Sunday, 9 October 2011

Analysis of 'Don't be Afraid of the Dark' trailer


The trailer opens with an establishing shot of the exterior of a building, which would have been shot on location. There is a twisted tree in the shot which is iconic of horror films, and foreshadows the terrifying events to come. This opening sets the scene for a horror film and give the audience a clear idea of what to expect. The house used in the trailer, made up of on-location and studio shots, is of a Gothic style and suggests that the film has a dark, gloomy narrative.

The next location featured in the trailer is a dark, dusty basement. A high angle shot is used to inform the audience that this is an fact a basement, however this would most likely be in a studio.  The cobwebs tell the audience that no one has been in the basement for a long time, this also sets the scene for a horror film. 

Dark vents are used throughout the trailer to suggest that something could be hiding inside, this creates a sense of fear and mystery. 


Back lighting is used throughout the trailer to cast shadows, this means that there are areas of the set that the audience are unable to see, leaving them feeling uneasy. At some points in the trailer the shadows appear to move around the room, hinting that a supernatural entity may be present. The darkness in the trailer works in conjunction with the name of the film, 'Don't be Afraid of the Dark' to gives the audience clues regarding the narrative. 


'Don't Be Afraid of the Dark' Trailer Audio

The trailer uses the digetic sound of creaking doors, this is synchronous to the spooky on-screen images, as well as the horror genre itself. At the start of the trailer the non-digetic music is soft and builds anticipation for what is to come. There is a voice-over, which we can also assume comes from some kind of creature or character within the film, says 'come and join us'. This leaves the audience fearing for the main protagonist, a little girl. People may go and see the film to discover whether the little girl makes it to the end alive. At various points throughout the trailer, the music stops, allowing the whispering voice-over to be heard. The music also starts to intensify as the trailer goes on, hinting to the audience that something bad may be about to happen. A character is also heard saying 'this house is unsafe for a child' making the audience worry about the young protagonist. 

Camera Angles

High angle shots are used to infer that some kind of creature is lurking beneath the house. This builds a narrative and installs a feeling of enigma. Extreme close up shots are used on certain objects, for example a man looking through a key hole. This could be a point-of-view shot, suggesting that a creature is looking back at him. The shot is symmetrically framed, giving it prominence and meaning. 


At the start of the trailer the pace of editing is slow inferring that there is a state of equilibrium in accordance with Todorov's theory of narrative. The slow pace of editing at the start of the trailer matches the slow pianistic music. As the trailer becomes more chilling, both the speed of the music and the pace of the editing increase. Towards the end of the trailer jump cuts are used to build tension, they also create a sense of mystery by only giving the audience glimpses of the action. 


The style of font used in the trailer is bold Sans Serif, its white colour stands out on the black background. It appears that shadows have been cast on the text, this works with the tittle of the film and re-enforces that narrative. 

Watch the trailer here:

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