The film begins with a clear close up
shot of a lamp with the directors
name on, this is a very clever way of
placing the credits within the scene,
it makes the opening sequence flow
We are then faced with a zoom shot
of a very scary looking old woman,
this sets the genre straight away as
we know this villain will be later
seen within the film. It also keeps
the audience on edge as they are
not eased in to the film they are
bombarded with horror within the
The music then suddenly reaches its
climax with the title of the film flashing up
and filling the whole screen. The title is
written in old English lettering and is red,
this displays the connotation of blood or
danger. The old English lettering makes
the title look very edgy and sharp, which
could possibly symbolise some dangerous
moments within the film again. The sharp
edges of the lettering also look fairly
similar to devil horns which could possibly
hint at an evil force within the film.
Insidious is a supernatural horror by James Wan. It features a very unusual plot as it is all based
around the idea of a young boy who can Astral-project. I have decided to textually analyse the
opening sequence as I wish to also make a supernatural horror, closely based on this sequence.
A clear establishing shot then appears,
displaying a very scary looking house. This
sets the scene and makes it clear where
the main plot will obviously take place.
The camera has a black and white effect
on throughout the opening sequence
which could show the connotation of a
possible darker force that will later be
within the film.
The opening then goes on to display
a sequence of long shots displaying
different parts of the house, the
house looks very nice but at the
same time has a bad vibe off it,
making it clear this is where the
haunting will take place.
In this particular shot, a long shot of a
room is used except this one features a
dark shadow in the corner. The
subtleness of this shadow almost
makes it more tense as only someone
who was really looking would notice,
this could represent a possible darker
force that is lurking in the shadows of
the house, watching the people within.
Finally, the opening sequence ends with a
close up of a young women’s face. The effect
on the camera begins to brighten from the
black and white to a normal effect. The
change in effect could show that we are now
in the real world and that the images before
were possibly from the house but the
haunted version of the house. The close up of
the women’s face clearly communicates she
will be the main protagonist within the film.
The sequence begins with dissonant sound being
played; this is very creepy and creates a lot of fear.
The screeching noises used when the scary old
woman appears adds to the initial horror the
audience feel when seeing her and makes this shot
all the more terrifying. Finally the pause just before
the title sequences come up creates a bigger
impact when the music then comes in again as it is
now very loud and very clear, this makes the
audience on edge and could potentially cause the
audience to even jump.
The editing used within in each shot is
very tense as it uses a zoom out and
fade to black between each image. This
makes the audience almost build up
anticipation as the slowness makes it all
more the creepy as we feel as if we are
waiting on something to happen.
The narrative seems to start with a state of
equilibrium and then displays subtle hints of this
being destroyed, this follows Todorovs theory as
he states that most movies begin with this state,
the state is then disrupted and the ending
concludes with a resolution of the obstacle that
disrupted the state of equilibrium. However, as a
person who has watched the film I know this isn’t
the case. The ending is a cliff hanger of the
equilibrium again being disrupted; the director
purposely does this so he can then make a sequel.
The characters within the opening sequence also seem to
follow Propps character types, as we already know the film
will feature a villain, therefore there will be a victim/hero. I
also know that the film features a false hero, however this
is not revealed to the end so an audience member who was
only viewing the opening sequence would be unaware. The
film also features a magical helper in a sense as the father is
helped by a medium to find his son in the “The Further”.
The film also features an obvious binary opposition, this
being good vs. evil. We see this clearly in the opening
sequence when we see the haunted house and shadows
lurking in comparison to the innocent family living there.
This is clearly shown through the iconography on screen
and the through the use of camera effects (dark colour
From what I have gathered from the opening sequence it is
clear our female protagonist will be an anti-stereotype as she
obviously helps correct the disrupted state of equilibrium.
Whereas stereotypically women are often seen as weak and
are usually portrayed as a damsel in distress.
The villains within this film are also anti-stereotypical as they
all have a very unusual look. The stereotypical demon would
be a ghost of some kind whereas this film varies from a
lipstick faced demon with hoofs right down to an old midget
who laughs like a child. All characters within are very unusual
but this adds the fear factor that the film possess’.
Finally, the audience for this film is a mass audience as it was a very popular film
and can appeal to a range of ages, it all depends on the audiences taste in genre.
The target audience I gather would be 15+ as the age limit on the film was a 15. I
would also say that this horror isn’t a typical horror as this particular film is based
around the idea of astral-projection. This isn’t a typical plot of a supernatural horror
as more than often the plot is that the house is haunted, whereas in this film it
turns out the son is haunted as the entities wish to have his body and try gain
entrance when his soul wanders in his dreams. The socio-economic group for this
film I believe would be A right down to C2, I believe this as the film is quite
complicated and would take a lot of thought to try work out some elements of
what is really happening. Therefore I think people who were quite high in class
would enjoy as they should in theory be very clever and would essentially be able
to understand and piece together the story. The psychographics for this film I
believe would be explorers and reformers. I believe this because the film is quite
unusual so I think the audience would have to have quite an open mind to enjoy it.
Explorers would be an ideal audience as one of their key values is to be individual,
and this film is very individual. They are also typically young (students) and this is
the ideal target audience as the age restriction is a 15. Also reformers would be an
ideal audience as they are socially aware and possess independent judgement,
therefore they would be open to believe in the weird plots within the film. They
also have a higher education so they will be able to understand the idea of astralprojection which is a difficult idea to grasp if you have not been previously
acquainted with the idea before watching the film.
Sinister begins with a very disturbing
opening. It features a family hanging
from a tree with no villain to
appearing to be present. This shot
straight away establishes the twisted
nature of the film and throws the
audience in the deep end from the
The opening sequence ends with the
title of the film “Sinister” being
almost smeared across the screen.
This could show the connotation of
blood being smeared and most
definitely hints at the idea of death to
be highly apparent within the film.
Sinister is also a very supernatural and demonic film. It is one of the more disturbing horrors to
be made and again has a very unusual plot as it is based upon a demonic legend.
The music accompanying this sequence is again
very dissonant, it sounds like an old fashioned
tape rolling, which links to the film as the main
plot device is that the protagonist within the
film finds a box of disturbing tapes.
There is no apparent editing within this sequence as
it is just a continuous long shot of the family being
hung. This creates a huge amount of tension and it
keeps the audience focus on the family the whole
time, the use of no editing is very effective as the
long length of the disturbing clip is almost sickening.
It’s somewhat too disturbing to watch but at the
same time almost mesmerising to the point you
can’t look away.
The narrative structure isn’t clear as the opening
sequence only displays one shot but it is clear that it
does not follow Todorovs narrative structure as the first
scene we see is most definitely not a state of
equilibrium. Although, as a person who has viewed the
film I know that the film then goes on to show a family
who are fairly happy moving in to a new house so in a
sense it does follow Todorovs theory as the state of
equilibrium is apparent in later scenes and is then
disrupted later on. The opening scene is one in which
we see later on, so by using it as the opening it almost
gives the audience a taster of what there in for.
The film follows Propps character theory as it
features a villain, hero/victim and a helper. The
villain being the demon, the hero/victim being the
dad and the helper being the police officer who
helps the father solve the mystery of the tapes
The film also features a binary opposition, this again
being good vs. evil. The good being the human and
the evil being the child snatching demon. This is a key
feature for any horror movie as in order for the film
to qualify as a horror it has to include a victim and a
villain who disrupts the victims life in some negative
There are no stereotypes featured in this opening
as again it only displays one shot. However, I know
that the representation further in to the film is very
stereotypical as the hero is male, who are often
seen as the stronger sex and the woman featured is
very helpless throughout the film.
The audience type is most definitely a mass audience as the film was very
popular, this is down to the fact that majority of people enjoy a good
horror, especially one that features an unusual plot not often displayed.
The target audience for the film is again 15+ and this is due to the age
restriction being a 15. Although I personally feel this film could potentially
be an 18 due to the very shocking nature of the content featured. The
socio-economic group I believe would again be A down to C2 and this is
due to the shocking nature and confusing content included, I believe it
would take someone of quite a high intellect to again be able to piece
together the plot. The reason I think the plot is quite complicated is
because it is almost like a murder mystery in a sense as it is all based
around the father trying to piece together a series of very brutal and
The psychographics of the film I again think would be strugglers and
reformers for the same reason being that there both quite individual and
possess their own independent judgement which I think is very much
needed for this film as the nature of the film is that disturbing that some
people may not be open to watch it. Also reformers possess high
education which I think would be needed due to the plot again being very
hard to piece together.
The film begins with a close up shot of
an old woman’s face, her facial
expression looks extremely concerned
and worried, this indicates the object
she is looking at is very dangerous.
The object is then revealed to be a
box; this is revealed through the use
of a close up shot. The box is
engraved with symbols of some sort;
this suggests a supernatural force will
later appear within the film. The dark
lighting on the box also shows the
connotation of a darker force,
suggesting this box is of great evil.
The possession is again a supernatural horror; it features a young girl who is possessed by an
The film then features a medium shot of
the old woman wiping her eyes as if she’s
expecting something bad to happen. This is
also suggests that this negative event is due
to the box as she’s now crying after
watching it. The woman wiping her eyes
also suggests she is almost preparing for
death as she is standing at the window as if
shes embracing the last time she will look
out of it.
An extreme close up of the
woman’s hand clasping hair is
then displays. This suggests she is
feeling so much stress that her
hair is now literally falling out.
This again could be down to the
stress of the lady owning this
The woman then tries to break the box
with a hammer but by some unknown
means begins to chant a foreign language;
this could possibly be her reading the
scripture of the box. She then begins to
have a stroke of some sort and her body
begins to contort as if she is being
possessed by a supernatural force, this
obviously links to the name of the film
“The Possession” and hints that this
possession will later happen to another
person, as this all happens within a matter
of minutes and is therefore too short for a
Throughout this sequence the woman begins to play a
tape, the lyrics of the tape being “You’re a heavenly
thing” this links to the idea of death through the
mentioning of the word “heaven” and hints at this
woman’s death. Also it’s a binary opposition as the box
is clearly and evil force and this is opposing to the
positive music being played which speaks of heaven.
The narrative structure isn’t clear as I haven’t watched
the whole film which is unfortunate although it doesn’t
follow Todorovs narrative theory as a state of
equilibrium isn’t apparent at the beginning. It straight
away begins with a possession being displayed. I do
believe the main story of the film will however follow
this theory as the plot must begin with some form of
peace as it then has to be compared to the disruption
to later follow.
The character types follow Propps theory as there is an
obvious villain, this being the supernatural force within
the box, a victim; this being the young girl who gets
possessed by the box and the hero being the hospital
staff and her father who save the girl.
The editing used is a simple cross cut, this makes it
obvious what the old woman’s fear is by showing her
worried facial expression then displaying the box
making it obvious the box is what she fears, this builds
a massive amount of tension.
The film again features the binary
opposition of Good vs. evil, the good being
the human and the evil again being the
supernatural within the film.
The demon in this opening goes against the
stereotypes also as usually the villain would be very
scary looking whereas in this particular film the demon
is displayed as a box which is not usually seen as a
scary object. Also the young girl within the film is an
ant stereotype as she is portrayed as very strong and
scary whereas most young girls are perceived as being
very innocent and weak.
This film again has a mass audience as horrors appeal to majority of people, and it
was featured in the cinema, although it was not as popular as Insidious and Sinister.
The age rating is again 15 meaning its target audience would be 15+. Although for
horrors it doesn’t depend on age it just depends on the interest of the audience,
they have to like shocking content and have a strong stomach. The socio-economic
group I believe would again be A down to C2 and this is due to the confusing content
included, I believe it would take someone of quite a high intellect to again be able to
piece together the plot. The reason I think this is because the plot features ancient
spirits and would take someone who was interested in this particular subject to be
able to understand it without having to fully concentrate.
The psychographics of the film I again think would be strugglers and reformers for
the same reason being that there both quite individual and possess their own
independent judgement which I think is needed for this film as the nature of the film
is again quite difficult to fully understand and would require an open mind and quite
a lot of thought to figure out and accept what is being shown. Also reformers
possess high education which I think would be needed due to the plot again being
hard to understand.