The trailer begins with two production companynames, with smoke behind the text. It then cuts toa train with smoke coming out of the top. Thesmoke behind the production company title helpsto tie these two shots together and it’s an indexicalsign of fire, which could suggest a theme of thefilm.
O The trailer begins with this establishing shot. It uses ambient/diegetic sounds of a train as it appears on our screen. The non-diegetic music creates a peaceful atmosphere as a voiceover of the protagonist is explaining who he is and his situation. This therefore gives the audience an insight as to who the protagonist is.
O A close up is used to show his emotions, the flashing lights indicate that he is on the train. His reflection suggests there are two sides to his character and it also conveys a ghostly image, which complements themes in the film, those being supernatural presences.
The house which can be seen as a ‘dark place’sets up the audience’s expectations to bespooked and they know that it isnt going to be apleasant story. As typically an isolated, run downhouse doesn’t connote a happy atmosphere. Byshowing that the house is isolated the sequencecreates a sense of fear for the audience. Theshots are all dull and gloomy which signifiesdanger and also the close up of the cross in themiddle of the wetland exposes that bad thingshave happened there before. Isolation is acommon convention of horror films, as its meansthat the characters are more vulnerable andthere is no one to help them.
O This establishing shot shows an old, abandoned house which connotes a dark and mysterious atmosphere ready to engage the audience. A setting like this is conventional for the genre and encodes the narrative with enigmas.
O A high angle shot is used which shows the vulnerability of the male character. The peaceful music stops as he walks into the house, which could mean that all sense of security has gone and bad things are going to happen.
O Close ups are then used as the audience follow him as he explores the house, the music is tense and gets louder as it is building to the climax. The use of his silhouette is shown because it doesn’t allow the audience to see his features, which adds a sense of mystery to the shot. The black also contrasts the background, making him stand out more.
O The music then stops as he spins the zoetrope, the audience’s mind is then taken off what is going to happen as they watch the lamp go round. A face then appears combined with a loud non diegetic sound, which instantly scares the audience.
O The close up, two shot of the characters and the dialogue ‘ please don’t go back to the house’ shows that there is something scary in the house and the audience will then associate the place with fear.O The window between the two characters creates light, light amongst a couple connotes goodness.
O The close up of the protagonist with the image of a woman in black behind is then shown to give the idea that he’s in danger. Having the antagonist in the background creates voyeurism.O As the close up of the figurines is shown a voice over then says ‘she’s there’ followed by a shot of a crow. Crows symbolically signify death and fear. This suggests that death is a theme and that the film is obscure and gothic.
O After the crow is shown there is a montage of fire, death and diegetic sounds of screaming. The music is tense as the montage cuts quickly making the audience frightened.
O At 0.51s it straight cuts to a black screen with a small amount of smoke in the background and white text saying ‘THE MOST CHILLING GHOST STORY OF OUR TIME’. The text is very simplistic to begin with and doesn’t have any effect added to it, but as the text begins to fade out it begins to disintegrate and looks more effective. By using the white text on the black background it makes it easy to read and it also fits in with the genre of the film. The white colour generally connotes death and ghosts which ties in with the film’s storyline. Also the use of black space allows the audience to consider the film and the enigmas it proposes. Furthermore, the wording of the title lures the audience in as it is a statement, which would make the audience want to see the film, to see if it is true.
O Close ups of children are presented to show the defencelessness of the victims in the film. As children are vulnerable it also makes the audience feel sorry for them and want to find out what happens to them. The juxtaposition of children is a trope of the genre. The 3 girls look haunted and step on one of their toys, cracking it’s head. Suggesting that they don’t care about anything in their way.
O The use of the wide shot and the low key lighting make this shot seem scary and frightening for the audience and as the children are outside at night it suggests that all is not right with the world. Sympathetic fallacy is used here as the dark, gloomy weather matches the mood of the sequence. Again, the Forest/wooded location is typical of genre.
O The sequencing of these two shots allows the audience to see what is happening from a different viewpoint. The extreme nature of these shots is enhanced by the use of cantered angles. The footsteps are indexical evidence of a supernatural presence, that being a child and this is important because it shows that there is a child haunting the house covered in blood, which adds to the eeriness of the film.O There isn’t much high key lighting so this therefore makes the shot seem sinister.
O These close up shots allow the audience to see the characters emotions as the action climaxes.O They are not framed centrally which adds to the verisimilitude of the shot and the immersion effect.
O Over halfway through the trailer a close up shot of Daniel Radcliffe is used. This is then followed by the black screen and the smoke effect. On the black screen the title says ‘DANIEL RADCLIFFE’ in white. This lets the audience know who the main actor is and it would attract fans of his previous work. The title then fades out a shot of Daniel re-appears. By using Daniel who is very famous, it is helping to promote the film as well as intertextually referencing Harry Potter, which is his most famous role to date. This film aims to counteract his iconoclastic baggage and this is demonstrated by the clothes he wears and the way he acts and comes across in the film.
The fast paced musicin these shots helps tobuild tension andprepares the audienceto be frightened. Thewriting on the nurserywall and the close upshot of the child followthe theme of childrenin thissequence, which canmake the viewer feeluncomfortable aschildren are vulnerableand weak, which canshock the audiencebecause of the contentand also make themsympathise with them.
O The close up of the door handle as it is turning is significant as it shows supernatural presence in the house. This therefore prepares the audience for a visceral response.
O The high/ Dutch angle allows the audience to see that the protagonist has unearthed something disturbing.O The camera tracks the protagonist running away frantically which shows how scared he is. The location shows how isolated he is and that it is difficult for him to escape. As themes these are conventional of the genre.
O In the space of around 5 seconds straight cuts are used with 3 different titles appearing very quickly. This creates a rapid effect that implies the film is full of action which attracts the audience. One title says ‘FEAR’ followed by a clip of the film, another straight after this saying ‘HER’ followed again by a different clip of the film and then the final title says ‘CURSE’. The audience are encouraged to get actively involved in the trailer by putting these words together; by doing this it is creating a sense of fear within the audience.
O The wide shot and mid shot show how isolated the protagonist is and the mist gives the shot an eerie feel. Isolation is a common convention of horror films, as it makes it hard for the characters to escape. The use of mist is also a common trope of the horror genre as it creates a sense of mystery and fearfulness, as things can hide and watch the characters. Provoking fear for both the audience and the characters.
O The wide shot of the chair rocking by itself highlights the fact that there is a supernatural presence in the house. This is Iconic evidence as it shows what it actually is, it is a chair rocking by itself. Which suggests paranormal activity.
The camera tracks theprotagonist from in front of hisposition and as he is carryingan axe which shows that he isfearful.A voice over ‘(she’s alwaysthere’) is used while theprotagonist looks out of thewindow. Deep rumbling, non-diegetic sounds areplayed, which builds thetension. The handprint isindexical evidence of aperson, which signifies thatsomeone has been there andthe concerned expressionshown on the protagonist’sface shows that he may knowthe person and has beenwaiting for their return.
O An over the shoulder shot is used while a woman’s face appears screaming. This instantly scares the audience and provides an opportunity for a visceral response (we jump). The use of the low key lighting complements the dark mood of the scene.
O Every title in the trailer follows the same theme of a black background and white text; very generic of horror films. The black background also adds to the sense of suspicion and the thought of the unknown, subconsciously grabbing the audience’s attention.O At the end of the trailer the title of the film appears and gradually fades out, so that the audience know what the film is called and if they want to watch it in the cinema. Also as it’s the last thing that the audience see in the trailer, it will stick in their heads.O The film title name follows the same theme of the other title pages. However, this page has a lot more smoke in the background. Half of the title is hidden behind the smoke and then the smoke moves to reveal the film title ‘WOMAN IN BLACK’. This screen is followed by another screen with the same layout which says ‘February 2012’. This lets the audience know when the film is out. This shot also includes the web address for the official ‘Woman in Black’ website and the logos of the production companies involved, extra textually referencing them.