Thursday, 26 January 2012

Analysing 'The Roommate' Opening

Unfortunately I cannot find a link to link you to the opening of this film at this current moment as it is only a recent film. It is called 'The Roommate' and is a teen horror film which I will be analysing the opening few minutes only. However, here is a trailer of the film to give you an idea of what it is about.

As soon as the scene starts, in the background we can hear the non diegetic sound of music - an upbeat song to help set the mood as it is fun and exciting. It is not depressing and slow like a usual opening to a horror film. We then see a sun rising above a city followed by an establishing shot of the city, which is unusual for a horror film. After shots of the city, we see long
shots of the beach and signs to help us realise this is set Los Angeles. A sign representing 'University of Southern California' gives us the idea that the film is set in and around events at a University. This is a positive start to the film and gives no ideas that this is a horror movie yet as it so far depicts a chick flick. As with teen horrors, they start positive and end in the style of a horror film.

Then comes the diegetic sounds of cars and voices as the character immediately introduces herself to another character in the shot. We assume this is the main character as the focus is completely on her. As well as the close ups of characters and non diegetic music, the titles appear on the screen displaying the actors involved in the film. They are simple and small but easy to read in the left quartile of the screen to remind the audience of the actors involved. Every professional film has the titles of the actors and producers & directors at the beginning or the end of the film, mainly both.
Whilst the music remains playing, the camera tracks backwards whilst the character walks forward into the corridors of the University. This demonstrates more of a teenage movie as the music is still continually playing in the background whilst the character moves in sync with the music. The mise-en-scene shows a dreary background with grey and brown hallways to show that the University might not be a pleasant place to be in, indicating that the film will come with mystery later on.

The lighting is only natural and coming through the windows, which shows quite a dark atmosphere in corners or the room and highlights the drab furniture that comes with the University. This is usual for a horror film as dark and natural lighting represents a dark story suggesting that life is not all bright and colourful. The following mid shot of the character allows the audience to see she is wearing a plain white top. It then becomes more of a typical teenage movie as the character appears outside with many people passing, still hearing the music and representing the busy everyday lives of teenagers at University.

However, when back in her room, she is sitting quietly on the bed, reading and waiting until someone knocks on the door. This is mysterious as we do not know who is at the door. Could it be her roommate? When she answers the door, we see disappointment cross her face when she sees two girls who invite her to a party. Instead of agreeing to go, she decided she wanted to wait for her roommate, suggesting excitement about wanting to meet her new roommate. But then, she is easily encouraged to go to the party, leaving the room dark, empty and unwelcoming for her new roommate, who later is revealed as a mentally confused character. When more is revealed further on in the film, it brings more mystery and horror as we discover the true events of the life of a teenager.

This opening was interesting, because it barely portrayed a teen horror as the opening was styled like a chick flick. This can be misleading and distance the audience away from a horror, shocking them when horrific events are revealed. It is a very successful and modern film

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