'The Messengers' Analysis


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'The Messengers' Analysis

  1. 1. The Messengers Film Trailer Analysis
  2. 2. Camerawork Tracking – The camera, positioned behind the child, follows the toy the child is following. This creates the impression that the boy is being lured into the dark room we can see in the background. As a result, the feeling of tension rises in the audience as they anticipate whatever is in the room. Dark rooms are also a stereotypical element used in thrillers as whatever is inside them remains a mystery to the audience, forcing them into using their imagination. Tracking Long-shot – This type of shot shows the isolation of the setting; again, isolated areas are a commonly used location for thrillers/ghost-based films. The long shot demonstrates that the characters are alone and far from help should they need it. Long-shot Two-shot – The two-shot here shows a confrontation between the two parents and their teenage daughter, who has been victim to attack from one of the ghosts. Because of this confrontation, it gives the impression that the children have to ‘fight’ the ghosts without the aid of their parents, resulting in more tension in the audience (as children are more naïve and unwise. The film is also aimed at an audience that would be able to relate to the confrontation between parent and child, so it makes the film more appealing. Two-shot
  3. 3. Editing Cutting – Cutting is a convention of film trailers and is the most frequently used editing technique. It has the effect of hinting at plot details, which results in the audience wanting to know what happens in the whole film. It also teases the audience, giving them shots from a large variety of scenes but not explicitly showing what actually happens. This provokes curiosity; the audience again wants to know what is happening and why. The arrangement of cut scenes may add different elements to the trailer, such as humor, however this technique has not been used in The Messengers trailer. Fade – Fades, like cutting, a a common editing technique used in film trailers. They offer a slow progression between shots, building tension in the audience as they anticipate the next scene that slowly appears. The slow progression also mimics the ghostly element to the film as a whole; ghosts fade in and out of vision, just like the shots used in the trailer. Overlay – This technique links two scenes together. In this example, a newspaper extract has been laid over a shot of a forested area that has been cut-off with police tape, indicating it is/has been a crime scene. The title of the newspaper extract says ‘Vanished Without A Trace’ – this creates a sense of mystery and curiosity amongst the audience; it also serves as a clue to the audience that the family that have mysteriously disappeared are the ghosts that haunt the main characters. Overlay
  4. 4. Mise-en-Scene Lighting – The lighting used in this trailer is modally low-key - this creates many shadows so a lot of the scene is hidden; because of this, a sense of fear is formed in the audience as they cannot see what is/isn’t there or what’s coming (which also builds tension). Low-key lighting is very often used in films of this genre for the reason of the amount of tension it builds. Costume – The main characters wear modern clothing, Low-key lighting so it is evident that the film is set in recent times. The ghosts, however, wear clothes that are outdated, showing that they died a long time ago. This, along with the fact that the ghosts aren’t in colour, is a stereotypical factor used in ghost-based films. Make-up:  The make-up on the ghosts is most effective; they appear to have white eyes and very veiny, pale skin – this is to make them look Ghost make-up dead and very haunting to the audience. The fact they have no eyes indicates that they are soul-less (eyes being the ‘window to the soul’), again adding emphasis to the fact that they are dead. The scene with a close-up of the ghost’s face in is very brief and lasts for just a fraction of a second; this adds tension to the audience and also provokes curiosity further; they want to know what they just witnessed.  Make-up is also used to create bruises on the girls arm; this suggests at th ghosts strength and power. It also highlights that they have bad intentions (another stereotype in ghost films) The audience want to know what exactly gave her the bruises and how it happened, so, again, curiosity is generated. Bruising
  5. 5. Sound Voice-over – At the beginning of the trailer, a male voice can be heard explaining that there is ‘evidence to suggest’ that children can witness supernatural occurrences with greater ease than adults. This is done to give the audience background information on what the film is about, and so aids their understanding of the film as a whole. Dialogue – The dialogue used in the trailer in extracts from the film also help to tell the storyline. The dialogue content also adds to the impact of the trailer, creating a sense of mystery and fear. For example, the mother says to her child “It’s easy to understand getting scared out here” – this quote makes the audience interested in knowing what they are actually scared of Non-diegetic music - The music used in this film trailer builds tension in the audience. It has a very eerie and haunting sound to it; the typical style of music used In ghost films Sound effects:  Screaming – A highly stereotypical sound used in thrillers, screaming is an obvious indicator of fear. The audience will recognize the scream as a call for help and associate it with terror; they also begin to wonder what the girl is screaming at  Eerie breathing – Heavy or raspy breathing, like screaming, is a very common sound used in ghost films. Because of tis, the audience will associate it with ghosts/the undead, and wonder what supernatural being is featured in the film they are previewing.
  6. 6. Other Conventions Viewing certificates are shown at the beginning of every film trailer to inform the audience of who should be able to watching the trailer. As with all trailers, the producers/ distributors logos are displayed on screen