing horror film trailer and how they
relate to typical codes and conventions found in horror trailers.
Codes and conventions typically seen in horror films include:
Tension and suspense
Fast cut editing
Either a supernatural being, monster or villain.
The Purge takes on a new narrative with ‘The purge’ being a yearly event in
which for 12 hours all crime is legal. The film is set in the future therefore
adds and unknown emphasis on the film itself. The trailer uses typical
conventions seen in horror trailers such as dark lighting and sound effects.
The trailer also includes costume and makeup to look like blood for the gory
parts. The conventions used in the trailer adds to the unknown suspense of
the film, will you survive the 12 hours of the purge? There is a slow build up
in the trailer and face paced action towards the end which follows Freytag's
theory of narrative. Women can also be seen as vulnerable and the victim
which relates to Laura Mulvey’s male gaze theory.
The last exorcism part 2 also follows typical conventions of horror trailers.
The narrative contains a supernatural being over taking the body of a young
girl, the same girl used in the first last exorcism film. This adds some
continuity to both of the films and loyal audiences will notice this. There is a
lot of suspense and tension built up throughout the film with the use of
lighting and sound effects etc. There are also jumpy moments which are again
typical of horror films. The sense of unknown is carried throughout the entire
trailer. All of the conventions I have mentioned above add to the overall
suspense and tension of the horror trailer. Women are seen as the victim but
aloso the protagonist which relates to representation theories of women either
being victims or overcoming the supernatural being.
Although the trailer for paranormal activity 3 adheres the typical conventions
of a horror trailer such as darkness and a supernatural being, it does go
against typical conventions of the horror genre. There is no fast pace action
towards the end of trailer, instead of which there is the use of the hand held
camera which is not commonly used in horror trailers. This trailer does not
follow Aristole’s linear narrative theory but possibly a circular one as the
sequels of the film work backwards.