Gothika Vs.Rosemary's Baby: Creating Tension From The 1960's To The 21st Century..

1799 words - 7 pages

"It's the exploitation of tension, that's what horror is all about. You've got to create a situation that's unbearably tense and the audience knows that something's going to happen. That the guy in the black is suddenly going to leap into the frame. It's a very unifying thing in a cinema" These are the words of Wes Craven, director of the 1984 movie A Nightmare on Elm Street. Maybe it was my mother's negative perception of horror films that deterred me from watching them. Therefore, watching horror films has never been of interest to me. Over the course of the past week I had the opportunity to view two horror movies from different eras and compare their "exploitation of tension." First was Gothika, released in 2003; the second was Rosemary's Baby, released in 1968. Tension was built effectively through music, special effects, and storyline as each film unfolded. True horror fans would enjoy either film, personally I feel Gothika is a must see. Film styles have definitely changed. "Rosemary's Baby", directed by Roman Polanski, relied on building a relationship between the audience and the characters, Mia Farrow played Rosemary, wife of Guy Woodhouse. They moved into an apartment in N.Y.C. formerly occupied by a recently deceased elderly woman. The building had a dark history, unexplainable things happened there. There was an old Leave it to beaver, family quality to the beginning of this film. The movie moved very slow, giving the audience lots of time to get to know the main characters, and their involvement with one another. I think to make the audience comfortable with them, to like them before learning of the misfortune that was about to be bestowed upon Rosemary. Rosemary was a house wife, taking care of things around the house during the day, while Guy was at work. She daydreamed of having his child. Soon after moving in they meet their neighbors, an elderly couple (who were devil worshipers) and would soon prove to be her enemy, using Rosemary to be the mother of Satan's child. Special effects in this movie, for it's time were very impressive. With the use of computer graphics saturating even our everyday view of TV, it was refreshing to see a film that was made almost thirty years ago could amuse and even entertain younger viewers of today. Rosemary was having a nightmare in one scene of the movie; she was being raped by the devil. The costume was very believable, the scales, long fingernails shaped like the toenails of a dog, and his bright cat like eyes, terrifying. There were two different scenes in the movie that took place in the buildings elevator. Even though the elevator did not move, special effects where used to make the elevator look like it was going up. Polanski used a moving projection of a false wall representing the inside of the elevator shaft. One would not notice the effect unless looking for it, other wise it blended into the film well. Most horror movies are flooded with scary music...

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