Sunday, 16 January 2011

Analysing thriller clips for genre: What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath starts of with little opening credits. The distribution company ‘20th Century Fox’ comes up first, followed by the second distribution company, ‘Image Movers.’  After the distribution companies’ non- diegetic music which starts of with a low, slow tone with a faith sound of wind, then builds as it goes along adding more instruments such as strings (which is very a common instrument in this genre because it greats tension and builds suspense), then deep thumping sounds is rhythmatically added in, starts to play The non-diegetic music finishes of with a huddle of faint whispering voices then is cut off. The rest of the opening credits appear against a water surface dark background – foreshadowing the darkness in the film - in a classical white font. The title ‘What Lies Beneath’- the last of the opening credits is shown appearing to be inside of the water, unlike the other opening credits, and so the font appears to be flowing along with the water.
     The music stops at a sudden halt and we are brought into the film with a bird’s eye view close up shot of a lady quickly raising her head out the water, and the with a wide shot establishing the scene of the bathroom, slowing zooms in on her gasping for air while sitting in the bath tub, after seeming to be in some kind of shock.
     The next thing we see she is out of the bath and trying to clear the steam on her bathroom mirror using an electric hair drier. Already we are being warned of danger because we know electricity near water is dangerous. When the blow drier stops working she touches the socket giving her and electric shock. This shock combined with the shock she received when she was raising out the water foreshadows danger and surprise throughout the film, which is typical of a thriller film to leave a lot of hints and foreshowing of upcoming event within the film. The blow drier starts working again ad then the lady then goes back to trying to clear the steam. The camera then moves in a slow pan, slowing letting us see the reflection in the mirror through an over the shoulder shot.
     The clip contains a lot of silence with only non- diegetic music in the opening credits and diegetic sounds, such as her breathing, and the sound of the blow drier. This is common in this genre because the high level of silence blinds suspense. Another technique to build suspense used in this clip and a lot of movies of the same genre is the slow pace. The slow pace contrasts with the multiple quick cuts within the movie giving the audience a shock. An example of this technique in this clip from ‘What Lies Beneath’ is when the slow paced non- diegetic music is suddenly stopped after the opening credits and we brought into the film of with a close- up shot of the lady quickly raising her head out the water.     

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