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Horror Trailers

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Emma French

on 1 October 2013

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Transcript of Horror Trailers

Horror Trailers

Evil Dead

Psycho is a 1960 suspense/horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, the odd owner of a secluded motel, and Janet Leigh as Marion Crane, a secretary on the run after taking $40,000 from a client.
Evil Dead is a 2013 horror film. The fourth film in the 'Evil Dead' franchise and a loose continuation of the previous installments. It stars Jane Levy as Mia Allen, a recovering heroin addict and the victim of a demonic possession called 'The Abomination' which switches bodies throughout.
BBFC Certificate
BBFC Certificate
The trailer begins with the Bernard Herrmann track 'The Murder', made famous by Psycho's violent shower scene. This music is very sudden and can instantly create scares with it's jumpy screeches.
When Psycho was first released in 1960, it was cut for an 'X' certificate. This was a certification used from 1951 until 1970. Films of this certificate were suitable for people aged 16 and above and was the highest certification that a film could get. It was compulsory and replaced the 1932-1951 'H' certificate which stood for any film of the 'Horror' genre where only people aged 16 and above could view the content.
It received this certificate as the the bathroom scene raised concerns at the BBFC. They requested a list of cuts to be made to the scene including "All shots of her breasts and navel" and "A reduction in the sounds of the attack"
Only after the cuts had been made did the BBFC issue Hitchcock's film the 'X' certificate.
In 1986, the film was released, uncut on video, with a new certificate of '15' which was introduced in 1982, and still stands today.
The music then calms as a narration describing the setting of the film by the director Alfred Hitchcock kicks in with the same track playing in the background. This narration can be both diagetic, and non-diagetic as Hitchcock is looking at the camera, and therefore the audience to begin with. However, about 3 seconds into his on-screen narration, the camera cuts to show clips of the film whilst he is still talking. The music continuing in the background has subtly changed and is now more of a calm piece of music, however still disturbing in conjunction with the narration still taking place describing Bates Motel as being "The scene of a crime".
It is here that Hitchcock's narration ends. The soft string music continues playing as we see many clips from the film. 40 seconds into the trailer, the music builds rapidly and becomes more fast paced. This could possibly build tension and raise suspicion as to what happens next. The sudden switch from slower to faster music could signify a sudden change in plot because as the music changes, so do the type of clips used from the film which mainly focus on one specific character. As the music slows again we see a body being dragged out of a room. The type of music used in this section could be described as mysterious. It is not giving anything away, just raising suspicion.
The music again builds up and continues to gain power until we see the title of the film come onto the screen with a loud and sudden crash. Along with the music constantly intensifying, the clips shown also get more and more vivid with lots of fast paced movements from the actors and quick jump cuts.
The music fits in very well with the opening as they show the scene that the music is accompanied by in the film itself and therefore, is described as 'Pleonastic'.
Finally we hear a female talk. It is unclear whether this dialogue is diagetic or non-diagetic as it is spoken over a black screen. However, we then see Norman, staring
directly at the audience, perhaps suggesting something deeper, but also creating
more mystery and suspicion.
The trailer begins with what looks to be a murder taking place by a shadowed fugure with a large knife.
We then see 'Bates Motel' in the rain as we hear a narration by Alfred Hitchcock. He describes the setting and that a crime happened there,
Next, we see her checking into the motel and meeting a male character who also is unnamed throughout the trailer.
validating the attack shown at the beginning. A female character is shown but remains unnamed throughout the trailer. She is seen looking up at a silhouette in the window at the main house at the motel.
The female is seen with another male in a scene which suggests they are romantically attached. An envelope is seen but what is in it is covered over.
We see a man talk about a female running away and as we have only seen one female's face, we wonder if she did make it away, or if something has happened at the motel. The man's voice is heard calling desperately for his mother, suggesting either something has happened to her, or she has done something serious.
The female says "Am I acting as if there's something wrong?" after we see a policeman talk to her. This could give the audience different impressions as to whether she is innocent or has done something that she is 'trying to break from her trap' for.
A body is seen being dragged from a room. The face of the body is hidden, as is the person dragging it, drawing mystery to the audience as to who it is and who is dragging it.
A car is seen sinking, raising suspicion as to why.
Next we see the male at the hotel talk about his mother, introducing another character.
We hear "We're all in our private traps. Clamped in them." and a suitcase is seen being packed. This could suggest a character is trying to break out of theirs.
The male is finally seen at the end smiling manically into the camera suggesting he isn't the seemingly good-guy that was shown throughout the trailer. This leaves mystery with the audience.
"Why she wouldn't even harm a fly" is said by a female over a black screen, however, the audience won't know who's voice it is.
Next, as the'Psycho' title is shown, splats of blood go on the picture, showing the element of horror.
He then says "It's not as if she were a maniac", then the camera cuts to him running to a room and his hands covered in blood. We also see a knife plunging down and the back of someone sitting down. He then says "She just goes a little mad sometimes". This suggestshe is talking about the Mother and she did do something in a 'mad' rage.
The male asks what the female is running away from, validating that she is the one who has run away.
Short Summary of Narrative
This looks to be a film about a woman who, whilst trying to run away from trouble, stays at a very quiet Motel owned by a man who looks after his mother. A murder happens at the motel, but it is unclear as to who it was committed by, or who the victim was. The woman has gone missing and the police are searching for her.
camera jump cuts between shots of Marion's death scene.
To begin with, we can see bright flashes as the
Next we see the use of 'Chiaroscuro' lighting as the silhouette
of somebody holding a knife is shown in front of a very bright background. The shot cuts to black and fades out to show the Motel. The lighting in this shot is Low-Key.
As the narration by Hitchcock begins, the light is bright and so is High-Key.
In the show where we see Marion looking up towards the house, Low-Key lighting is again used. As we see what she is looking up at, Chiaroscuro is again used to define the silhouette seen passing the window.
The use of Natural Lighting is used often throughout the trailer to show the scenes in which regular or day-time situations are taking place. For example, in the scene where we see Marion meeting Norman for the first time when asking about vacancies, the lighting matches what you would see in any other room in everyday life. This can give the illusion that this is just another motel and that all is natural.
Whenever we see the main house, the lighting is always very very dark. The main focus is on the house, however, with the night sky being the brighter area, and the windows being the only source of light, this would be between Chiaroscuro and Low-Key.
Next we see Norman in Low-Key lighting, then immediately after in High-Key. This could signify that he has two sides. A kind side which the High-Key signifies, and a dark side which the Low-Key signifies.
These lighting types are used throughout and at the end we see Norman in very High-Key lighting.
Target Audience
people aged between 17-26 and of both sexes.
Psycho was intended for
People of this age could be
described as curious, so when the
film was being advertised, the tag
line was "An altogether different screen excitement!". This could draw attention from the curious, looking for
a new thrill.
This genre has always
appealed to the teen/young adult age group as scenes of violence and fast paced action are big sellers in the film industry.
It introduces mystery, plot twists, crime, blood and violence. This made a big impact on the intended target audience, and all ages around it with it being a classic film even today.
I think the target
audience would best suit
people from 16 to 35 and of both sexes.
I chose this target age as nowadays, the age of people interested in the horror genre has gone up with a much wider audience. The themes shown in Psycho still interest, and are still very big today.
I think that male audience would favour this as violence, a female who in some scenes isnt wearing many clothes, and crime are all shown.
The female audience would like this as there is a strong female character, even though she meets her end early on, the gore isn't overpowering, and the storyline is very gripping.
The plot twist presented provides a big shock factor and both audiences will
be happily surprised.
Codes and Conventions
Binary Oppositions (Good+Evil)
Quiet, secluded settings
A protagonist
An antagonist
Many deaths
A plot twist
The hero either stays alive to the end or dies towards the end
The villain is defeated or kills everyone and carries on after the film ends
The psycho trailer includes a
death, criminal behavior, a quiet
setting, and a protagonist. An
antagonist is not depicted in the
trailer as Hitchcock's idea was to
keep the plot a secret until the
public had seen it.
Binary oppositions are not shown in the
trailer. They can only be identified by
seeing the film in full.
The Psycho trailer shows one murder taking place. No plot twist is revealed,
and neither a hero or villain can be identified.
This shows the amount of difference in the sort of things allowed in films now, to what needed to be cut from Psycho. Psycho was required to cut most of Marion's death scene, even though very little nudity was shown. However, though Evil Dead includes mutilation, and a chainsaw being impaled through a persons head, no cuts needed to be made. This
The BBFC gave Evil Dead a certificate of 18. This film contains strong, bloody violence, and gory horror throughout. There are countless scenes of self-mutilation, demonic possessions, and many uses of bad language. A large portion of this film focuses on pain, injury, blood, and dismemberment- all contributing to the 18 certificate.
Films given a certificate of 18, are so, because of very strong violence, very strong language, and strong themes of horror, which can impact negatively on younger, more suggestible minds.
The BBFC said no cuts needed to be made to this film.
shows how much the audience has changed over the years.
The trailer begins with a rather generic use of
a diagetic rumble of thunder and the splatter of rain. Straight away this sets the mood- dark, gloomy, as if danger is lurking. Many films of this genre begin in the same way, all creating the same effect.
Just as we think the trailer is over, a sudden loud crash is heard. This creates more fear, scares and jumps, and if an audience likes these types of themes, they will be instantly attracted.
We then hear a woman whispering in a worried tone. This, along with what she is saying, suggests a woman is the main focus in this plot. Along with this, we hear a door creaking open. This shows that the film is set in an old house.
Next, Non-Diagetic loud drum crashes are heard along with words appearing on the screen. These sounds can still keep the fear with the viewer as, although the clips shown have stopped, the sudden crashes still warn the viewer of sudden danger.
Next, a non-diagetic, pleonastic piece of music is used quietly as we hear a character reading from a book he found covered in wire. The music is pleonastic because it is very bass-y, and therefore is still setting the mood. If the music was contrapuntal, it would be more upbeat.
The crashes of the drums are heard again along with more text. After more whispering from the female is heard, the music builds up. The music used is jumpy and sudden, creating an atmosphere and drawing the audience in.
After the female talks again, reminding the viewer of a vague plot, over-exaggerated, foley sounds are used as we see a girl running and falling through the woods and being caught by branches. From here, the music builds rapidly and continues to do so, also raising fear and creating scares and jumps from viewers. Every now and then, the music will stop suddenly, and restart less than a second later, creating further jump scares.
A loud Diagetic scream is heard followed by a distorted voice saying the other characters will die. This creates fear and curiosity for the viewer who will wonder how.
The music stops again as we hear a male talking and another character breathing heavily over the top. More foley sounds are used to set the scene and mood. As the title of the film appears on the screen, a female is heard singing in a Contrapuntal, nursery rhyme type of tone. This is fades very suddenly as a whisper. This is ironic as the scene is very bloody and threatening and the rhyme doesn't fit it, but somehow still emphasizes the scene.
The title appears on screen. The possessed girl is seen looking over the trap door. This means the man knew something had changed in her and he had to lock her away. She begins singing a nursery rhyme to another character. The other character runs up from the trap door, however the girl pulls her back down- possibly depicting another death.
The Evil Dead trailer begins with a shot of a rainy forest and an old house in the center of the shot, setting the scene in an old house. Next a scared looking woman is seen whispering to a man asking him to get her away from the house suggesting danger.
An object is shown covered in barbed wire, surrounded by a shotgun and bullets. The wire suggests this needs to be protected and never seen, however, next a man is seen opening it to find a book, then continues to read it.
The text "Comes a new vision" suggests this is a new, never-before-seen film experience.
A girl is seen running through a forest, with the camera tracking in her footsteps. This says she is being chased by something unseen. Shots of the book show satanic images, foreshadowing the force that is thought to be following the girl. As the girl whispers "There was something in the woods", the camera cuts to more tracking shots of her running. This says she is the main character and everything that will happen will be started by her. She is seen falling over, and after more text appears saying "It will consume you" (suggesting Evil), she is seen being tied up by branches and in a sense, being 'consumed'.
The girl is seen screaming, then saying "you are all going to die tonight", introducing a satanic force that has possessed her as she has clearly changed. A man says he read a passage from the book he found and it released something evil. He says this as he is seen injured, suggesting that whatever was released, got to him. The same man says "Why did you do that" to the possessed girl. This say it isnt obvious she is possessed and the force has made her do something bad.
A meat carver is seen and heard- an object often seen in horror films, suggesting that immense gore will be depicted.
The possessed girl is seen driving away, perhaps trying to escape, however a figure is seen, she screams, and crashes. This shows she is being forced to stay at the house.
Someone is seen falling into a trap door, then being sealed in by a male. A man is seen stabbing somebody and a female- possibly the possessed girl is seen looking very different as a result of the possession, looking pale and expressionless.
Fire erupts from the house. This could say the situation has been resolved in this method.
The lighting at the start of this trailer looks very natural, however still gloomy and miserable. This is perfect for showing the type of weather that is going on in this part.

The scene in the bedroom is also naturally lit, but with a warmer glow. This signifies this house could be homely and warm.
When we see the girl asking the man to help her get away, she is darker lit than the man is. This is High-Key lighting. This can show she is the antagonist and he is the protagonist.

Many clips in this trailer look to have natural lighting. Possibly to show that all seems normal, but really there is a lot of danger present.

In the running through the woods scenes, light is more present in the background than in the foreground. This is Low-Key lighing. this can suggest the thing that she is running from is dark and evil and she is trying to run for safety.

These same lighting effects are used throughout. The glows and cold filters are probably added post production, however they are cleveryly used to give elements of comfort, and discomfort.
Shot Summary of Narrative
A group of friends go to a house in the woods for a stay. However they are unaware as one of the friends is attacked by a demonic force as possessed. As she realises something is wrong, she warns a friend and asks him to get her away from the house. He doesnt listen and she becomes fully possessed. The rest of the friends all fall victim to the force and one by one they die.
Target Audience
This film's target audience
was from 18+, male and female ,fans of horror and anyone who is a fan of the
Evil Dead Franchise.
The film favoured well with its target
audience as it fulfilled what the previous
installments of the franchise did- blood,
gore, death, and anything else you'd
expect from a horror film. As a result,
the film gained success and earned
$26 million in it's opening weekend.
Due to this success, another Evil Dead
film has been announced and will be
added to the franchise.
I think this film would best
suit people aged between 18 and
37, with the fans of the original
movies, and would suit more of a
male audience.
18-37 is a suitable age as this is when
gore and horror and thrill seeking is more prominent.
The original fans will want to see if the new installment will live up to it's name and reputation.
I think the male audience will favour this film more because of the amount of pure gore depicted. The female audience would still enjoy, but I think females would more go for the brother/sister story and the final defeat scene.
Codes and Conventions
Strong language
A protagonist
An antagonist
Quiet locale
This works because it is only suggesting blood, gore and horror.
The Evil Dead trailer shows gore, no death, and no strong language.
Blood is seen as the man is shown stabbing somebody but it is very brief. No protagonist is shown, suggesting all characters are good. The antagonist is show as the demon possessing the whispering girl.
This can leave the audience unsuspecting of the amount of violence in the film and can add shock to those who choose to see it.
The trailer shows the quiet location in the woods, setting the scene in the old house that can be seen
A heroic character takes on and defeats the villain
A villain can either kill everyone, or be defeated by one survivor
A close group of victims who each have different character types (e.g. smart, defensive, stuck-up)
One of each of the friends are killed off one by one
One character will survive
Only the villain can be identified in this trailer. The demon possessing the girl appears to be the only force causing the injuries show. We can also see the group of friends. They appear to be close however the character types are not clear.
We see no deaths in this trailer but it is suggested the group will die.
No characters are shown to survive but the point is to not give the whole plot away in the trailer.
In both of these trailers, the character's names are not mentioned.
Both of the settings in these trailers look to be in quiet, very hidden places. This shows that when danger comes, there is nowhere to run.
Only one clear character type can be identified in these trailers. For Psycho, The female is the protagonist, and in Evil Dead, the Demonic force possessing the girl is the antagonist. This can give the audience a chance to decide for themselves who they think is the good/bad character.
The characters that are shown are minimal. This can say the films focus on specific situations in a small group's lives.
The music in both trailers are very different, however the way they are used both create fear, mystery, and jump scares.
The lighting is different in both trailers. Psycho uses a variety of techniques. Evil dead uses mostly natural lighting, with a few other techniques and some post production editing to give the shots a certain feeling.
Both trailers show the weather conditions. Both rainy. This sets an atmosphere and can foreshadow what will happen.
Both trailers show their titles at the very end. This makes the view sit throught he trailer until the very end. This shows what the film includes and the name is straight before the date. This will stick in the mind and attract a more interested audience.
Trailers: Youtube
Age certificate and information: http://www.bbfc.co.uk/case-studies/archive%E2%80%A6-psycho
Reasons Psycho was X/15 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054215/
Psycho Score for 'The Murder' track's use http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psycho_(1960_film)#Score
Info on the Evil Dead Franchise http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Evil_Dead_(franchise)
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