Sunday, 9 January 2011

How is Suspense created in the Film you watched in Class?

Whilst watching the movie ‘The stepfather’
We had to look for three examples of suspenseful moments.
Example 1:
During the opening sequence we see the man shaving and changing his contacts, which didn’t really seem weird and gave the impression that he was just a normal guy. After he heads downstairs and makes himself some coffee and toast, with some Christmas music playing in the background again nothing weird really stood out. Then the tone of the music becomes slightly darker and the camera tilts to the left and shows us the face of a dead child. Because the beginning was so ordinary and insignificant it was really unexpected and suspenseful and made us ask questions about the guy, who’s acting so calm while surrounded by various dead bodies scattered around the house.

Example 2:
Another suspenseful scene is when the ‘Stepfather’ decides to kill the old woman because she was getting in the way of his plans. While the old woman is talking to her cat the music becomes very sinister and the audience can tell that something bad is about to happen. The woman turns around and we expecting the murderer to be behind her and surprised when a cat jumps out from behind which was very surprising. This lulls us into a false sense of security until the real murderer pops up behind her.  This False Plateau is a great way of creating suspense and is generally unexpected.

Example 3:
When Michael and his girlfriend start to search the ‘stepfathers’ room and we see in a different clip that the stepfather is returning home while the other two are unaware. This technique is known as Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Bomb Theory’ where the audience knows something that the characters don’t. We get the feeling that something bad is going to happen and Michael will get caught. As the stepfather searches the house he sees the hanger in the wardrobe moving and we immediately think that Michael and Kelly are in there until we hear them laughing and see that they are back in the pool.

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