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Analysing Horror Trailers
Analysing Horror Trailers
Analysing Horror Trailers
Analysing Horror Trailers
Analysing Horror Trailers
Analysing Horror Trailers
Analysing Horror Trailers
Analysing Horror Trailers
Analysing Horror Trailers
Analysing Horror Trailers
Analysing Horror Trailers
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Analysing Horror Trailers

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  • 1. The Last Exorcism Part 2: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2034139/?ref_=sr_3 This trailer is an example of a horror of demonic where the demon has cursed the main character and people are trying to help her to get rid of this demon inside her. At the start of the trailer there is no music and a close up shot of the protagonist’s face is shown and someone asking her questions. There is a high key lighting meaning that we should be seeing a significant image of the character showing us she is an important role (protagonist). We can see that the high key lighting is mainly coming from the back (backlighting) of the protagonist to create a dark and low lighting on her face. This creates mystery and gives an unhealthy look to the character. The scene is at a hospital where the light is yet again quite bright showing that it could possibly be a safe place for her to be. The doctor’s questions put a mystery in the audience’s mind as we can see from the main character’s face expression that something bad must have happened to her. The way she sits withone foot being pressed on the other foot and her hands being together suggests that she is not comfortable and is scared. They show this by doing a long shot, showing her surroundings and the doctor’s body language. After this scene there is a black screen appearing with a quite low music showing that there is a change of the scene. A little girls singing is heard by the audience while the protagonist’s fingers are being shown as she touches a fence. A tracking shot was used so that we can follow her while she touches every single metal of the fence as she walks. There are bright necklaces hanged on the fences that caught the protagonist attention almost as if she’s in a trance.She has a small smile on her face and very focused on the necklaces and the high key lightning suggesting that she is innocent, pure. However the trance feeling this scene gives the audience suggests that there’s something unusual/unnatural and unhealthy about her.
  • 2. The song of the little girl singing from the previous scene is played throughout the whole trailer therefore in this scene the same song is also being played. However the effect this song has in this particular scene is very interesting as the song is a major contrast to the shots. The song of a little girl singing representing purity is a contrast to the dark and unhealthy scene being shown. In this sceneall the camera shots are very short and faster than in the other scenes, which suggests there’s varies things we should be focusing on, however everything is revolving around the protagonist. One of the shots, we get to see a wider view of the whole room; the lighting of the room is very low showing that it is not a trustworthy place, candles being placed around the room, this could indicate danger as fire is very often linked to danger. We mainly focus on the laying on the mattress, which is a dark red possibly representing blood. As the guy in the suit promises the woman to make her feel better, we see her getting lied down on the mattress and being tied with belts. The camera angle makes a tracking shot of where a white powder is being put around the mattress; the camera follows this white powder being spread on the ground for a very short time. However this is all shown every fast in order to make the audience focus on everything not only in one specific thing. The following scene we see close up shots showing a sign, possibly representing something evil as we notice that she starts to get up and her face expressions change to being frightened. They used a close up shot in order for us to concentrate on her face expressions, which we automatically know there must be something dangerous about that symbol on the wall. After this shot, we hear the same music tone but this time with a writing on the screen, the screen zooms in the scene of the church and we see shadows on the window growing and becoming more and more shadows each time, at the same time we hear the tense music that is foreshadowing the evil events that will be appearing on the screen. This is a clear scene where editing was used to create
  • 3. mystery. This scene is being represented different from the previous scene of the church, as this time the lighting becomes darker showing that the place is actually not safe. We see writing on the screen and slowly screams start to appear slowly. The music stops and there appears a silence, it focuses on the main character speaking and making a warning that the demon will be killing all of them. After this scene we see what seems to be the actual exorcism happening, it gives us a flash back of some events that has happened to the protagonist. A huge fire appears and we see the back of someone holding a cross meaning they want the spiritto leave. This scene is very dark, the only lightningwe get is coming from the huge fire; also we only see the back of the person this makes us concentrate more on the fire. Additionally it makes the person look very helpless, creating a thought that the only thing that could help her is God (cross sign) almost like a battle between God and the devil.This scene uses intertextuality as we saw the exactly same scene in ‘the last exorcism part 1’trailer, therefore this is something that the audience will recognize straight away. We then see the protagonist in a strange position suggesting that the demon has entered her body however this image is shown in an upside down way for no more than 2 seconds, almost as if the image is playing with our minds. Immediately after we once again see the protagonist in a bizarre position, we do not get to see this very clear. We see this from a low angleas if the person who saw this was hiding from the protagonist, also the there is a high key lightning however only on the protagonist’s body perhaps in order for the audience to focus on here. Further more, the song of the little girl singing is still being usedtogether with the other tense music; this mixture makes a frightening atmosphere. After the flashback it brings us back the exorcism, the music stops and the camera angle changes. We get a long shot in order of us to see the whole roomaswe hear a sudden ‘bang’. It is important they used a long shot since as we hear the ‘bang’ a shape of a face appears on the wall and the protagonist’s curls up
  • 4. showing the ‘evil face on the wall’ (spirit) has total control of her body. After this scene we see the name of the movie on the screen giving us no clue of what happens to the protagonist. Using this scene as the last scene of the trailer is strategically successful as it was placed at the end specifically to persuade the audience to watch this movie. This trailer is 1 minute and 10 seconds long, in this short period amount of time there is a huge curious feeling that the audience feels about the movie and is successful to make the audience jump at the end. Sinister: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1922777/ The first scene of the trailer is a long zooming in shot of a house, which then fades with a shot of a couple walking towards this house. The zooming in of the house may possibly mean that this is where most events will happen throughout the movie, all most like the house is the protagonist of the movie. The house is shown with high key lightning in the beginning however the second scene is inside the house with a very low-key lightning suggesting change and a contrast, for example not everything is what it seems. From the outside it appears to be a peaceful house but in the inside it’s dark and mysterious. The angle shows a dark room but has some lighting highlighting the table of the characters suggesting that they are the important roles in the movie and we should focus on them throughout the whole trailer. While this is showing we hear a very slow and low music creating suspense, it gives a very ‘slow’ and calm movement to everything that is happening. When the character ‘father’ turns off the lights, the whole screen goes black fading on to the next shot, which starts with the black screening as a continuing act of what is happening inside the house. We once again see a long shot of the house, however this time the house is shown in a negative way (darkness) this creates a tension for the audience and prepares them to wait for what is going to happen next. We hear a low ‘bang’ music as the camera angle immediately zooms on the screen indicating that something happened or will happen in the house.
  • 5. The next few shots are very dark and we cannot see what is happening very clearly, the low-key lighting creates enigma as we can only see half of the protagonist face. This makes us concentrate more on what the protagonist is doing rather than what’s around him. This suggests that something is going to happen and we should be prepared for it and the change in the music also indicates this. We see an over shoulder shot and get a clear view of that the box, which has some tapes, giving importance to the tapes. Later, we see the protagonist hands on a camera machine showing us footage of what happened previously or predicting the future of his family. The fact that there is two possible meanings makes the audience curious and want to watch it to discover the right meaning of this mysterious footage. Also they only show what institution (Summit entertainment) they used as part of the footage, rather than in the beginning or at the end of the trailer like in most trailers. This is a great technique as the audience will be pay attention to watch the footage, which is part of the movie. Therefore the logo will not be ignored. Immediately after this there is a major change in the music, as in the beginning it was slow and mysterious, however it slowly began to get faster as the protagonist was closer to finding out the history of this house. The music getting faster and faster creates tension and frightening as we expect something to happen. The camera then zooms in onto the protagonist’s face; however the camera was not still almost like a shaking technique, once again with the music getting faster. The close up of the protagonist’s face expression helps the audience to know how to feel. Which is scared and shocked, due to the following elements; fast music, shaking zooming it, face expressions and the chiaroscuro lighting. Subsequently, we hear this ‘bang’ and the first card of the trailer is shown, which is a quotation about the movie. This is great technique as it guaranteed that the audience will read it due to the ‘bang’.
  • 6. We then see a few short shots all fading into a black screen, for example, a shot (going downwards) of the moon once again with chiaroscuro lighting. We also see a medium shot of the protagonist, to see his surrounding then an overview of him looking upwards possible to the moon. These shots with non-digestive sound effects whenever the screen fades into a black screen so that a new shot can start were done to create a dramatic effect along with the chiaroscuro effect. In this scene a flickering effect was used, from a visual to a black screen every second repeatedly and slowly zooming in every time the black screen disappeared. This was done in order to make the audience pay attention to the man with the mask on the laptop moving, looking at the protagonist. Therefore the low key lightning on the protagonist’s face also made us focus on the laptop as it was the only object with lightning. The next scene is a tracking shot with extremely low key lightning and the music in the background matches/changes with every movement the protagonist does. The camera angles vary throughout this scene, from close ups to medium shots and only showing different parts of the corridor and the protagonist. This creates tension, curiosityand a frightening atmosphere as we never get a long shot with high key lightning showing us what’s around or helps us to predict what is going to happen. As he walks even closer, we see a body coming out of the box upside down screaming and the music changes drastically causing the audience to jump.After
  • 7. this we see a card and the scream still carries onthroughout the card and a long shot of the house, showing that this is happening inside house. Once again making the house almost seem like it is the protagonist of the movie. Later we get quick short shots of varies situations, this creates confusion about what events are happening to the characters. We then see a scene where a little daughter is looking at the other little girl who is seating next to the drawing of the guy in the mask, telling her not to speak. This scene is longer in comparison to the previous shot and to the ones after this one. This is because the drawing on the wall is the same as the one in the footage from the tape that was previously playing. This tape once again is played, showing a happy family together then immediately changing to the family’s death, showing disequilibrium. This is the last scene then the credits come up and at the end of the credits, they used a tape playing sound effect. This is a very useful technique because it reminds the audience that the movie is based on a mysterious tape. This trailer is highly based on Todorov’s theory, the structure of disequilibrium is used, as it starts with a very peaceful scene which is what seems to be a happy family moving in to a new house. However as the trailer goes on the bright and happy atmosphere becomes mysterious and frightening. The shining: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081505/ This trailer is quite unsuccessful as the attempt to make the audience want to watch the movie, did not work very well. The main reason for this is that the camera angle did not change, and the lightning was also the same throughout the whole trailer. Throughout the whole trailerthe camera is in the same angle which is focused outside a door inside of a building. This leaves the audience clueless in regards to what the movie might be about.
  • 8. The trailer is very long and all we see is the creditsin front of this door scene. The credits move very slowly as there’s no intention on showing the audience another scene. At the beginning of the trailer the music is quite slow however not to create a calm atmosphere but to create tension. The music begins to change after 50 seconds, as that’s when the credits end even though the trailer itself is 1 minute and 30 minutes. Leaving very little time for the audience to see the scene clearly with no writing in front. Also as the music changes and gets louder as we begin to hearthis buzzing sound, this could have two possible effects on the audience. It could provoke a frightening atmosphere and therefore have a successful outcome; however this could not work as most people could find this rather irritating. After this, the camera angle does not change and it is still showing the same room, nevertheless a red liquid is coming through the door which we as audience assume is blood. The liquid starts to spread around the wide room and comes towards to camera. We start to hear the music getting louder as the liquid becomes even closer and covers the whole screen which makes the screen go black for few seconds. This is an attempt to once again create a frightening atmosphere as it gives the impression that the ‘blood’ is coming close to the audience and therefore following us. After the dark screen, the screen goes back to normal however the camera is covered in ‘blood’ for the rest of the trailer as the furniture moves along because of the ‘blood’. This trailer is not interesting at all because it manages to break the concentration of the audience as the trailer takes very long to make a change or action to be shown to the audience therefore this bores the audience and makes them lose interest or curiousness in the movie. The writing on the trailer is also very simple and the audience does not read these writings after the first few sentences as yet again I’ve mentioned before, the writings bore the audience and cause them to not keep their attention on the movie. This will bore the audience
  • 9. as the start of the trailer is very long and there are no clues of how scary the film is or what the story is about. The last exorcism part 1: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1320244/?ref_=nv_sr_2 This movie trailer is particularly different to the previous trailers, as this one tried to make the audience feel like they were part of what was happening more than the previous ones. For example, by saying that it was a documentary film crew who captured this exorcism, makes the situation more credible.The first scene the camera movement is Handheld/ Steadicam and a point of view shot of what the protagonist is seeing. Therefore it is quite shaky and makes the audience feel like they’re the protagonist, this intrigues the audience. We then see a blurry close up shot of the protagonist looking in the mirror, we are still seeing everything from the protagonist’s point of view therefore this shows that she’s not seeing herself clearly and that her vision is blurry. This makes the audience automatically believe that the protagonist is not healthy and wonders why. Also the fact that there are mainly diegetic sounds shows and helps the audience to focus on this scene, as the non-diegetic sounds begin after these 2 shots. As the trailer says it is a documentary I found the shot of one of the members of the crew important called the reaction/nodding shot. As by showing her face expressions this will add some realism to the scene and therefore making it more credible. This trailer also uses superimpose which was done in post-production in one of their shots, this is the appearance of writing on top of an image so that both are visible at once, and increasing the amount of information the viewer has
  • 10. in one shot. One of the shots that created most enigma was a long shot with low ley lighting, as we could not see the person’s face expressions and did not know what to expect. The Sixth Sense http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0167404/?ref_=nv_sr_1 This trailer begins with a state of disequilibrium, as we getan establishing shot of a car accident; the camera is zooming out as the first scene is shot. At this point we can only hear diegetic sounds, more specifically a speech from the character Cole talking to his mum explaining what has happened. However once Cole says "Standing next to my window" all diegetic music stops and the trailer takes a more sinister turn with a frightening soundtrack, which builds tension making the audience intrigued. The trailer uses a lot of short shots which are connected by very quick fade in fade out shots of black, creating excitement and fear. This helps the audience to take notice of the heart beating fast There is also a lot of quick zooms in and zooming out of camera angles, possibly to add a fast pace to the trailer.
  • 11. The majority of the shots of the child (Cole) are high angle and long distance shots. This gives the audience the idea that Cole is vulnerable and isolated. There are also a lot of shadow shots in this trailer once again suggesting isolating, almost as if he only has himself and the gift (the sixth sense). The idea of a child being in danger is a stereotype of a horror films, particularly in Psychological horror. There is hardly any text used in the trailer but the story is told by Cole to audience as clips of audio from the film are being used as a voice over. One of the few texts used in the film is the name of the main actor "Bruce Willis" as he is a well known actor therefore this might convince the audience to watch the movie. They use superimpose in one of their shots, a text on top on an image, so that the audience can receive more information from only one shot.

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