Analyticaldeconstruction ofShutterIsland, ParanormalActivity & The Exorcismof Emily Rose
What is the difference between a trailer and a teaser trailer?A trailer, simply advertises a film orprogramme, often using shots or scenes from themovie. Most films have both a full length trailer and ateaser trailer. A full trailer is longer, reveals moreinformation about the movie and is often shown incinemas soon before the films release. Whereas, ateaser trailer is specifically that - a trailer meant totease. They dont reveal any significant plot detailsand are meant only to give the spectator a minorglimpse as what is to come. These are morecommonly found online and on TV a while before therelease of the film. This is to attract attention andcreate a buzz around the up and coming movie.
Shutter Island;Shutter Island is a psychological thriller set in a remote asylumon a private island. The trailer introduces us to theprotagonist, a detective played by Leonardo DiCaprio, whoappears to be inspecting the case of a missing person withinthe asylum.However as the trailer progresses the audience become awareof a twist in the plot through the detective’s change of behavior.The pace of the trailer increases whilst the music climbs to arapid pace, this creates tension and hints at the horror whichlies in the asylum.Furthermore it suggests that there is more to the detective thanthe trailer is willing to convey and leaves the audiencequestioning his position within the asylum.We have chosen this trailer as we aim to create a similar settingfor our trailer (mental asylum) and a similar hybrid genre(psychological thriller/horror); we felt that this trailer portraysthis combination of genre well in the way we hope to.
Music & Sound EffectsSea crashing against the shore emphasizes the isolation of the island.Screaming noises which connote danger and suffering.A number of sudden loud bangs whilst introducing shots within the asylum, whichcreates tension.Silence whilst the guards and detectives are speaking which highlights theirauthority and allows their dialogue to hold importance when they say: “We onlytake in the most dangerous damaged patients” which really highlights the setting.Whispers from characters in the mental institute which is following horror genreconventions.We plan to incorporate the loud bang sound effects to enhance the change ofshots in our trailer and to follow conventions from Shutter Island and build thesame scale of tension within our own institute. We also aim to use whispers in ourtrailer however we want to show where the whispers are coming from incomparison to Shutter Island where they use the whispers as voiceovers. Weplan to include dialogue from doctors in our trailer to clearly convey ournarrative, highlight their authority in contrast to our protagonist and to show theimportance of what they are saying (that our character is mentally ill) We arechallenging the amount of dialogue used in the trailer for Shutter Island byminimizing our amount of dialogue to emphasize our horror genre; instead we areusing conventional shots of our character being possessed which maintains thescary feel to horror films.
Mise-en-sceneBig black gates used in the introduction of the trailer- introduces us tothe setting (mental institute) The guards alongside the gate suggestthe entrapment of the asylum an the seriousness hinting at thedangerous patients inside.Deserted, empty rooms.The shot of the shower is a convention of horror films as typically thereis normally always a shot of the victim in a shower; this suggests theirvulnerability and hints forthcoming danger.Barbed wire is used in a shot during the build up in the trailer. Thisfurther enhances the entrapment aspect to the asylum. The darknessin the shots conveys a horror feel and the sound effect alongside theshot makes the shot feel realistic and sudden.Establishing shot of the asylum- large old isolated building whichstands as the destination of the institute.We plan to combine a shot of large black gates with the establishingshot of our asylum in our trailer therefore challenging these features ofmise-en-scene in Shutter Island. We are doing this as we feel it isimportant to introduce our audience to the setting immediately. We arethinking of including a shot of barbed wire however aren’t too sure ifwe will be able to gain as good as effect as they do in Shutter Island asthere is not barbed wire which typically looks as twisted and effectiveas this one. To keep with conventions of horror films we plan to use ashower shot with our female protagonist to highlight her vulnerabilityand to suggest forthcoming danger.
Shutter Island; Target AudienceThe age rating for the film is a 15 therefore in comparison with The Exorcism of Emily Rosewe can argue that the film isnt suitable for a younger audience suggesting that it contains alot more scarier and thrilling moments which wouldnt be suitable for a younger audience. Inthe first 10 seconds of the trailer we are introduced to the A-list star, Leonardo DiCaprioimmediately suggesting that this film is targeted at a female audience as he is very popularand attractive. Furthermore, the fact that he is well known suggests that the film will gainmass appeal as there would be a lot of build up and hype around a film staring an A-list staras the protagonist. The films genre, Psychological thriller also suggests action which typicallyappeals to male audience and we can see this through a three-shot image of the detectives.Typically, films containing horror genres do not include well known actors, in example theactors used for Paranormal Activity are unknown and this could suggest why the trailer has tostrongly emphasize horror conventions to appeal to their target audience where as this filmstrailer can just subtly embark on thrilling and scary moments as they know that their A-listactors will create the most appeal.Examples within the trailer that appeal to its target audience; -Image of Leonardo DiCaprio- attractive, popular, female audience. (screen shot where itstates his name and compare to Paranormal Activity lack of emphasis on actors name)-Screen shot where action is taken place (detectives, guards, guns etc)- male audience.How this will affect our trailer and target audience;We are ultimately challenging the use of characters to appeal to our target audience of thistrailer- instead we are following conventions of Paranormal Activity by using unknowncharacters; this will force us to exaggerate our thrilling and scary moments within our trailer toappeal to our target audience that way instead of A-list actors. -We are also going to include abuild up of action within our trailer to appeal to male audience- in example we plan to usefound footage to convey our female characters memory of the killing of her Mother when sheis possessed and this found footage will be action packed, with fast paced music, lots ofchanging shots etc.
Representation of social groups;WHO DOES THIS TRAILER REPRESENT;Social groups; Patients who suffer with mental healthproblems- negative portrayal of them, disturbingbehavior- allows the trailer to appear scary. Detectives-males. Connote action therefore male audience appeal.HOW WILL THIS EFFECT OUR TRAILER AND WHOWE WANT TO REPRESENT;We want to represent a social group of doctors, whichare a social group within Shutter Island however do notplay a dominant part in the trailer. We are representingthe social group of patients who suffer with mentalhealth problems but are challenging the way ShutterIsland present this group as we are only representingthis social group through one character.
Paranormal Activity;Paranormal Activity is a film about a young couple moving into asuburban home and becoming increasingly disturbed by a nightlydemonic presence. The film is shot with hand-held cameras and thisis hugely reflected through the production budget of under $15000.The trailer exposes the audience to the nightly demonic presencethrough found footage to express a realistic sense of horror.We have chosen this trailer to deconstruct as we found similarities inwhat we want to include in our trailer in terms of style and editing.We intend to include a demon possession and incorporate foundfootage to represent the protagonists point of view. We chose thistrailer as it involves techniques we can easily mimic when filming ourown trailer and the narrative of devil force is similar to how weenvision ours to be.
Style;Found footage and CCTV techniques are used in the film are are presented inthe trailer to allow the audience to feel part of whats happening and can alsoleave the the spectator in suspense as this technique of style may fail to showevery detail of the trailer. The film is filmed in a similar way to a observationaldocumentary, creating the effect that original sound and raw, uncut footagewas used, like a fly on the wall documentary.Editing;The most effective cut used within the trailer is the white noise screens thatreplicate a home video recorder, another way they simulate this is by superimposing the date and time in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. Thisalso mimics a home video and adds to the realist narrative. The trailer also cutsto black shots with short reviews about the film and text such as; "Experience itfor yourself" flashing onto the screen. This addresses the spectator directly andpersuades them to want to watch the film.After watching the Paranormal Activity trailer and analyzing their editingtechniques which stand out the most to us, we plan to incorporate the whitenoise effect during our found footage technique and aim to edit the time anddate on to the bottom rise of the screen whilst the white noise effect is playing.We liked the style of the trailer and want to use found footage sequences in themiddle of our trailer to reflect a memory that our protagonist is remembering togive the effect of a fly on the wall to allow the spectators to feel part of theaction; however we plan to challenge this editing technique as we do not planto use this filming style through out the trailer
Paranormal Activity; Target audienceThe target audience for this film is stated briefly in the comparable profile takenfrom Pearl and Deans website (pearlanddean.com). From this we can learnthat the target audience for this film is young audience (15-24) which is typicalwithin the horror genre. From the trailer we can also see that the targetaudience may be couples; the narrative of this film is based around a couplewho become increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence thereforethe trailer might persuade couples to go a watch the film. The fact that thetrailer seems to be challenging typical conventions with the horror genre byusing two main characters including one male instead of conveying vulnerabilitythrough the use of just one young female suggests they wanted to widen theirtarget audience by increasing their chances of targeting men for example.Examples within the trailer that appeal to its target audience;Use of both genders to ensure a mass appeal.The demonic presence of the trailer- appeals to the audience as its a wellknown aspect which has been used in many films before e.g. The Exorcist.However we feel that the trailer doesnt specifically mention the demons insteadjust expresses a powerful presence leaving the audience in suspense to what itcould be.How this will affect our trailer and target audience;-We are challenging the use of characters in Paranormal Activity, by using justone female character as the protagonist instead of two, to follow conventions ofthe majority of horror films to convey our horror genre more realistically.-We areusing a similar narrative to appeal to our target audience- devil presence. Thedevil presence clearly successfully appealed to its target audience thereforewhen it comes to the production of our trailer and the creation of the devilpresence we are comfortable in knowing that it will appeal to our targetaudience and can look at the way Paranormal activity does it to gain a morerealistic and professional final result.
WHO DOES THIS TRAILER REPRESENT;Age; Young couple- allowing the film to relate and appeal to its targetaudience (young people)Gender; Male and female- again allowing the film to relate and appeal toboth genders of its target audience.HOW WILL THIS EFFECT OUR TRAILER AND WHO WE WANT TOREPRESENT;We aim to use a young female to play our possessed protagonist to allowour trailer to relate and appeal to its target audience of young people.However we are going to challenge Paranormal Activitys use of its mainmale character and aim to use a male for the doctor, instead of the maincharacter. This way we will have the chance of appealing to maleaudience by representing their social group however will be followingconventions of many horror films through the use of just one femaleyoung main character.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose;Based on a true story, the trailer of The Exorcism of Emily Rose(TEOER) portrays a young female possessed by the devil andthe fight that her family alongside a priest have to go through totry and win justice against court. Through the trailer we can seethat Emily Roses family and the priest believe she is somehowpossessed however are taken to court as being accused ofperforming an illegal procedure Exorcism unnecessarily. Thetrailer is packed with dialogue taken out of the film chronologicallyshown which allows the audience to easily grasp the narrative. Itis filled with disturbing shots of Emily Rose herself behavingpossessed by the devil; these shots are playing alongsideconventional tense music typically found in a horror trailer whichallows the whole watch of the trailer to become pleasurable forthe audience as it is what the audience would expect and wantfrom a horror trailer.We have chosen to de-construct and analyse the trailer ofTEOER as the narrative is very similar to one we wish to create inour trailer. We are going to be using the idea of a girl beingpossessed by the devil and the struggle between her and thedoctors which almost reflects the struggle between the court, thefamily and priest in the trailer of TEOER; therefore analysing thistrailer seemed perfect. The conflict of what is real and what isntis what we really want to emphasize in our trailer, and we felt thatTEOER trailer really portrays this, leaving the audience to makeup their own minds.
Characters;Young female is used in TEOER- holds connotations of vulnerability and innocence.Emily Rose, victim and protagonist which is typical in a horror film- followsconventions- pleasurable for audience as it is what is expected.Judges in court- there as instigators of the disequilibrium. Question the priestsexorcism procedure.They dont see it as putting Emily Rose out of her pain and healing her but sees it asunnecessarily killing her. There to create a problem, conflict.In our trailer we plan to follow conventions of a typical horror film and include ourmain character and ultimately the victim as a young female to ensure we appeal toour target audience by providing them with what they expect and find pleasurable inour horror trailer. As the devil holds connotations of being such a powerful force, byincluding a young female who gets possessed by one will really emphasize hervulnerability. We also plan to include doctors who are similar in their role to thejudges in the court in TEOER as they are there to cause a clash in beliefs for theaudience and leave them wondering who to believe, the young female or the doctorsto whether she is mentally ill or is possessed by the devil.
Plot;Young female possessed by the devil- The devil is a characterwhich typically appears within the horror genre and plays ahuge part in the development of the plot as when she first getspossessed is when the film is at is peak and the conflictbegins. The devil is also a powerful force which highlightsyoung females vulnerability.The court case plays a huge part in the development of theplot as it leaves the audience left with the choice in believing ifshe is just suffering with a mental illness or if she is actuallypossessed by the devil. Court case instigates a disequilibriumto the plot, causing a problem for her family and the priest whobelieve she is possessed and making it much morepleasurable view of the trailer.We have chosen to include a similar plot as TEOER to includein our trailer, as we feel that is a perfect plot to incorporate in aPsychological thriller/Horror genre as it will follow conventionswithin this genre e.g. possession, young female etc. Also wewanted to base our trailer on a true story and found that mosttrailers including this one, and Paranormal Activity areactually based on a true story allowing this trailer to be usefulwhilst developing a plot for our own. We also want to create aconflict of different beliefs, like the trailer of TEOER, howeverwe are going to do this through what the doctors believe theyoung female in our trailer has and what she herself actuallybelieves. We are going to challenge the way in whichTEOERs trailer shows their conflict in different beliefs as weare not going to include as much dialogue as the trailer does;we feel that it gives too much away and we would like to leavethe audience in suspense and to guess more on whathappens due to the clash of beliefs.
Target audience;The age rating for this film is PG-13. For a typical horror film, this age rating is very rare as well known horror films typicallyinclude age ratings of at least 15 and even more so, 18. This suggested that this film wasnt as scary on a horror scale as otherfilms with a higher age rating, however we felt that the idea of being possessed and devilish behaviour had the potential to beconveyed through a increasingly disturbing and more scary film and ultimately a higher age rated film in example, Paranormalactivity who is rated a 15. The film is asking the viewer to examine their own beliefs about life and death, religion and sciencetherefore we felt that the target audience for this film must be open to challenges thrown at them about what they really believeand what they dont; ultimately the viewer must have a close relationship with their inner beliefs to be able to watch suchconflicting controversy in a film. Typically, horror films are aimed at a younger audience, 15-25, therefore as this film sits under thegenre of horror the film could appeal to a young audience who find pleasure in suspense and being scared. However as this filmincludes a dominant focus on controversial topics such as science and religion we can argue that these features may appeal to anolder audience as the study of religion and science connote history (an area which typically appeals to an older audience)Examples within the trailer which appeal to its target audience;-Screen shot of when Emily Rose is possessed (scary)- young audience.-Conventional aspects of horror-horror music, young female as the victim as well as the protagonist, disequilibrium- audience are given what they expect from a horror and results in an enjoyable and pleasurable watch.-Dialogue- In court- older audience (screen shot)How this will affect our trailer and our target audience;-When Emily Rose is possessed- want to show our female characters devilish behaviour to scare our younger audience and givethem what they expect.-Conventional aspects of horror (young female as victim, horror music, disequilibrium) to give our audience what theyexpect, making it a pleasurable and suspenseful watch.-Use of dialogue to suggest conflicting controversy in our trailer and to question what the audience believes like Emily Rosetrailer- is she just mentally ill like the doctors say or is she possessed by the devil? Used to appeal to an audience who want to bechallenged and examine their own belief and ultimately maybe an older audience to gain a mass appeal.
Social groups;Religious people of society – through the priest and hispractice of the exorcism on Emily Rose.Lawyers and judges in court- instigate thedisequilibrium in the trailer, believe the priestperformed an illegal procedure (Exorcism) on EmilyRose.HOW WILL THIS EFFECT OUR TRAILER AND WHOWE WANT TO REPRESENT;We aim to represent the social group of doctors in ourtrailer which challenges the presence ofjudges/lawyers used in TEOER. However we want thesocial group of doctors to still serve the same purposein our trailer as they do in TEOER, to causecontroversy by raising the question to the audience isshe just mentally ill or is she possessed by the devil.