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Suspense Is Crucial In Horror And Thriller Films

1896 words - 8 pages

Suspense is a crucial ingredient in the making of horror and thriller films. The significance of suspense in horror films is to bring out the “twist or unexpected moment of realization that makes someone scream and one's heart race. In the film industry, there are various types of genre, but as different as films may seem, they all have one element that links them all together. That element is known as Mise-en-scene. Mise-en-scene is a French phrase that means “putting into the scene.” Mise-en-scene includes elements such as setting, lighting, costume, and figure movement and expression (acting).

Through the masking of narrative, secret window exposes order and chaos. The use of mise en scene throughout the first scene of ‘Secret Window’ reveals a lot about the main character’s profession and life style. One is brought into the opening scene to learn that he is a writer/author depicted through the busy desk filled with a laptop and other books/journals around it. Secondly, we find the character placed and lying on a sofa instead of a bed which could possibly relate to his current state of mind which may have been affected by previously seeing a woman in bed with another man. The main use of mise en scene used in the opening few minutes of ‘Secret Window’ is when a stranger is seen at the door of the main character’s house. The stranger is wearing a black top hot which suggests that he may bring danger or harm that comes from his mind. By the use of the man wearing a black hat which dominates the majority of his head, it also applies the belief that ‘Secret Window’ is a psychological thriller. Throughout the film, one is under an illusion for the better part of it. Most of what someone hears and sees is through the main characters view point and narration.

The uninvited is a good example of a horror film which uses mise-en-scene to their advantage. The poster is the advertisement of the film, and the use of mise-en-scene was used with the use of props for the window. The window is a good prop to use but it is used mainly to look realistic with the use of fog all over the top. This is a representation of the coldness of the character that is behind the window, and is blurred within the fog. The use of mise-en-scene is also used in the background that you can see behind the window which is of a forest. This is determined by the clustered trees that are crowded behind the character at the front. This is a cliche in horror films as it is a setting that a lot of horror films use, as a forest is a place that has a creepy atmosphere when dark and is a vulnerable place to be, as it is unrecognizable to you. The use of lighting is used to silhouette the character, this makes her the main focus of attraction. It also blocks out any view of anything else behind them and therefore forcing the viewer to look at the character. This is effective in asserting the audience that this is a horror film.The last use of mise-en-scene that is...

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