The first trailer I have analysed is the saw trailer which was released fall 2004.
The trailer starts off with flashes, which represents the male character in the film taking photographs. However, the trailer starts off in the dark which is a typical mise-en-scene to horror films. The male character starts to say “is anyone there” which makes him look vulnerable as he is by himself in the dark. Once that has been said and another flash goes off, a creepy laugh is heard echoing in the background, you can hear it but you can’t see where it is coming from, once again a typical convention within horror trailers as it is building up suspense for the audience. The male character looks shocked and scared once the creepy laugh is heard as he shows a reaction looking terrified as he turns around; this once again makes him look vulnerable putting him in the spotlight to be a victim. The killers face then appears up close on the screen as the victim starts to scream, this is quite jumpy for the audience possibly attracting them to the film. You then will be able to see the opening credits which in this case are lions gate and twisted pictures.
Once the credits have finished, you then see the beginning of the film, this creates effect to the audience as the editing shows quick flashing snaps, and this will create suspense as it is only showing short parts of the clips. The mise-en-scene at this part of the trailer is quite light, however, it shows where the victims are in a creepy shower room that looks as though it has been abandoned for quite some time. Even though it is light, it still keeps up that scary atmosphere as it is showing the location. A Television screen is then shown with the killer “Jigsaw” on the screen. Once again this is short and snappy still creating the suspense. The voice of “Jigsaw” is then played which is deep and whispery.
This also gives a scary effect to the film as it’s a distorted voice and the victims don’t know where it’s coming from. There is a fast camera shot on pinned up newspaper articles showing articles based on the killer “jigsaw” this could possibly create an effect as it is showing the audience that he has had committed murder in the past, building up suspense towards them. There is also a vice over which says his name “jigsaw” showing he is a well know murderer. There is then a faded shot onto a male character behind barbed wire, the voice over heard is from the murderer “Jigsaw” telling the victim what to do. The mise-en-scene at this particular scene is dark and gloomy slowly fading out creating an effect. A black and white shot is then showing making it look as though someone is watching through a video camera. Victims are then shown chained up in a room talking about the murderer. A voice over from “jigsaw” is then heard giving the male character a proposition or someone close to him will be killed.
Once again, the mise-en-scene in this scene is bright, however, it keeps up the creepy effect due to the proposition made by the murderer. The murderer is then shown as a dark figure in the distance, in a gloomy place. This builds up suspense as you can’t see the figures face. The male characters voice is then heard about jigsaw putting a twist upon the story as he states that the killer actually doesn’t murder the victims. Text is then flashed upon the screen showing words such as “madman” giving an effect on the audience making them fell as though they want to see the film. The voice over explains why he captured the victims in the first place. There are then flash shots of victims showing parts of the film to give rough idea to the audience. Shots shown in the shower room are quite light to show what is happening with the victims. However, other shots throughout the film are quite dark and gloomy, these are common features within a horror film. Near the end music starts to build up which will create suspense to the audience thinking something big is going to happen. At the end of the trailer, faster flashes and shots are shown, representing that something is about to happen.
Creepy music is then played at the end while the name of the film “Saw” appears on the screen in misty, fainted writing creating a scary effect. A voice over is then said at the end “make your choice” which also could be aimed at the audience, whether they make the choice to see the film or not.
The second trailer I have chosen to analyse is The Descent.At the beginning of the trailer, the credits appear on the screen, which in this case is lions gate film. The camera then flashes on to a bunch of young women grouped together taking a photograph. The mise-en-scene in this particular scene is quite light, and the young women seem quite happy. It then flashes onto a dark screen, cutting to the women driving in a car, talking about being lost. This is a common convention in horror films as vulnerable women seem to be prime victims. They are then seen climbing down into a cave. This scene is one of the last scenes seen in daylight. Next, the women are seen crawling through a tunnel. This is particularly dark and gloomy creating a scary atmosphere.
The woman is then heard shouting “I’m stuck” which automatically shows a bad situation. She then says that she can’t breathe, claustrophobia is then flashed on the screen in light, faded text. Breathing is then heard in the background building up an effect to the audience. Unfortunately, the rocks collapse trapping the vulnerable women in the cave and sadly there is no way out. Disorientation is flashed on the screen, once again in light faded writing creating an effect. Faded music is played in the background keeping up that creepy atmosphere for the audience. You will be able to here a croaking noise in the background which represents that something is there with them.
The women start to panic in the dark as they think someone is there with them. It then flashes to a dark screen with fear written across it, once again this is to create affect and keep the audiences focus. The text “Fear” then starts to shake representing that something has happened in the cave. Shouting is then heard as the women start to panic even more and it begins to become darker. Flashes of light are then shown toward one woman and you see the terrifying monster behind her. This will shock the audience and attract their attention.
It then flashes to a black screen as you hear the women screaming. You then see the monster try to attack a woman in the water. It then goes silent as one women falls and hits her head. They all suspect something is there now and start to panic even more. Text flashes on the screen to advertise the film. The monsters head then appears from underneath the water in the dark, making a scarier effect for the audience.
Clips start to appear on the screen faster and more shots of the monster attacking people are shown. The music starts to become louder and build up to the main parts of the film trailer. A close up shot is then shown on one woman where you see her eyes, this is to show a reaction shot of what she has saw.
At the end of the film trailer the woman are screaming and from a distance in the dark lots of monsters are seen. Most of the scenes in the film trailer are shown in darkness; once again this is a common feature within horror genre.
The descent is then flashed on the screen in white, bright writing. Fast shots are then shown after the name of the film flashes up this is possibly to engage the audience and make them want to see the film, leaving them in suspense.