Trailer analysis two

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Trailer analysis two

  1. 1. Analysis of ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ trailer The film trailer that you can see above promotes a horror movie called ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’, which is a film of a supernatural sub-genre. The reasons why I have decided to analyse this trailer is because first of all it is based on a true story, thus straight away making the film appealing to the target audience of supernatural sub-genre of horror. And secondly is because even though the film was made in 2005 its effective and appropriate horror iconography and general & technical codes and conventions made the trailer look persuasive encouraging people to go and watch the film. Through the trailer the audience are constantly reminded of the sub-genre of horror that this film is promoting. This is accomplished through the use of appropriate codes and conventions, both general and technical. The iconography used within the trailer includes horrific imagery of people’s faces melting away and abnormal behaviour of the protagonist, furthermore, the there is also horrific diegetic sound used making the trailer look even scarier. Those features will allow the fill to appeal to the appropriate target audience as they would be excited to watch scary scenes, especially where the sound is used exceptionally well. Furthermore, in this trailer the audience are also presented with a possessed teenage girl that seems to be common among this sub-genre. This will also appeal to the target audience, as it will show to them that not only children can get possessed but also young adults. Furthermore, there are a great number of teenagers who are funs of horror, it can make them freak out, showing that in the past there were teenagers who got possessed. Another important thing that signals the supernatural sub-genre of the film is the use of religious imagery within the trailer, for example, parts of the trailer is set in the church and one of the protagonists is a priest, thus indicating that it is a quite religious film where the good is fighting the evil, which seems to be quite common in this sub-genre. Another way that the sub-genre is signalled to the target audience is through the mise-en-scene that is presented to them. It is very common for the scene to be set in an isolated/suburban location and ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ is no exception. The reason why this setting seems to be common is due to the fact that the isolated locations means that there is no help available when the evil strikes forcing the character to fight it themselves. Non-diegetic text is used very effectively within ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ trailer. Even though this film was released quite a while back (in 2005) and for that reason it doesn’t have the green rating screen at the beginning of it (which is common convention among film trailers), it does feature a company logo that helped to produce this film. This is another effective trailer convention, which can be seen a excellent way to persuade the audience to watch the film as the fact that the big institution has produced ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ will give the film further credibility. The next non-diegetic text that the audience are presented with states that this film is based on a true story, which straight away makes it more appealing to the target audience as they would come to a realisation that demonic spirits are real and they can be the next ones to get possessed, which could be seen as a good way to lure in the audience. After that the audience are presented with nondiegetic text that reveals some hints about the narrative and at the same time gives the audience the factual information that the exorcism of Emily Rose was officially registered with the Roman Catholic Church. This is again a very effective way to lure in the audience, as it tells them that this story officially recorded and really did happen. Closer to the end of the trailer the audience are once again persuade to go and watch the film through the use of the strap ‘Witness the disturbing story that would make you question all of your believes’. The use of the word ‘witness’ here almost
  2. 2. implies that the audience would be able to see every as if the events are happening now and as of they are present there t that moment when exorcism would be performed. The title of the film and the release date are placed at the end of the trailer, which seems to be a convention that every single film trailer seems to follow. The reason why the name of the film and the release date are shown last is because that way the audience would have been already persuaded to watch the film and the next thing they would want to find out what the film is called and what its release date is. The narrative structure of ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ trailer in a way follows the narrative conventions of film trailer and in a way don’t. The trailer does have a slower start as the audience are presented wit the character and are introduced to Emily’s story, yet the protagonists equilibrium is never shown to the audience. The reason for that is that the trailer focuses more on the investigation of her exorcism rather than her life before and after it. Yet when the trailer starts to pick up pace, the audience are made aware that the main protagonist is Emily and that her equilibrium is destroyed when she is in the hospital and the bed starts moving. The fast montage then follows showing the protagonist reaction to her possession and revealing to the audience how terrified she herself is when she begins to see passing by people melting away, thus creating tension and building up the audience’s excitement. At the very end of the trailer this, however, stops and the audience are presented with a shot of the protagonist walking away into the fog and that’s when the title is shown, which is then followed by a sting of the closer up of protagonists face, giving the audience the last injection of horror, before they are presented with the release date and institutional information. With regard to Todorov’s narrative structure, just like any film trailer, ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ trailer doesn’t complete all stages of the structure. This is only reasonable because the audience would not want to find out the new equilibrium of the protagonist as it would spoil the ending of the film. The representation of characters within the trailer plays a very important role is setting out the mood of the whole film. For examples, all adults within the trailer are presented as people of a high status, who are very knowledgeable and work in a highly professional job sector, thus straight away setting the serious mood for the film. Men, however, seem to be presented as very calm character who are able to keep themselves together when it comes to stressful situation and think strategically, which once again shows their high status in the society. Furthermore, in the trailer the audience are able to see male characters who are priests, doctors or court workers. On the other and, even though women are also presented clever and well educated characters, the fact that on of the main female characters in most of the scenes in the trailer consults with a male character, shows her inferiority in comparison to men. Furthermore, when the trailer starts to pick up pace, the audience come to realise that the women are easy to scare and panic in stressful situations, thus going along the general woman stereotype that women are week and helpless. The main protagonist is a teenage girl, which as I have said before, is quite unusual for a possession film, yet that makes it even scarier. Within the trailer she is presented as a very normal girl of her age and even when she starts to see people’s faces melting away her appearance doesn’t change much, thus telling to the audience that you might not even notices that someone, who you might know in school is being possessed. The use of the camera within the trailer was very effective in creating meaning. The trailer begins with an establishing shot of the house, which shows the audience that the film will be set in an countryside location that is evident by huge fields that the house is surrounded with and the forest,
  3. 3. which could be seen as well. The audience are then introduced to the protagonist through a closeup shit of her face, which shows her purity as a teenage girl. This shot is then closely followed by a close-up pan shot of the tapes playing through which the audience are straight away able to realise that the protagonist might not be as pure as they thought previously. The narrative of the film is then explained further when the audience are presented by a number of close up shots of two characters talking about the main protagonist and her possession. The audience are then presented with a few long shots of the protagonist sitting in bed from different angles that shows the bed moving in an unnatural way and this is the point when the audience realise that something must be going wrong and the equilibrium of the main character is getting destroyed. This is then followed by a close-up shot of the way in order to attract the audience’s attention even further. The audience are also presented with an establishing shot of the court, closely followed by close-up shot of the priest face and a medium shot of the prosecutor, which explains to the audience that there were people who didn’t believe in the priests believe of the protagonist’s possession. However, the idea of the possession of the protagonist is then reinforced, when the audience are presented with 3 different tracking shots of the protagonist and her abnormal behaviour in church. The audience are then presented with a number of close-up shots of the protagonist and another characters, which creates tension and indicates that the main action is about to take place. After that moment the trailer start to really pick up pace and a fast montage of fast edits then follows, where the audience are presented with a number of different shots that explain the narrative of the film even further. For example, the audience are revealed how the protagonist sees people around her with their faces melting away. During the fast montage we are also shown shots of Emily’s strange behaviour in the church and her exorcism. Within the trailer, mise-en-scene is used very effectively to set the atmosphere. As I have said before the film is set in a quiet, isolated countryside area, which could be seen through the use of the establishing shot at the beginning of the trailer, thus indicating that the film is set in the past. Through the use of the appropriate old fashioned costumes, which the characters are wearing, the idea that the film is set in the 1970s is once again reinforced. Furthermore, as I have mentioned previously, when the girl gets possessed her appearance doesn’t change much and its only through her perspective of people the audience are able to realised that she is possessed. Once again this is a very effective strategy to scare the audience as they would realise that everyone, including those who are ‘normal’ and liver ordinary lives in their ordinary clothes are vulnerable to terrors seen in this trailer. Throughout the film there are also a lot of religious imagery used, which is a typical convention within the supernatural sub-genre of horror. A huge chunk of the trailer is set within the church, which reminds the audience of a constant fight of good and evil. Furthermore, one of the main characters within the trailer is a priest, which once again reinforces the idea that the only person who can free Emily form the possession is the priest ( a person who is really close to God), which is an another common convention in possession films. The fact that the main action within the trailer happens when it’s the night time or when it’s dark, will straight away make the audience feel scared and unease, as this is the time when most people are peacefully asleep and the time when they are the most vulnerable. This convention seems to be popular within horror film as it creates a mood that is dark and sinister, thus reflecting the dark nature of the narrative of the film. Within the trailer the lighting is used very successfully to reflect the characters and their nature as well as to create meaning. For example, the trailer begins with an ambient light, which enables the audience to see properly where exactly the film is going to be set. It also allows the audience to see
  4. 4. clearly the face of the protagonist and spot how normal looking she is. However, within the next few frames, when the audience are presented with a priest, the lighting changes and now the profile light is made use of. This straight away signals to the audience that the priest might have a dark secret that he doesn’t want anyone to know of. As the trailer progresses, even though the characters faces are still lit quite well, there are visual evident that the light is getting a bit dimmer, thus indicating to the audience that something bad is slowly happening. Finally, when the audience are presented with a shot of the protagonist again, her face is covered by the shadows, making it highly not visible. This is very symbolic as it reflects the way in which the protagonists life is about to be overtake by something very dark; this shot also acts like a breaking point within the film trailer i.e. after this shot the trailer starts to really pick up pace. After that very dark under lit shot the audience are presented with a number of quite bright shots where ambient lighting s used, which shows the contrast between dark nature of the protagonist and other characters. Furthermore, the use of the ambient light enables the audience to see the characters facial clearly when they talk about Emily and her possession. When the fast montage begins the shots become more darker, thus reflecting the darkness that overtook the protagonist. The only light within the frame was used to illuminate more important objects such as actor’s faces in order to show their reaction to certain thing that is going on at that time clearly to the audience. For example, when Emily starts to see people’s faces melting away, the audience are able to see her reaction to it very clearly due to the effective use of lighting. Plus the audience are able to see the faces melting away clearly as well due to the illuminating light. The use of the body language and facial expression was also used effectively within the trailer to create meaning and set the atmosphere for the film. At the beginning of the trailer the body language of the characters is already quite tense and their facial expression is very serious, which straight away indicates to the audience the seriousness of the film. For example, when the priest is walking at the dark hour along the fence, his body language seemed to be tense and his facial expression shows that he is thinking about something very serious, something that worries him. This idea of seriousness and worry can also be seen on the scenes that follow. As the trailer progresses the atmosphere begins to change and the audience are able to see changes in the body language and facial expressions of the characters. The audience are able to see more and more scenes with despair on characters faces that shows how terrified they are. For example, when a boy sees the protagonist lying on the floor in an unnatural position, his hand starts to shake and his breath gets heavy, indicating to the audience how scared he actually is. Finally closer to the end of the trailer, the audience a presented with looks of terror on characters faces and their helplessness, for example, when the Emily sees her class mates face melting away , her facial expression clearly shows despair and terror that she is experiencing. Another way through which the mood of the film was set and the fear, anticipation and excitement in the audience was created, is through the use of effective an appropriate sound and a clever editing. The trailer begins with a voice over of a man speaking, who straight away reveals that the narrative of the film would be about a girl called Emily Rose; this voice over is complimented by two establishing shots of the place where the film is going to be set which are connected together with a fade in that almost implies that this peace of the place is only vague and will soon fade away. On the background the audience are able to hear quiet non-diegetic sound, which sounds spooky a mysterious, thus straight away setting the mood of the trailer. The next thing that the audience are able to hear is the sound that is recorded on the tape, which is playing. On that tape the audience are able to hear truly horrific sound of a group of men reading a verse from the bible, as well as
  5. 5. sinister, almost animal like sound, which straight away indicates to the audience that the exorcism must be recorded on the tape. This could be seen as an effective way to reflect the supernatural subgenre that this film promotes, which would attract the appropriate target audience. For the next part of the trailer the audience are presented with lots of cut that feature a dialogue between two character male and female, that explains the narrative of the film even further and it also shows that the conversation between two characters went on not just for one day but for a number. In the meantime the non-diegetic sinister sound on the background continues, which is a good way to keep the audience tense and scared. In one of the scenes, when the audience are presented, of how the protagonists sees people, for the first time there is a sharp and loud non-diegetic sound used to make the audience jump from their seats, this is also complimented by a fast montage of a number of quick shots that shows the protagonist reaction of the melting face that she sees. This scene acts almost like a breaking point in terms how the sound is used after that. After that scene all of the sounds seemed to be amplified and that’s when the montage starts to pick up pace, thus adding more emphasis on them for example when the protagonist starts to speak in an unnatural demonic voice or the sound of the rain when she is walking on the street. Furthermore, the background nondiegetic sound also changes and it is now the sound of the church choir singing, which is in a way ironic but at the same time makes it sound even scarier for the audience. Closer to the end of the trailer every sound stops and the screen goes black before showing the priest who says “it has begun”, which straight away tells to the audience that the worst has happened and the protagonist has been completely overtaken by the demonic spirit, thus creating excitement in audience resulting in them going and watching a film as they would want to find out what would happen to Emily Rose in the end. This then follows by a quick montage of shots which shows a horrific imagery .The next thing that the audience can hear is the protagonist screaming closely followed by two non-diegetic sound of the church choir singing and the hurt beat merging together. This sound follows along a montage of horrific scenes, which builds up audience’s excitement and gets their adrenaline running. It can also symbolise the final hurt beat of the protagonist before she gets fully possessed. Overall, I believe that ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ trailer is very effective in luring in the audience and encouraging them to watch the film and the reason for that is because the film trailer does follow the general supernatural horror film conventions, the sound within the trailer is used very well and is cleverly synchronised with the edits. Furthermore, the audience are presented with horrific imagery, which made them fell scared but at the same time feel exited. One thing that especially inspired me in this trailer is the way the narrative is revealed through a combination of non-diegetic text and voiceover dialogues. I have come to realise how important it is to make sure that within the trailer the narrative of the film is explained well, without giving too much away. With this in mind, I will make sure that in our trailer the narrative of the film is also explained well.

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