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Dead Silence-Opening Sequence Analysis

Dead Silence-Opening Sequence Analysis

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Published by Katie Charman

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Published by: Katie Charman on Jan 03, 2012
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04/05/2013

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Dead SilenceOpening Sequence Analysis

Hannah Burgess, Katie Charman and Lauren Hill

Dead Silence
The film was created in 2007 by director James Wan. The film is based on a folk tale about a Ventriloquist called Mary Shaw who in the 1940s went mad and so got killed by the towns people by having her tongue cut out and then buried with all her hundreds of ventriloquist dolls. In present time- A man called Jamie goes on a hunt to find out more about why there were so many mysterious deaths in the town after his wife mysteriously dies after receiving an anonymous package with a ventriloquist doll inside.

How is the genre of a horror constructed?
‡ By using a black background this generally signifies doom and death which are key points in a horror film . ‡ The use of red (candle and writing) could represent blood which constructs an idea of death which would scare the viewer. ‡ The use of eye contact could create an eerie atmosphere and perhaps make the viewer feel uncomfortable in their own house which is what a horror aims to do.

What do the opening titles show, visually? How is narrative enigma created?
‡ Narrative enigma is created through the lack of information given in the opening sequence. ‡ The first clip gives information about Ventriloquist s which explains the following scenes of dolls being made. ‡ But as the film is a horror, the audience are still unsure as to why the dolls are scary. ‡ No real faces are shown, only pictures which adds tension as no voice is heard through music or the clips.

What is the effect of the music?
‡ The music starts just on a black canvas so we don t know where the film is set or what is going on. ‡ At the start where the words explaining Ventriloquist there is a slight sound in the background which sounds like a projector which makes it feel as though someone is playing the projection behind you, so you are not alone. ‡ The main sequence starts with the lighting of a match which has quite a prominent sound and could startle the audience as we didn t know the sound was coming. ‡ There is the sound of a child s musical box which adds tension as we don t like to think of children being involved in scary situations. ‡ Once the title is shown the music gets much faster and fits with the sudden quicken of pace as the person drawing suddenly starts to jot down more ideas.

How has typography been used?
‡ The writing at the start on the black background is old and gothic which adds to the storyline of the old folk tale. ‡ The red writing could symbolise blood and death and the idea of the writing falling down and leaving marks could represent blood stains. ‡ The title of the film also in red writing- suddenly jumps forward and zooms towards the audience which is done to scare the audience.

How is the mise-en-scene created?

‡ The repetition of the word Perfect 5 times represents the idea that the person making all these dolls is perhaps obsessed or has some sort of disorder which is making them spend this much time on making a doll perfect .

What information is provided in the opening sequence?
1. The fact that the film must have something to do with a Ventriloquist 2. The film is made by universal pictures 3. Who produced the film 4. The films title 5. Main actors 6. Main actresses 7. Main actresses 8. Casting directors 9. Music producers 10. Costume Designers 11. Editor 12. Production designer 13. Director.

How has the sequence been edited?
‡ Fade to black at the start of the sequence to show that it has started. ‡ Justified jump cuts are used as the clips are not continuous however they all make sense as they are about the same person making a doll. ‡ Inserts are used such as the eyeball scene to make the audience focus on this creepy object. ‡ A graphic match is used at the end of the scene where the eye of the doll turns into the sink of the next scene.

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