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Question 1:

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Ashley Evans

on 5 May 2015

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Transcript of Question 1:

From our research, we found that one on the themes always explored in the psychological horror films is the creation of of fear through making the viewer uncomfortable. This is done by exposing the psychological and emotional vulnerabilities of the human psyche, e.g. paranoia. This sub genre challenges the conventions of other horror films, as it uses atmosphere and sound to explore the characters fears, rather than creating fear through material things people.
Therefore, we decided to follow this convention, and make our antagonist a very mentally troubled man, who seems like a normal, smart person, but is actually a psychopathic killer.
Genre Conventions
Question 1:
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

We decided to follow many of the regular conventions used in psychological horror films, as it meant that our audience would understand and therefore appreciate and enjoy our film more
Characters/Social Groups
We mostly decided to follow the common character conventions and representations of social groups in our opening. As our antagonist, we created a deranged male killer, who is mentally disturbed, and our victim was a young, attractive female, which are common representations shown through other psychological horror films. For example, The Shining, one of the most famous psychological horror films, uses these representations
Narrative Structure
One of the narrative theories that applied to our opening sequence is Levi-Strauss' binary opposites. This is because we clearly have a conflict between good and evil. As our male, main character is clearly an evil killer, and our protagonist will have to fight against him as the good side to the opposite, which is easily identifiable from our opining sequence, as it clearly shows the man to be a deranged killer.

Also, our opening sequence shows some of Barthes' narrative codes. For example, the hermenutic (enigma) code, as our opening will create questions such as: "Why is he killing these people?", "What will he do next?", "Will he get caught/die?" etc. The audience will want to know the answers, and will watch the rest of the film. Another code we have shown is the Proairetic code, as tension is built through references to murder. For example, the shots f the killer picking up the knife suggests that he is going to kill again, and the audience will want to see if he does
From our research we found that psychological horror films often show their titles over the action that is occuring. E.g:
The Others
The Shining
Silence of the LAmbs
For our opening sequence, we decided to use a low pitch, very atmospheric score, with long notes. this allowed us to create a very creepy atmosphere that accompanies the actions that are occurring in the sequence. However, our research showed that psychological horror films use different types of sound in their opening sequences. For example many films such as the shining are low pitched, whereas some (e.g. The Others), use high pitched music such as a lullaby
We decided to challenge the common conventions when it came to setting/mise-en-scene. This is because most often woodland, schools, hospital or large houses are used to create a sense of isolation from safety. We decided to set our opening in a public toilet. This is because it would be set somewhere where the audience would be familiar with. Therefore there is added fear, as it shows how something as horrible as a horror film situation could happen to them.
IN many sub genres of horror, we found that the knife is a keypiece of iconography, as it represents the close, personal side to the murders that occur in the genre. Therefore, we decided to also make one of our key pieces of iconography a knife, as it is easily recognizable. For examples of horror films where a knife is one of the key props, you can look straight at the slasher films, such as Scream, where in the trailer for Scream 2, you can see multiple instances of a knife being used by the killer.
Scream 2 Trailer
Jacob's Ladder, showing the hallucinations of a Vietnam veteran
The Shining, which shows the killer's mental deterioration into murder
Our Soundtrack
The Others opening, with high pitched 'lullaby'
Our film - 0:09 shows the young female victim.
For our sequence, we decided to challenge this, and placed our titles in separate, black frames to the actual action. This is because we thought that it wouldn't draw the audiences attention away from the events occuring in the sequence, allowing us to successfully build up suspense and create an eerie atmosphere
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