The Creation Of Suspense In Different Film Genres

2875 words - 12 pages

The Creation of Suspense in Different Film Genres

We humans demand a lot nowadays where a film is concerned. No longer
do we want simple, traditional storylines (well at least I don’t!),
but instead we expect big explosions, top-notch special effects and
quality acting. Film directors have a tough task keeping its audience
happy; however the more suspense they create in their films, the more
appreciative we will be of it. A classic horror or an intense thriller
tends to leave us all on the edge of our seats and this is how
suspense affects viewers; what will happen next? This is the only
question we want to know the outcome of.

I have decided to study three different genres for this article: an
animation, a sci-fi thriller and a late western. All three have many
elements of suspense in them, some more obvious than others and are
portrayed under these ideas:

* Chicken Run- The Escape

* The Matrix- The Chase

* Unforgiven- The Shoot-Out


‘Chicken Run’ is a witty parody which takes the clear set of
conventions from ‘The Great Escape,’ but uses them to form comical
moments and to keep the young audience glued to their sets! Directed
by Nick Park, the plot is set at a repressive chicken farm, where
Ginger and her friends decide to rebel against the evil Mr. and Mrs
Tweedy, in order to escape from certain death.

The very first scene immediately introduces symbolism. You see the
image of the moon as symbolising freedom and hope, but as the camera
pans down you sense the contrast and harsh reality of the chicken
world. An image of barbed wire comes into focus encapsulating ideas of
imprisonment and enclosure. We see Mr Tweedy’s hand securing a padlock
and chain, to ensure all the chickens remain confined. This tyrannical
behaviour rather instantly makes us realise the cruelty of the Tweedy
regime and how it affects the poor, helpless chickens. The severe
setting and the fact that its night-time, adds to the suspense and
melodrama of the scene. One point worth noting in this opening
sequence is of the soundtrack; it’s of a frantic and regimental style,
re-inforcing the ideas about this particular setting.

Ginger however, is a wily-ol’ character and has cunning plans to
destroy the Tweedy’s long term dreams in business. The following shot
of interest is mainly shrouded in darkness. We partly see Ginger’s
foot, sensing that she is up to something The suspense in this is that
we are being denied information or an outcome caused by Ginger’s
actions. Low and behold Ginger is again trying to escape, this time by
crawling under the barbed wire, with the humour being that it was just
via the help of a metal spoon and not some of the members of her
clueless crew. Ginger tries really hard to free herself, but every
time she ends up in the coal bin.


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