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How is cinematography used to create atmosphere and effects in

the shower scene of Psycho?


This shot is a close up denoting the showerhead and water rushing
out, it is also a point of view (POV) shot from the victims point of
view. This shot is effective due to the fact it puts the audience in the
victims position making them empathise later on in the scene when
she is attacked. Another reason that the POV shot is effective as its
showing the showerhead which is relatable to the audience as its
an everyday task, this is effective for a thriller as it makes the
audience feel as though this could happen to them whilst in the
comfort of their own home making them feel more anxious whilst
watching. During this shot diegetic sound is used of the water
coming out of the showerhead, this is used to distract the victim
from the killer and make the victim seem more vulnerable to the
audience creating a tense atmosphere. Diegetic is often used in
thrillers in order to
put the audience in
the situation
creating
anticipation. This
shot adheres to the
rule of thirds as the
focus point is in the
middle third.

This is a close up shot denotes the killer. A close up shot is


effectively used to show the murderer as close up shots are
dramatic and makes the audience feel uncomfortable and
disorientated. The mise-en-scene used in this frame is significant as
the prop of the killers knife creates fear and tension for the
audience as the attacker has the potential to kill the victim, without
the use of props this shot wouldnt be as intimidating to the
audience. The lighting used in this shot is also very significant as the
lighting almost uses framing in order to prevent the audience from
seeing certain aspects of the shot, for example the killer has back
lighting on him/her to make the face dark therefore hiding the
killers identity from the audience. This is effective and common of a
thriller film due to the fact that the audience cant see the attacker,
this creates the fear of the unknown for the audience putting them
on edge.

This is an extreme
close up of half of the victims face. Extreme close ups are even
more rarely used than close ups. The effect of an extreme close up
is to make the audience feel claustrophobic and even more
uncomfortable. This shot is also used to shows the subjects
expression in this case we can clearly see just from the mouth that
the victim is distressed and or in pain. The constant use of close ups
in this scene shows the action and reaction of the killer and the
victim. The wide mouth denoted in the shot connotes that the victim
is very shocked and scared due to the reveal of the killer.

This is a
medium high angled shot. High angled shots are used to make a
subject insignificant, in this case the victim is made to look
extremely weak as this is the point that she is being attacked. The
victims movement and gestures in this shot connotes that shes
powerless and frail, this is denoted by her posture in the shot. Her
head is down and shes using both arms to attempt to fight back
against the attacker making the audience empathise with the
victim. The setting of this shot is effective due to the fact that its
relatable to the audience. A bathroom has connotations of security
and safety due to the fact its in the safety of the victims own home.
This makes the victim seem vulnerable to the audience. The editing
used in this
shot is very
fast paced,
this is
effective as it
creates
tension for
the audience.
The mise-enscene of
costume in
this shot is
effective as
shes nude,
this shows
her
vulnerability due to how exposed she is to the attacker.

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