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Texas chainsaw massacre film anaylsis

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Texas chainsaw massacre film anaylsis

  1. 1. Sharondeep BachraA2 Media Ms McDonald The Texas Chainsaw Massacre AnalysisCamera shots, angles and movements:A master shot has been used to reveal the stock characters of young couples 2 female’s and2 males this conforms to horror convention’s as horror films usually feature teenagers whoare who are socialised into a rebellious life style such as, sex, drugs and alcohol, teenagersare stereotypical characters featured in horror films because theyparticipate in vices of ahedonistic lifestyle who are unaware of the surroundings and dangers, whilst the shotfeatures the teenager’s, happy, energetic rebellious music coincide in theircharacteristic’sthis links to Todrov’s Theory of Narrative of Equilibrium that the beginningofthe story starts off with a normal lifestyle where everything is balanced.The disruption of Disequilibrium has been established by a 360 pan right that shows theteens care crash over onto the ground. This creates a sense of panic for viewers becausethis demonstrates that the teens are injured are unable to escape the isolated stock location.This also foreshadows that the dramatic acts of horror will begin for the victims becausewithout a car to travel or escape, connotes that they have fallen into the entrapment of thevillain. This links to Todrov’s Theory of Narrative of Disequilibrium.There is a long shot of the sheriff holding a stock prop such as a gun which identifies him asa villain, this connotes that he is strong and devises power over the teenagers. This binaryopposite instantly characterises the teens as the victims. This links to Claude Levi Strausstheory of binary opposition where this propels narrative for example, no weapons vs. gun,good vs. evil, and young vs. old, this therefore implies that narrative can only end on aresolution of conflict. A two shot establishes a contrasting feelings of anxiety and fear foraudiences, for example, the two shot shows the sheriff pointing a gun towards the victimsface which in turn, heightens the sensation of fear, dread and anxiety because the gun is apowerful stock propthat signifies acts of danger such as, death, demise and quietus.An Establishing shows a stock location of an isolated house, this isolated house conforms tohorror conventions which allows the action of the story to drive forward, the meaning of thisisolated stock location conveys a sense of vulnerability for the victims because this signifiesthat the teenagers will have nowhere to turn for help because there are no shops, houses,cafes or other busy aspects of a normal society. This links to Roland Barthes enigma codebecause the isolated stock location portrays an element of mystery to entice the audience,thus intriguing them further to questioning them whether the victims will escape theentrapment of an isolated house of horror where dramatic acts of horrific violence will occur.A wide camera shot reveals a female victim lying down on her back tied to a table, her feetand legs are both tied to the table, this shows a threat of entrapment for the victim, thisenables viewer’s to identify that she is weak, and trapped in the hand of the power of thevillain, this establishes that the film is conforming to horror conventions because femalevictims are represented as, helpless and powerless. When a camera pan reveals that thevillain is using his chainsaw (phallic symbol) slashing and cutting through his victim’s body,this establishes that the film conforms to horror conventions of horror because the chainsawsymbolises, danger and murder. The implication of outrageous gore and blood creates asense of a disturbing panic for viewers, this also leads to an enigma questioning viewerswho will survive and who will not.
  2. 2. Sharondeep BachraA2 Media Ms McDonaldHorror conventions are reinforced by the use of a medium shot which,shows the villainviscously cuts off his victims arm and tortures him;this camera shot has a disturbing impacton viewers because thisdenotes the horrific gore and blood which are stereotypicalconventions which allow audiences to empathise with the characters pain and torture theygo through.There is a 2 shot that reveals the villain touching a blonde female victims boob repeatedly;this shot also establishes his facial expression as happy ashe is accompanying sexualpleasure by stroking her boobs. This would link to Laura Mulley’s Male Gaze theory wherefemale characters are an object for sexual desire; females are a sexual objectification andare in the role of anexhibitionist to be looked at as an object of desire for men, this wouldalso mean that the females boobs are also a visual pleasure.A camera movement such as a track moving side to side establishes that a female victim ishiding under the table from the villain this conveys a sense of both fear and terror forviewers’ feeling creating a sense of panic hoping that he will not find her. A close up shot ofa female victim’s facial expressioncommunicates her emotion as, frightened, and aghastwitnessing another character slashed through the villain’s chainsaw. The shot also revealsblood around her face which allows audiences to sympathise and empathise with the victimto aid understanding of the traumatic acts she is going through.Worm’s eye view camera angles have been used repeatedly throughout the film of the villainwhere the camera looks up at the villain, depicting him as, strong, mighty and dangerousholding his chainsaw high up in the air about to slash through his victim. This stimulates theviewer’s mood of a heightened level of anticipation, terror and suspense because thisforeshadowsthat audience will witness the horrific acts of outrageous, gore and violence aswell as death.A low angle reveals the last girl standing that uses a knife (phallic symbol) against the villaindaggering the knife in his back attempting to end the villain, the low angles also shows herbravery by escaping; jumping out of a window. This would link to the Final Girl theory whereCarol J Clover would argue that the girl is masculine by using a knife to end the villain whichis phallic appropriation, this also infers that the last girl standing avoids vices-drugs, sex andalcohol, this demonstrates that she is intelligent, brave, initiative, secularised and avoids ahedonistic lifestyle. The impact of this low angle revealing her bravery by jumping out of awindow (sharp object) establishes she is a protagonist, which conforms to horrorconventions because a protagonist/last girl standing are sometimes stereotypical charactersin horror films.
  3. 3. Sharondeep BachraA2 Media Ms McDonaldComposition:In the film adepth of field is depicted of the villain walking up to another character who hasnamed him a “dumb animal” this shot de-emphasizes the foreground and background inorder, to make this difficult for audiences to identify who is present in the shot.The use ofdiegetic sound and this shot engaging creates a fear of anxiety and perturb, because thisallows audiences to acknowledge the presence of the villain and that the villain is somehowgoing to take horrendous action against another character.A framing of the villain has been used to establish and focus the viewer’s attention upon thevillain walking with his chainsaw, this enables viewers to characterize him as a villainbecause the stock prop- the chainsaw he retains also, enables audiences to infer that thechainsaw is a dangerous, prop that signifies acts of danger, this use if iconography- weapondeduces audiences to identify him as a villain, whereas innocent character’s approach noweapons unless for self-defence.A focus pull is established of a meat worker, whilst the villain is out of focus behind theworker, this directs the viewer’s attention into the worker because this implies that the workeris a victim because the villain being out of less focus creeping up behind him denotes that adisturbing, horrific impact will have upon the worker, this conforms to horror conventionbecause victims are usually portrayed in focus, of establishing a victim.The deep focus technique have been repeatedly used of representing the last girl standing,this type of composition allows audiences to concede she is a last girl standing because thealignment of the subject (stock character) creates tension and interest in the compositionconcentrating on the main character, the significance of this is to imply that the narrative canend on a resolution of aprotagonist.
  4. 4. Sharondeep BachraA2 Media Ms McDonaldSound:Contrapuntal sound of “hush little baby” playing whilst at the same time a teenage male isbeing beaten by the villain- sinister music also carries over the sound at the same time, thisin turn creates a sense of panic and fear for viewers because the sinister soundcorresponding at the same time of a male character’s being beaten combines togethermaking this scene more disturbing for viewers sinister happening at the same time.The implication of diegetic sound such as, voices of characters screaming, crying,screeching, heartbeats and heavy breathing, this in turn has a disturbing impact onaudience’s to acknowledge that characters are victims of horrific and horrendous attackcommitted by the villain. Screaming and crying invites to sympathise and empathise with thecharacter’s, to identify their feeling of fear and bereavement.Sound motif-harsh loud sounds and sinister background music is repeatedly associated withthe villain, this type of sound corresponding at the same time enhances the dauntingrepresentation of the villain. As a result, this stimulates the viewer’s mood of a heightenedlevel of, anticipation and anxiety denoting the presence of the villain.There is also contrasting music, to differentiate binary opposites of the characters forexample, the daunting deep music is used when audiences watch the Hewitt family, andrebellious music is used when the teenagers are being shown. This contrast’s the binaryopposite between the young and the old.Sound bridge/effects of the chainsaw revving this repeated sound affect creates a mood ofpanic and disturbance for viewers because this sound indicating the chainsaw signifies actsof horrendous danger, outrageous gore and terror, this sound of the chainsaw also connotesthat someone is going to be killed and is a phallic symbol empowering the villain implying hishigh status of his power of the victims controlling them by the use of a sharp weapon.
  5. 5. Sharondeep BachraA2 Media Ms McDonaldEditing:Parallel editing/cross cuttinghas been used repeatedly throughout the film to createsuspense, anxiety and enigma for audiences. For example, towards the end of the filmparallel editing has been established of running the action that are running at the same timeof the last girl standing running and trying to escape the villain, whilst the villain catches upwith her. This creates a sense of panic and apprehension because this shortens the periodsbetween cuts, thus quickening the film, questioning viewer’s whether the last girl standingwill finally escape.A cutaway of a disturbing, brutal attack against a character that the villain slaughters cutsaway to another shot of the sock characters of the teens, this differentiates the binaryopposites between the villain and teens of the horrific act committed by the villain, thepurpose of this cutaway cutting away establishes and signifies a hint to the audiences thatthe teenagers will become victims villains.Fast-pace cuts of characters being slashed and slaughtered by the villain are jumpy andfast, this speeds up the action and enhances the viewer’s mood of inquietude and solicitude,increasing the audience’s nerves and panic.Slow-paced editing has been used frequently throughout the film, this creates tension andsuspicion for audience’s questioning when something will happen and jump out at them. Thisin turn, leads to the villain and sheriff jumping out; this creates suspense and panic forviewers.Jump cuts of the villain have been used of him chasing after his victims with his chainsaw toslash them; this creates a sense of a sense of panic, dread and alarm for audiencesbecause as the jump cuts begin to quicken the villain soon catches up behind his victims, inorder to slay and slash them with his chainsaw.Action matches have been established in the beginning of the film between the villain’sfamily and the teenagers. As the villain walks along the road, it cuts to an action match of theteenagers feet walkingconcurrently. There is also a dolly in on the teenager’s car driving onthe road, cuts to the sheriff car driving. This action matcheslinksdifferentiation of thecharacters together, foreshadowing the event of the teenagers running into the hands of thefamily; demonstrating this will result in quietus and demise.
  6. 6. Sharondeep BachraA2 Media Ms McDonaldMise-en-Scene:Location:The establishing shot introduces an isolated stock location this signifies thatsomething dangerous is going to happen to the characters because this conveys a sense of,loneliness and isolation leading them to be portrayed as vulnerable. Woods, abandonedhouse are stereotypical stock location that signifies acts of danger, and disquiet. The roadssurrounded by fields is a conventional setting, especially for slasherfilms, because it isisolated and signifies that the teenagers will have nowhere to turn for help because there areno shops, houses, cafes or other busy aspects of a normal society.Iconography (Props): Weapons such as a chainsaw, a meat cleaver, guns, hooks, knifesand barbed wires (phallic symbols) torture objects conform to slasher conventions of a horrorfilm as they are stereotypicalweapon’s used to slay and slash victims. These weaponssignify acts of, calamity, demise and quietus; this in turn results of anuncomfortable feelingfor audiences. These props-weapons also enable audiences to identifythe film falls within thequeue of the sub-genre “slasher” because thisimplies villain killing a sequence of victims in agraphically violent manner, mainly with a cutting tools.Lighting: The use of low key lighting and shadows establishes a visual colour of darknessand hell associated to the villain, signifying acts of danger, demise and quietus. Thisconforms to horror conventions because the implication of low key lighting in a cinema andin the film creates a sense of; apprehension and solicitude for audiences.Black and whitecolours have been used throughout the film juxtaposing binary opposites for example, whiteconnotes; heaven, purity and heaven whereas, this juxtaposes with black connoting; hell,villain and sinister.Clothing:Police officer’s outfits depicted in the film denotes high power and status of thesheriff. The chainsaw guy (villain) is dressed in black wearing a mask; this creates anenigma questioning viewer’s about his anonymous identity, foreshadowing he is the villain.The clothing of the women is promiscuous, revealing parts of their belly, back, and boobsare revealed. The blonde girl, who is more sexually available than the last girl standingshows the more fission, and is represented as more of an object than the other. Forexample, the blonde girls boobs are revealed tightened out of her t-shirt, whereas the lastgirl standing is more covered up, the blonde girls is also wearing a min skirt revealing herlegs whereas the last girl standing is wearing jeans. This implies the make gaze is applied tothis film because this concludes that female characters are sexual objectification.Theories:Claude-Levi-Strauss’s theory of binary opposites has been applied within the film. Forexample, the villain vs. victims shows recognition of good vs. evil, hell vs. heaven; good vs.old, weapons vs. no weapons. The various use of high and low key lighting establishes thebinary opposition of darkness vs. light and evil vs. innocence.Vladimir Propp’s theories of character types that perform a function have been applied. Forexample, a villain has been introduced who slays and slashes victims with his chainsaw: thehelper such as the police officer at the beginning of the film, who tries to confront the villain,consequently becomes the villain’s dead victim.
  7. 7. Sharondeep BachraA2 Media Ms McDonaldCarol J. Clover’s final girl theory is applied throughout the film. For example, towards the endof the film the last girl is standing, this where viewers identify in the film she is sexuallyunavailable, avoids vices-drugs, sex and alcohol connoting she avoids a hedonistic lifestyle.Viewers can also identify that she is intelligent, curious and vigilant. Although, during thefinal scene she un succeeds on surviving, however before this scene the girl is masculinewhere she stabs the villain with a knife in his back and manages to escape out the windowthis signifies phallic appropriation.Laura Mulvey’smale gaze theory is also applied throughout the film. For example, 2 mainfemale characters are portrayed in the film to appear as female sexual objectifications, arevisual pleasures and object of desire for males. This is also shown where 2 females aredressed exposing parts of their body’s for example, a blond females boobs are exposed, thelast girl standing belly and back is revealed naked, although her legs are covered by wearingjeans.TzvetanTodorov’s idea of narrative theory of Equilibrium and Disequilibrium has also beenapplied. For example, Equilibrium is revealed as a normal film would start at the beginningrevealing a normal teenage, rebellious life style. However, a disruption of Disequilibrium isrevealed when the villain is introduced to viewers, the stock characters-the teen’s crash in acar this disruptionhas disturbing impact for viewers.Roland Barthes enigma code is depicted where the teen car crash and are held hostage bythe villain and his family, this portrays an element of mystery to entice the audience, thusintriguing them further to questioning them whether the victims will escape the entrapment ofan isolated house and villain, this therefore keeps the viewers engaged within the filmquestioning them further.

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