Saturday, 8 January 2011

How is suspense created in the film you watched in class?

Whilst watching The StepFather, look for a least three suspenseful moments. Least each example like what happens in the scene and what makes it suspenseful.

First example:

when we are introduced to the main character in the bathroom, he showers, shaves himself, and changes his eye contact lenses, once his done the stepfathers appearance changes drastically. He makes his way to the living room and plays silent night on the cd player and the music creates a atmosphere of peace and this links wihe the christmas decorations. He makes peanut butter on toast and pours coffee in his cup and it looks like a normal morning routine in the kitchen. He looks intently at one angel of the screen, bottom left and this is at a close up camera shot for quiet a while. Silent night then changes into a deep loud spiralling trumpet sound which decreases in tempo as the camera angle swifts to the left slowly and Stepfather backs placed to the camera as he walks past a child who seems dead laying on the kitchen table. The audience knows from the beginning that something is going to occur but not sure what it is, the peaceful atmosphere and sence of normality is gone and we realise the dead boy lying on the kitchen table. This build up of peace to reality i believe is very suspenceful and also tricks the audience because they are not aware of the actaul occurance unlike most thrillers where the audience knows the possible threat.

Second example:

There's a false plateau used in the scene in which the old lady answers a door bell. we see an over the head shot of of a presence behind her when she opens the door. she walks on and a cat jumps out at her from an angle and this startles her aswell as the audience, we believe its the person who is lurking around her home but it turns out not to be. Then seconds later her cat hisses at her and runs out of the corner it was hiding from, once the old lady stands up and turns around the Stepfather is infront of her, a quick close up shot of the stepfather is used to mark that he is danger. He hits the old lady then grabs her in a headlock then moments after throws her down the stairs. The audience knows the prominent threat unlike the old lady and this is suspenseful, and the false plateau adds to the suspense until we actually find out who is in the house with her.

Third example:

The scene in which the mother is being chased up the stairs by the Stepfather and locks her self in the bathroom is very suspenseful. He then breaks down the door holding a kitchen knife and the mirror glass on the oposite side of the door smashes, the mother screams and then picks up a broken piece of the mirror glass, the Stepfather enters in and tries to stab her but she acts before him and stabs him on the neck with the mirror piece, he then drop in the tub pulling down the shower curtains and it seem like his dead. The mother walks out of the bathroom and cries in relief, the fast pace music reduces yet rain and thunder is still heard outside, the mommnets after a hand touches her shoulder, she turms around then realises its her son and his gilfriends next to him. The hand on the shoulder section of the scene is shot with a medium close up shot. The audience as well as the mother believe its the stepfather who's hand it is but it turns out to be the son, this part of the scene is very suspenseful.

Aspects in the scene which could inspire your own:

I believe music is a huge influence in creating suspence and can create different themes for a scene, whether it be; fear, threat, calmness, romance, mystery and further on. So i am going to establish a good amount of alternative music in my scene to create tension or calm.  False plateaus could be used in my short scene i believe they are good tools for creating a short burst of adrenaline from the audience as a reaction of shock. The bomb theory is a good tool to use in my short clip, as the audience knows what the characters in the scene dont and this gets the audience involved with the scene and straight away gets them to react.

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