The trailer begins with an establishing shot of an empty, mountainous area. Thisimmediately tells the audience how alone the characters will be. The bright coloursdon’t give a lot away about the genre of the film however it is clear that Todorov’snarrative theory will relate to this trailer as it would appear that there is a state ofequilibrium at this point. This leads the audience to assume that some form ofdisequilibrium will occur later.
The birds-eye shot of a group of characters surrounding an object followed by areaction shot of whom we assume is the protagonist shows the audience that whatwe see is bad and therefore follow’s Todorov’s narrative theory in that this marksthe beginning of the disequilibrium. This is further highlighted through the non-diegetic music which turns slightly tenser. At this point, Propp’s narrative theorycould also relate to the trailer as stereotypically in a horror film the woman would actas the ‘princess’ character who needs saving.
The shot of the character drilling into the object tells the audience that the action willbegin here. The extreme high angle suggests that with this action, the characterswill lose all sense of power to whatever is inside the block of ice.
The over the shoulder shot followed by a point of view shot suggests to theaudience that something is about to happen to this character. The dark lightingcreates tension along with the fact that the non-diegetic music has stopped. RickAltman’s genre theory relates to this trailer at this time as semantic elements,such as the dark lighting relate to the horror genre. The medium long shot allowsthe audience to see where the character is in relation to the supposed ‘danger’.
The camera shot showing the character about to pull aside a curtain is quite acommon convention within the horror genre. This adds a lot of tension to the traileras the audience doesn’t know what’s behind it. As the curtain is moved, theaudience can see a lot of blood. This relates to Rick Altman’s and DanielChandler’s genre theories as blood is a typical convention of horror. Furthermore,it is evident that Todorov’s narrative theory relates to this trailer as there is adefinite state of disequilibrium at this point.
The use of weapons again relates to Rick Altman’s theory as they are a semanticelement in horror films. It also connotes that there will definitely be at least onedeath, if not more.
The shallow focused two shot enhances the tension of the trailer as it is clear thatthe protagonist does not know there is somebody behind her. This shows theaudience that something is about to happen and is again a convention of horrorfilms. The non-diegetic music is also extremely low pitched and tense as if buildingup to something dramatic.
The use of text reinforces the tension and the genre and sums up what the film isabout without giving anything away. The non-diegetic music remains at a low pitchand tense in order to build up to the final stages of the trailer in which something islikely to make the audience ‘jump’. The typography is the same as the name of thefilm allowing the audience to make the link between other advertisements, forexample, posters.
• The trailer also relates to Blulmer and Katz’s ‘Uses and Gratifications’ theory as the audience is likely to want to watch this film having seen the trailer for entertainment purposes as opposed to educational.• Furthermore, Stuart Halls’ representation theory could relate to this trailer as with the information we have been given, there are only a limited number of ways the audience can interpret the text, leading to preferred reading (the audience interpret the text the way the producer intended).
There are a number of establishing shots at the beginning of the trailer. As with thetrailer for ‘The Thing’ this allows the audience to gain a sense of isolation. Similarlyto ‘Just Go With It’ and ‘The Thing’ Rick Altman’s genre theory also relates to thistrailer as the mise-en-scene fits into the horror genre; the dark lighting adds tensionand the run-down buildings highlights the sense of isolation and creates a scaryfeeling.
The shot of the male character burning in one of the buildings, followed by a shot ofthe explosion tells the audience that he is most likely the antagonist. At thispoint, similarly to ‘The Thing’ Stewart Hall’s ‘oppositional reading’ theory couldrelate to the trailer as there is no set way to interpret the text – the antagonist couldcome back to kill the people who killed him or the film could have a circularnarrative and this could be the end of the film.
The constant shots of children suggest that they will play a big part in the film. Italso highlights a loss of innocence and connotes that innocent blood may bespilled. The non-diegetic sound through a lot of the trailer is also children singing.This increases the tension and adds a sense of creepiness.
The ‘claws’ act as a weapon and show the audience that there will be one or moredeaths. This is similar to the trailer for ‘The Thing’ and many other horror trailers.This also relates to Rick Altman’s and Daniel Chandler’s genre theories.
As with ‘The Thing’ and ‘Just Go With It’ the name of the film is shown toward theend of the trailer. This promotes the film and highlights the genre of the film. Thetypography corroborates with horror as the colour red connotes blood. It is alsowritten in the same font as the rest of the marketing products allowing it to beeasily recognised. The non-diegetic music becomes much quieter again as ifbuilding up to something dramatic. The slogan increases the horror as it makesthe film seem more realistic and that whatever happens in the film will happen tothem if they fall asleep.
This is the first time we are shown the antagonist since the beginning. It is evidentthat he is not currently alive suggesting that he is hunting down victims in anunusual manner, though having seen the name of the film and its slogan, it is mostlikely that he comes back through the dreams of his victims.
Just like with ‘The Thing’ and ‘Just Go With It’ Blulmer & Katz’s ‘Usesand Gratifications Theory’ relates to this trailer as the audience wouldwatch this film for escapism and entertainment.
The trailer begins with a caption to introduce the film. The light-hearted wordingshows the audience that the film is most likely a comedy, for example, the word‘guy’ is not a word found in many horror trailers. The non-diegetic music is up-tempo and lively compared to the trailer for ‘The Thing’.
At this point of the trailer the audience is introduced to the protagonist. Similarly tothe trailer for ‘The Thing’ and ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ Rick Altman’s genretheory relates to this trailer as semantic elements help the audience to place thetrailer into a genre. In this case, the actor Adam Sandler acts as the semanticelement as he is a common figure in comedy films.
The next section of the trailer shows a number of girls with the protagonistsuggesting that romance will also play a part in the film. Unlike with ‘A Nightmare onElm Street’ there is a voiceover from the protagonist giving the audience moreinsight into the film. This is a common convention in comedy trailers.
This section of the trailer, similarly to ‘The Thing’ relates to Propp’s narrativetheory. It is evident that the protagonist (‘hero’) whom we have already seen mustovercome some form of obstacle to win the heart of the woman (‘princess’). Thecostume of the female character also relates to Mulvey’s theory of ‘The MaleGaze’ as it is very revealing and shows her as an object of desire.
When the audience is shown this second female character a lot of the film’s plot isgiven away – it is evident that she will act as the ‘helper’ in Propp’s theory but as isa common theme in this genre of film, she will later have some form of ‘makeover’and take up the role of the ‘princess’.
The text at the end of the trailer informs the audience as to who is in the film. Thisattracts specific target audiences and helps to promote the film. The name of thefilm is also shown in the trailer for ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’.
• Similarly to ‘The Thing’ and ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ Blulmer & Katz’s ‘Uses and Gratifications Theory’ relates to this trailer as the audience would most likely choose this film for diversion purposes – to be entertained and escape from reality.