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Psycho

Analysis of trailer- Film Noir

Introduction of characters

This is the first introduction of the protagonist, Marion Crane that the audience sees. This close up of her sets the horror tone as her white shadowed face contrasts the black background- symbolising her vulnerability amongst the horror and the beginning of the terror. The shadows are also key in a film noir film and create a more sinister, uncertain tone.

Typography
The audience is introduced to the typography very early in the film, as the modern trailer focuses on the classic context of the film.

The text itself unfolds in a peculiar, striped style- alluding the entrapment of the protagonist and her imprisonment in the motel. The non-diegetic soundtrack also sets the theme of entrapment as it changes into a sudden, staccato note, decreasing the previous noise of the rain.

The sound bridge of Marion saying Do you have a vacancy? over this screen of text is unnerving as the word nightmare is associated with her question. This forebodes a sense of danger and forces the audience to question what will become of the woman, if she stays at the motel.

Throughout these clips, the sound of the rain continues and subtly suggests a mysterious character will be introduced.

The second character of the proprietor Norman Bates is seen to be inviting the woman to stay. However, the sound bridge of him telling the woman to stay is heard throughout a black screen- reinforcing the idea of danger at this particular setting.

Relationship between characters

An unnerving relationship between these two protagonists begins to be evident as the non diegetic soundtrack decreases in volume and only a very faint sound of rain can be heard. This immediately introduces the horror genre as in a typical film noir, or horror scenes take place when the setting itself has liminal volumeresulting in an uneasy feeling amongst the audience.

The use of Close Ups


Then follows two close ups of symbolic objects within the film, that to some extent, complete the narrative. The audience first sees the extreme close up of the watchful eye- assumingly spying on the protagonist- Marion. This is more personal for the audience as it positions them on the same level as the killer.

Following this, is a close up of the shower itself. This object is key within the film and suggests the cause of death. The amplified noise of the running water heightens the suspense seen in film noir and therefore connotes the horror genre.

These close ups adhere to the horror genre as they immediately fit a sense of violence and death. Each of these shots is followed by a black screen which connotes the distortion of the plot and the safety of the protagonist. All non diegetic noises are amplified throughout these clips- thus heightening the fear in the audience and the killing of the character.

Graphic Match

The continuing short, staccato clips of the murder is followed by this image of the running water flowing down the drain. The close up on this object is reminiscent of the victims eye, which is also graphically matched in the film. This emphasises the down fall of the character and her ultimate doom.

The Revelation of the Killer

These last two scenes of the trailer create the climactic moment. As the male looks straight into the camera, an unnerving feeling is created amongst the audience and it is suggested that he is the killer. As his close up is followed by the title of the film and the introduction of the colour red (not previously seen) the theme of murder is heightened and associated with that one character.

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