Analysis of a horror opening


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Analysis of a horror opening

  1. 1. 28 Weeks Later Title and creditsThe title and credits of the film are both written in a small basic whitefont against a black background. Both of these only appear for a fewseconds, which is long enough for the audience to absorb theinformation, but not too long as they get bored. The use of thesecolours is well chosen, as they both heavily contrast each other. Thesmall white font almost looks like it is being swallowed up by the blackbackground and the colour white has connotations of purity, whereasblack has connotations of evil. What the director could be trying toshow here is the human’s struggle to survive against the infected. This iseffective, as the audience might start to feel small and insignificant.They might also start to understand how almost hopeless it is, to try andfight against the infected.
  2. 2. Sound effects• This opening sequence uses a variety of sound effects. The very start of the film has not got a soundtrack. The background is completely silent, but it is accompanied by sound effects, such as the rustling of a newspaper and the clinking of glasses. This is effective, as it can make the audience think that this is a normal day in England, thus lulling them into a false sense of security and shocking them when the infected arrive. The silence is effective, as it raises tension and suspense in the audience.
  3. 3. Soundtrack• The beginning of 28 weeks later has an electronic soundtrack which crescendos and builds up with the action. This is the equivalent of raising tension. When the sequence is in full play, the music speeds up to accompany and accelerate the action. This would raise suspense in the audience and keep them on the edge of their seats.
  4. 4. Characters• In the opening sequence we are introduced to six different characters with completely different personalities. For example there is an old couple who own the cottage and are supposed to be very sweet and caring and a sceptical and sarcastic man, who has all but given up. The effect of having so many characters at this point in time, is so that the audience can find one character they can relate to and want to succeed.
  5. 5. Narrative• The first half of the opening sequence is a mixture of fast paced and editing and frantic camera shots, which confuses the audience. As of this reason, not much of the narrative is actually told, which is effective as the audience will not be overloaded with information. However in the latter half of the opening, titles start to appear which explain to the audience the backstory of the film, in simple language. The purpose of this is to tell the audience what has led up to this film, but without confusing them with too much information.
  6. 6. Setting• Before the titles appear the film is set in a cottage, in the English countryside. This is an effective choice of location, as it is extremely remote and difficult to get to. This makes the cottage look very isolated and the people inside it are all alone. What is also very clever here is that the cottage is in the middle of some picturesque scenery e.g the green fields and bright sunshine. This has the effect of shocking and surprising the audience even more, as just looking at the scenery alone they might think that this is a happy film. After all bright sunshine isn’t a typical convention of horror films and this is why the arrival of the Infected is so unexpected.
  7. 7. ColourIn the first half of the opening sequence, not a lot ofcolour is seen mainly because of how the scene is lit. Thefirst half is lit only by candles and this creates a very darkand gloomy atmosphere. It already suggests to theaudience that something bad is going to happen, eventhough it doesn’t appear that the characters are in anyimmediate danger. As well as this the colour of the propsand the costumes, which the characters are using andwearing are all very boring and dull. This helps to add tothe atmosphere. All of these mundane colours latercontrast with the vivid red blood, which the Infectedproduce. In the latter half of the openingsequence, during the chase scene, bright light is glaringdown and this further confuses the audience, as usuallythese types of films take place at night time.
  8. 8. Images/still shots• The imagery used in this sequence starts off very slowly, but it builds up extremely quickly. At the beginning of the sequence where the scene is being set, the camera focuses for a longer time on the character’s conversation. However when the action crescendos fast cuts and motion on action is used, which means that the camera does not focus on a specific image for too long. This is effective, as it helps to keep the piece of film interesting and it raises the tension.
  9. 9. Film information• In this opening sequence the audience finds out some information about the film, such as who the villains and the victims of the film are. The titles tell the audience a little context about the film. They highlight how society has collapsed. The characters in the opening sequence don’t talk about their backstories or about the narrative to the film. They don’t discuss the Infected in very great detail, or how they all ended up in the same cottage and this leaves the audience to speculate about how they got to where they are. This is a good thing, because it means that the audience are getting engaged in the films, but it’s also bad as the audiences attention is being detracted from the film.