Monday, 19 October 2015

Film opening 4: The Conjuring (2013)

Director: James Wan

Writers: Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes

Actors: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston 

Production Companies: The Safran Company, New Line Cinema, Evergreen Media Group

Budget: $20.000.000 (estimated) 

Genre: Horror


In 1971, Carolyn and Roger Perron move their family into a farm house and soon strange things start happening around it with escalating terror. In desperation, Carolyn contacts paranormal investigators to examine the house. What they discover is a satanic haunting that is targeting the Perron family wherever they go.


From the beginning on, when the idents of Warner bros appear, the audience are immediately introduced to the genre. Usually the Warner Bros ident is golden with a blue sky in the background. However, in this film, it comes up  with thunder and black clouds in the background. So in this movie, the idents are essential, since they are the ones creating a tension within the audience. 

The new line cinema logo appears in the exact same way and has the same influence on the audience as the Warner Bros. ident. 

While these idents are presented to the audience, there is a non-diegetic music of drums and trumpets. This non-diegetic music is also underlining the scarifying genre. 

In the opening sequence of the movie, which lasts about two minutes, there are no titles or opening credits appearing on screen. The audience is immediately shown an extreme close-up of a blood covered, old doll. The blood and the wide open eyes, suggest that something isn't right and also emphasise on the genre. 


The coloring used for the introduction of the idents, suggest that the genre is going to be horror or thriller. Very often in these specific genre films, the colors grey, red and black are used. The reason for this is because, red could be used to emphasise that blood will be spilt, whereas black and grey are very dark colors that create a dim and gloomy setting with the help of lighting as well.
In the opening sequence of this film, there aren't many symbols that represent the genre of the movie except for the doll. In many horror movies, an old doll, with wide eyes and blood on it's face is used as a symbol for horror. However in this film, we know that the focus will probably be on the doll, since it is the first shot we see. 
There are a few seconds after the idents have appeared where the screen is black and we hear a voice-over of a woman saying:"You will think I am crazy" where upon a male voice-over replies and says:"Tell me everything." We are then introduced to an extreme close-up of a dolls face, and immediately know that something is not right since it's eyes are wide open and it is covered in dirt and blood. 

The mise-en-scene of the doll is very scary and this as well is something emphasising on the genre of the movie.
After the male voice-over has said: "Tell me everything.", we are being told the story of the doll by the woman who says that it had been possessed by a girl named Annabelle. All of this, she is telling two people who sit in front of her and her two friends, which are questioning all three of them out about the doll. Due to this, we could interpret that the two people might be police officers or people investigating on the case.
We are then taken back in time, where the entire story is explained to the audience.

Narrative exposition:

The only theory that can be applied to this movie is Barthes concept of the Narrative Enigma. For example, there is an enigma code, since there are clues being dropped about the doll and what the film will be about. 

1 comment:

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