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The Strangers-Trailer

Analysis

• http://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=ZI8VXjJ91No&safe=active

FIRST ACT
3

-The trailer starts with an establishing long shot of what
appears to look like a normal suburban house. The nondiegetic music that begins to play is a calming piano sound.
This sets an uncomfortable tone within the audience as they
are unaware as to what is to come.
- We then see a medium shot of a set dinner table. The fact
that there are roses on the table suggests that it is for a
romantic couple. This portrays Todrov narrative theory as
we are currently seeing the equilibrium stage as all seems
calm and tranquil.

We are then introduced to the first character. The lighting
surrounding the shot of the man lighting the candle is quite
dark. This makes the audience feel slightly apprehensive. This
feeling is stressed when the man lights the candle, as the nondiegetic music stops for a split second. This builds up the theme
of isolation. We are then introduced to the second character.
This suggests to us she is the other partner in the relationship.
The images we see of her are her in a bath and her getting
ready. This conveys that the evening she has planned is a
special occasion.

Various shots are shown of the romantic couple together. There is
a shot reverse shot and an eye line match from the woman to the
man. This shows that they are deeply in love as the proxemics
between the both of them is very close. The trailer does not
straight away express the horror genre, this is effective as it makes
us feel on edge and keeps us intrigued to continue watching. We
see a shot of a wedding ring box which further emphasises how
their love is eternal. This is combined with a voiceover of the man
saying ‘You’re my girl’ representing his loving and protective
nature for her. The audience can relate as this part of the narrative
is something that happens in every day normal life.

-The non-diegetic music suddenly stops and we hear the sound of
a bottle being smashed. All is then disturbed because we see a two
shot of the couple reacting to something bad. The fact that we see
the reaction before the danger itself makes the audience feel
unknown to the situation and fearful towards what is about to be
shown. Furthermore the fact that they are gripping onto each other
shows that all they have is each other.
-A shot is then shown of the room they are in looking abandoned
and empty. This portrays to the audience that they are alone and
no one is there to help them so they are helpless. The non-diegetic
sound being played is the sound of swings moving. This creates
an eerie feel as it suggests someone is outside and lurking around.

SECOND ACT

12

‘What is that?’ voiceover of woman

This is followed by a fade to black which creates a sense of
entrapment. The non-diegetic music then stops and we hear
a voiceover of the woman saying ‘What is that?’
highlighting the unknown and intensifying the mystery.

Text comes up saying ‘Inspired by true events’ however the
text appears to be trapped and completely surrounded by the
darkness around it. This creates a frightful feeling within the
audience as it makes them think that there is no hope. The
text then dissolves into the black screen provoking the idea
that the danger is more powerful than they are. Also the fact
it has been inspired by true events makes the audience feel
weary as to what is going to happen.

The duration of this shot is quite short this creates a sense of
disquietude. It also stresses the foreboding atmosphere being built.
Furthermore it creates an uneasy feeling within the audience as
the swings are moving however there is no one on them for them
to be making the movement. This makes the audience feel anxious
and nervous as they don’t fully know what is going on. Within this
section there are constant fade to blacks after the shots, this
stresses the feeling of the unknown and makes the audience feel
completely trapped in the unsettling house.
We hear the man say ‘It’s ok there’s nothing here’ this almost feels
as if he’s not just reassuring his wife that they are safe but the
audience as well.

THIRD ACT

20

This close-up shot of the woman’s hand about to open the door
makes the audience feel frightened as they do not know what is on
the other side of the door. It strengthens the idea that the couple
are vulnerable to the danger. Furthermore we can relate to the fear
that they are experience as just like them we are unaware as to
what the danger is and where it’s coming from.
-The fact that the text almost looks swallowed in the darkness
stresses the unknown as we can only just about make out what it
is saying. This also suggests that similarly to the danger it is
hiding and taking a slow and fearful approach.

-The long shot of the woman in the room by herself highlights the
isolation being created. Furthermore it creates fear as she is
completely alone and is therefore vulnerable to the situation. We
then see a man in a mask slowly appear behind her however she is
unaware to this. This is the first time we are being introduced to
the danger so this makes us feel incredibly frightful as we are now
aware that there is someone in the house.
- The non-diegetic music completely stops emphasising how she
should not be alone by herself in the house. This then goes to a
sudden fade to black making the audience feel captured in the
danger, furthermore the sound of thud is played to create a sense
of urgency.

A high angle shot is then shown on the woman saying
‘There’s someone out there’ emphasises her panic and
desperation to be free from the situation. It makes the
audience sympathise with her as they question themselves
how fearful they would be if they were in her position. The
non-diegetic music is a lot more quiet to portray the
alarming situation. Almost like evidence, a long shot is
shown of a man in red clothing and wearing a mask. The red
clothing connotes ideas of warning and alarm.

The isolated feeling is even further emphasised as a long
shot is shown of the area outside and a man standing there
staring. This creates a fearful and uneasy feeling within the
audience. A shot is then shown of the same area however no
one is standing there. This is creates a chilling and creepy
atmosphere.

The non-diegetic music completely stops intensifying the
lonely and abandoned feeling being created. However a shot
is then shown of the old fashioned record played beginning
to play. The music has a child-like tone to it. This provokes
an uncomfortable and creepy setting as the audience are
firstly wondering how it started playing and then they are
secondly wondering why the it is that type of music.

A deep focus shot is used to highlight the distress on the
woman’s face. It creates a sense of panic. Moreover the
lighting used is really dark to create an uncomfortable
atmosphere. A shot is shown of the man’s phone in the fire,
highlighting they are both now completely alone and have
no escape. It involves the audience as they now feel helpless
and included in the danger.

The fact that hello has been repeatedly written over the
doors in different sizes implies that they are surrounded by
the threatening people in masks. Moreover it creates an
unsettling feeling within the audience. The quiet atmosphere
is then disturbed by the axe destroying the door. This
portrays the fact they are completely accessible to the
menace. The lighting is dark conveying they are completely
trapped.

-There is then a close up of the music beginning to play. It
is contrapuntal as something very dangerous is taking place
however the music is light-hearted. This creates an eerie
feel.
-We then see a shot of the man and a man in a mask behind
him. The fact that he is unaware that someone is behind him
conveys the underlying despair.

There is then a montage of different violent moving images.
This shows that they are completely trapped and no one is
there to help or save them. A close up shot of the knife
symbolises violence and aggression and suggests that a
murder could take place.

-This shot shows that the danger is no present in front of them are
they are now captured. It suggests that the couple has no hope and
their fate has already been decided. The clothing that the
antagonists are wearing is normal every day clothing which is
ironic as their not typically normal people.
- The ending shot is of a blurry image of a mask surrounded by
complete darkness. This leaves the audience one last time feeling
fearful. Furthermore the text ‘The Strangers’ is written quite small
on the side of the screen when the title is usually shown in big
writing. This suggests an unhappy ending.

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