Halloween case study

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Film case study By Sasiane Sakuu

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Halloween case study

  1. 1. Halloween Film Case Study By Sasiane Saku
  2. 2. TECHNICAL ASPECTS: SOUND Sound, Misenscene and editing create meaning ? Throughout the film Halloween there was a sound motif which associated strongly with the killer “Michael Myers”. The sound associated with a threatening buzz which alerted the audience because they realised that every time the killer was on the screen the sound motif would appear. This then creates tension and suspension towards the audience as they are aware that something bad is bound to happen . From the beginning of the film there was a sound bring which played continuously across more than one cut/transition . Climax Crescendo sounds were played frequently in this film to reveal the actions and personality of the killer , every moment the killer was on his way to attack a victim there would be a built up of high key pianos playing. This again built up suspension and awareness for the audience.
  3. 3. TECHNICAL ASPECTS: SOUND Sound, Misenscene and editing create meaning ? Ambient and Diegetic sound Diegetic Sound From watching the Halloween film you are able to make assumptions about who the killer is an what they are like . “ Prepare for him “ “start planning your own funeral” this is dialogue from the Michael Myers Physiatrist who is warning a police office about the behaviour of the killer who is loose . From this dialogue of the Doctor you understand that the killer is dangerous and that you should be aware of him . This links back to the viewers view of the film from this dialogue without seeing the killer on screen yet they can assume that he is out to strike or he has striked before , he is a man who is a psycho path. “I saw the Bogeyman “ The name Bogeyman has an association with devilish scary themes someone/something that attacks a person . The bogeyman is also associated with ghosts and zombies from the dead . Ambient – There were a lot of background sounds such as a quiet sound car engine radio , heavy breathing , screaming and also children playing in the playground .The ambient sound allows the audience to feel the atmosphere of the scene example the barking of the dog made it obvious to the audience that there was someone unusual / unfamiliar in the house ( which was the killer ). The heavy breathing connotes that the killer is present and that he is sexually frustrated . We as the audience known that when we hear heavy breathing we know that the killer has seen its prey and that the killer himself is a predator. The screams that were heard from the females usually signified that they were being attacked . This connotes there weakness and lack of bravery and strength . The screams caused tensions and suspension for the audience as they felt drawn with what they were seeing it makes them sympathetic with the character.
  4. 4. TECHNICAL ASPECTS: Misenscene / Prop Sound, Misenscene and editing create meaning ? The killer The killer is portrayed with a mask which shows to the audience that he is hiding his identity as he does not want to be revealed . This implies that he is keeping his distance away from the audience. The female victims The mask created an anchorage with the film title “Halloween” because during Halloween people dress up and disguise themselves as different characters from example scary films and books . In slasher / horror films it’s a typical convention to represent females as the typical American cheerleader or a smart wise female who has her mind set and also the promiscuous , naughty , always high on weed female. Michael Myers ( The killer) throughout the film was often shown wearing dark colours such as blue and black which connotes his power and status but also bold character . The colour black can suggest to the audience that the killer is very unfriendly , this links to characters representation on the screen we were not able to see his face until the middle of the film , example meeting the boy at the playground there was a mid shot of the killer which shows his status as a character he is to dominant to be shown or maybe he is a danger. The misenscene of the final girl ( last female to get attacked by the killer.) In Slasher / Horror films it is a typical convention to see the killer slash and harm victims with weapons such as knifes, axes and chainsaws. However in this film the killer only used his knife once which was slash one of the female victims arm but he missed and only managed to rip open her There were three main females characters who were victims . Was very smart which reveals the sort of character that she is to the audience . A cream nude cardigan , nude connotes elegance , she also wore a green top and we known that green connotes earth and greenery . Her attire was very simple and female like she also wore a skirt which represented her feministic side . Iconography was very important in the scene that we saw the final girl in , she was carrying books which connotes her intelligence and wisdom she was always aware of her surroundings and always focused on herself she is a straight minded character . This female character had a lack of makeup which connotes that she is an everyday women who just takes life with a lot of simplicity . Her facial expressions throughout the film were the same she was always
  5. 5. Misenescene /props/lightening It’s a common convention in slasher / horror films that most attacks and stalking take place in a close well known neighbourhood where everyone knows each other . Also the attacking takes place in a big haunted interior location example a basement ,house or garage, in this film it is a house . Inside the domestic setting it consists of dark lightning there is a limited ambient light source at all times which could be the moon since all the action is taking part in the middle of the night , while the rest of the neighbourhood are trick or treating “ . The darkness inside the house created tension for the audience watching because it makes the assume straight away that something negative is bound to occur . The ambient light present which is the moon creates shadows in the house it reveals to the audience if something is present , normally it would be the killers shadow and the victim is not aware of the killer surrounding which creates suspension and eagerness for the audience to see what will happen next . The House where all the killings and attacks occur has a light outside the door which alerts to the audience that this is where the next crime may happen . The light grabs the attention of the audience because they know that the house is targeted it creates suspense. Outside the targeted house there was a pumpkin which has been carved out in a scary way , this links back to what the film is about and what season it is “Halloween”.
  6. 6. TECHNICAL ASPECTS: Sound, Misenscene and editing create meaning ? Close up zoom shot of the big house was done very frequently throughout the film , this connotes to the audience that the house will be a main target to the killer. The close up allows the audience to feel drawn inside with the action happening . In the film a long shot was often used to identify the killer . There would be a long shot of the killer from a distance which allows the audience to track the killers next action . Close ups were also used to capture the face of the killer , his face was usually covered by his mask which was very scary . The mask was white which connotes purity and innocence however the actions of the killer were the opposite of these words . The close up allows the audience to analyse the facial expressions of the killer which were usually straight and stern this implies that he is a serious character. Tracking shots often create tensions towards the audience because they feel drawn into what will happen next . Example tracking shots were often used when the killer was stalking the female it causes eagerness to see the next seen . The audience were introduced to the house by an establish shot which allowed the audience to make sense of why the house was the main target and why it was seen as a forbidden house to enter “ Here is where Michael Myers killed his sister”. The killer Michael Myers at the start of the film was only shot from his shoulders downwards it was a mid shot that accompanied the scene . The created a mystery towards the audience because they did not know if this was the killer or a random subject . However watching the film we noticed that it was the killer who's face was always hidden this connotes and suggests that he is too dominant and powerful to be seen in the beginning of the film , it expresses his character as one who is trying to constantly disguise himself. The three shot in the film explains and reveals to the audience by dialogue about what is happening it also allows the audience to make sense of where the film is going and what they may expect to appear or happen next “ Run out go get help “ . This line reveals to the audience that there is danger coming there way or something negative is bound to happen . Tilt shots / Low angle shots were used to represent the status of the killer , the shots suggests to the audience that he is more powerful then his victims and that he should be respected . Whereas high angle shots are used when the killer is ready to attack the final girl it connotes her vulnerable status and weak character especially because she is a female. Shots
  7. 7. Narrative This film follows a linear narrative as everything happening chronically in order which makes it easy for the audience to follow reasons to why the killer is the way he is it tells a story . The plot begins with a flash back which is after 20 years its is the past forward to the present . I thought after watching the film that the plot was also when Michael Myers returns back to the town , he has escaped from a mental home and the only person who knows so much about him is his Psychiatrist / Doctor . Young Michael Myers before he escapes the mental home .
  8. 8. Genre Conventions In slasher / horror films supernatural themes occur example , in Halloween the killer dies several times ( gun shots , knife wounds ) but still comes back to life after all its punishments, it fascinates the audience and interests them more. Interior settings are common locations where attacks and killings happen – big haunted houses Exterior settings will take place in a dark silent street where no one is around to witness anything. The killer usually has a motif and reason to why they are how they are . Normally the killer is said to have a mental illness and is known to be a psycho path ,example Michael Myers at a young age kills his blood sister which leads him to go into a mental home . The female victim is usually alone when being attacked or stalked . Music accompanies the killer when they are about to strike a victim which makes the audience alert. Because slasher/ Halloween films are associated with devilish supernatural creepy vibes , they will include negative props such as grave headstones which represent death and dullness. With slasher/horror films there is always a police investigation which reveals to the audience that there is a cause to why the killer is like the way they are .In the film Halloween the police officers reveal as dialogue who and what Michael Myers is and what he has done in the past . The film Halloween has its ways of subverting the genre convention example it kills a man , however in most slasher/ horror films only females get attacked and kills. This could come across as surprising to the audience.
  9. 9. Representation and Characterisation – How are the characters represented . Can you discuss stereotypes or stock types ? Stock Types – There is always a killer who is usually a male in slasher / horror films . The killer is the main character and the audience are always alert when they are on the screen , it is known that the killer makes the film what it is . The killer appears unexpectedly behind the victims in different forms as a shadow or from a distance – we see the killer stalking from outside . This reveals the discreet behaviour of the killer and creates suspension and tension towards the audience who can see more of the killers actions then the victims can . The killer is represented as a dangerous being this is a stereotype of killers and it conforms to the conventions of this genre . It defines a stereotype that men are dominant and bold The Final girl usually gets killed ,however in this film the final girl remains alive which suggest to the audience that there maybe be another series of this film that will show her death. However this can create a stereotype of females being more powerful then killers as the female in this film striked back frequent times . However at the end of the film we notice the final girl wearing a blue shirt and blue jeans , the colour blue connotes coldness and muscularity . This connotes that females are not weak it subverts stereotypes of females. The female attacks the killer with his own Freudian weapon( knife) which suggests that she is brave and not weak like most females are said to be . However during her attempts to hide from the killer the final girl ( victim) shows signs of weaknesses as she screams and cries . She portrays a mother figure as she protects Lindsay and bob the two little children she looks after “ Go to the McKenzie's house and tell them to call the police “
  10. 10. Representation and Characterisation – How are the characters represented . Can you discuss stereotypes or stock types ? Stock Types – There is always a killer who is usually a male in slasher / horror films . The killer is the main character and the audience are always alert when they are on the screen , it is known that the killer makes the film what it is . The killer appears unexpectedly behind the victims in different forms as a shadow or from a distance – we see the killer stalking from outside . This reveals the discreet behaviour of the killer and creates suspension and tension towards the audience who can see more of the killers actions then the victims can . The killer is represented as a dangerous being this is a stereotype of killers and it conforms to the conventions of this genre . It defines a stereotype that men are dominant and bold The Final girl usually gets killed ,however in this film the final girl remains alive which suggest to the audience that there maybe be another series of this film that will show her death. However this can create a stereotype of females being more powerful then killers as the female in this film striked back frequent times . However at the end of the film we notice the final girl wearing a blue shirt and blue jeans , the colour blue connotes coldness and muscularity . This connotes that females are not weak it subverts stereotypes of females. The female attacks the killer with his own Freudian weapon( knife) which suggests that she is brave and not weak like most females are said to be . However during her attempts to hide from the killer the final girl ( victim) shows signs of weaknesses as she screams and cries . She portrays a mother figure as she protects Lindsay and bob the two little children she looks after “ Go to the McKenzie's house and tell them to call the police “

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