Thursday, 7 April 2016

JP: Film opening 8 - Halloween (1978)

Director: John Carpenter 
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Producers: Compass International Pictures, Falcon International Productions

Budget: $325k
Boxoffice: $47m

Halloween is a archetype of the horror genre which has inspired many popular films for decades. John Carpenter is credited as the director and creator, meaning he is the Auteur of the film.  John Carpenter's name appears in the title of the film which is significant because from the 1970's - 80's he was mostly known for creating Science fiction and thriller films.
I am analyzing this film because its opening sequence has heavily inspired our short film opening. 
Outlined below are some of the semiotics of Halloween which influenced our film idea. 

While the opening credits roll in, the camera slowly zooms into a jack o' lantern. This connotesthat the movie is taking place in October when halloween is celebrated in North America. The Jack o' lantern is a famous symbol associated with Halloween and families across America carve them out as seasonal decorations. Seeing as the film was released close on October 25th 1978 and only in America, the audience would infer that  this is a horror movie.
during the credits there is non-diegetic
fast paced, ominous music which connotes mystery and suspense. The opening credits are written in orange Serif font on a black background, this makes use of the traditional colors associated with Halloween. The title sequence of the film already depicts an imagery and evokes a feeling of suspense, terror, and fear.
The first scene of the film is a continuous shot that start from a establishing shot of a house and follows the point of view of an observer into a side window where the first two characters are introduced. The opening shot is important because it signifies the perspective of an observer. Halloween is the story about a masked boogey man, thus the introduction of this shot signifies that the story is told from his perspective. This further anchors the horror and creepy elements of the film. The image on the right, as well camera-shake, demonstrates how the perspective of the boogey man, Micheal Myers, is achieved. 

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