Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Stepfather 2009

Suspense is created in 'The Stepfather' from the beginning of the movie. In the opening sequence We hear non-diegetic sounds such as high pitched string instrument along with a piano, which is usually used in horror and thriller films. These
sounds are used throughout the film especially when someone is about to be murdered. Silent night is also played in the background as diegetic music which is a we find out is binary opposition because silent night connotes good where as he is evil. The camera is used to show us close ups of sharp objects in the bathroom; this gives us a sense of curiosity of why they are showing them to us. There are also many wide shots to show us that the house looks normal and that he lives a normal life. The camera then tilts and we see reality of the dead kid on the table.

In the scene when Susan's sister, Jackie, is murdered we get the feeling of suspense. Mise en scene is used to make Jackie stand out. The scene is based during the night with only a little lighting around. Jackie is wearing a bright red jacket
that makes her stand out to the lack of colour around her. Also it makes us focus on her and lets us know something is about to happen to her. I also think the weather plays a big part in this scene. There is a storm which makes the shots look very busy, but just as she pulls the umbrella out of the pool we get a close up and the storm seems to get quieter. This is so when she screams after the camera zooms out we are able to hear it.

Suspense is also created in the scene, and the one that I found most interesting, when the old lady was murdered. In this scene I think the camera shots was quite important here. There were multiple shots used, but the most important shot was the point of view shot. This is when we can see from the characters eyes, which in this scene is David. The point of view shot is very important because it lets us know something that the character doesn't and we know what is about to happen. According to Alfred Hitchcock, one of the best thriller producers, the audience needs to know what is happening or they will not be interested. I agree with this because if I did not know more than the character it would not create any suspense for me and it would not be interesting.

I believe something that is important to have in your thriller, except the point of view shot, is a false plateau. This is when you believe something is about to happen but it doesn't. In 'The Stepfather' false plateau is used when the old woman opens the door and no one is there. You believe when she comes back in and closes the door that David will be there but he is not, instead a cat jumps past the screen. This works well in films because the audience believe they know what is about to happen but they are wrong.

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