Researching 3 Horror Film Trailer Intertexts. Josh Wetmore
IntroductionThis is part of my research of intertexts for film trailers in the ‘Horror’ genre. I am doing this because i plan to make my own horror film trailer for my AS coursework. Im going to be looking at the conventions of this genre and plan to deliberately use/disuse them to make the desired effect on the audience in my own work. Im going to be analysing 3 intertexts using these codes –Visual Codes –Audio Codes –Technical Codes –Action Codes
Paranormal Activity 3 - Trailer• Paranormal Activity 3 is an American supernatural horror film (2011). It is the third film of the Paranormal Activity series and serves as a prequel, set 18 years prior to the events of the first two films. It was released into cinemas on October 21, 2011.• The plot revolves around a family that are haunted by a demon, as it seeks revenge for a deal made in previous lifes.
Visual Codes– The dress codes of the adult actors are dull colours generally connoting boring and puts them in the background. The children’s dress codes are full of bright girly colours that really represents their age.– The mise-en-scene of the scenes that include the demonic activity in the dark. This is very conventional within the horror genre. Also there are alot of screens where single word writing appears, this builds tension.
Audio Codes– The Diagetic sound in the scene is very conventional within the genre. It consists of characters talking, and lots of screaming.– The Non-Diagetic sound is the sound effects of electronic destortion. This happens when the screen appears to flicker and happens between the scene switches.
Technical Codes– The camera angles in the majority of scenes are fixed because the theme of all of the films in the sequence are include CCTV being set up in the house and cameras in an attempt to capture the demon. The other angle used is the one where the actor is walking around with a handheld camera. This helps to connect the audience to the actors and add the the ‘scare’ factor that its trying to be implied.
Action Codes– The stunts that the actors perform include being dragged along by the demon (which is invisble) and i have no idea how they do it. Also the gesture codes of the demon when its visible is dead still, no movement occours adding to tension and building suspense the whole time.
Dawn Of The Dead (2004) - Trailer• Dawn of the Dead (2004) is a horror film directed by Zack Snyder. It is a remake of George A. Romeros 1978 film of the same name and stars. The film depict a handful of human survivors living in a Milwaukee, Wisconsin shopping mall surrounded by swarms of zombies.
Visual Codes– The Dress Codes of the people that are still alive are worn, dirty and torn in some places. The Zombies clothes have a more exaggerated version of this with blood stains added to them.– The mise-en-scene of alot of the suspense building scenes include a blue tinge to a dark set. Also in the scenes when the moral panic sets in there is a redish ‘Dawn’ tinge which connotes danger and blood and also ties in with the title.
Audio Codes– Like alot of the other films in this genre the diagetic sound includes talking, screaming and ‘zombie noises’.– The Non diagetic sound includes a heartbeat, and background music this adds hugely to the tension.
Technical Codes– The camera angles include alot of unorthodox ones such as over the shoulder shots, high to low shots, extreme close ups, rising shots. Also there are alot of cuts between scenes that introduce the next part of the trailer well.
Action Codes– The actors all seem very panicked and rush around the scenes endlessly. The zombies wander around with no sense of panic but are very certain of their goal.– There are also alot of the big events placed at the end of the trailer to make it look more exciting.
Saw III - Trailer• Saw III is a 2006 Canadian-American horror film. The story follows Jeff after his son is hit and killed by a car; he is put in a series of tests by Jigsaw in order try and let go of his vengeance on the man that killed him. Meanwhile a bed-ridden John Kramer has ordered his apprentice Amanda Young to kidnap a doctor named Lynn, in order to keep him alive for one final test before he dies of cancer. Saw III also contains additional back-story about the two ‘Bad guys’.
Visual Codes– The dress codes of the bad guys are black clothes, conventionally what bad guys wear. The victims (rather unconventionally are wearing very little clothes on their torso’s, this could be to show the sheer ‘nakedness’ of the situation they are in.– The mise-en-scene is very dark, complying with convetions. It is tinged different colours in different situations such as green, blue, red.
Action Codes– The diagetic sound uses lots of convetional screaming and pleading and talking. But also uses what is the ‘tag line’ of all of the films. Where the jigsaw says ‘I wanna play a game’. This is always followed and started with silence and alot of pauses are used to build suspense and tension.– The non diagetic sounds are those that crackle in between cuts. Also a backing track will build tension and suspense.
Technical Codes– The editing of the trailer includes lots of scenes with just text and still images. This seems to be very conventional amongst trailers from this genre.– There must also be alot of special effects to produce the deaths to look real.
Action Codes– The bad guys always seem really in control. Weather as the actors that are being killed are absolutely hysterical and cant control their fear.– There are not many events during the trailer, this is maybe because they dont need to try and sell it as much because the fisrt two films did that, also Saw has a lot of twists and surprises and they wouldnt want to give too much away.
Conventions The title screens You see alot of are all very these types of similar and are images to cut like this for between many other scenes. This horror films. adds a sense Light coloured, of ‘unknown’ and slightly to the next illiterate font scene. thats placed on ablack background.You see alot of this ‘blue tinge’ to scenes in horror films. Its veryconventional to edit in this way making it black and white, or to put acolour onto it.