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Saturday, 22 January 2011

TW - Deconstruction Of The Film 'Halloween'

Year Of Release: 1978
Director: John Carpenter
Budget: $320,000 (estimated)
Gross/ Box Office: $47m (USA), $60m (Worldwide)

Opening Scene

The film Halloween is another inspirational classic in the slasher genre and contains many of it's genres usual conventions. This film sparked in total 11 more films in the forms of sequels, remakes and even documentaries.

The credits that open the film set the tone for what is a film that could easily be have been a real event. An eerie score that is reminiscent of the music used in the film 'The Exorcist'  can be heard whilst the only form of lighting is from a dimly lit pumpkin, with a creepy smile that suggests to the audience this film will not be a family film.

The opening scene could easily be considered as a prologue in many ways due to the fact the rest of the film is set some years later, and the story is based on these events.

After a fade to black from the credits, the film begins. The opening scene is basically one whole shot, with a continuous P-O-V perspective. This angle gives the audience a sense of uneasiness and unbalance, which could represent the killer's state of mind. The unbalance continues as the unidentified killer stalks the house which can be seen (This house also further represents the type of isolation we would like to incorporate in our production). As the killer gets closer 2 people can be seen through the window and begin to engage in some sexual activity. Before they go upstairs, it can be noted that the girl, who is revealed to be the killer's sister, say 'Michael is around somewhere' which, again, gives the audience more mystery to worry about.

                                    (The House Used In The Opening Scene Of Halloween)

A light goes off upstairs indicating the 2 are now engaging in sexual activity and this is when the killer strikes. He sneaks in through an open window, and picks out a knife from a kitchen drawer, and a key point is that the killer knows exactly where to look for the knife. He then wanders upstairs, whilst briefly stopping as the man leaves the house, not noticing the killer in a room close to the door. The killer then progresses up the stairs, and picks up a mask from a room with a lot of toys in(possibly Michael's) and puts it on.This changes the view the audience gets to through the eye-holes of the mask. He then goes into the girl's room slowly, and proceeds to stand behind her. The girl turns and questions the killer with the single word 'Michael?' before the killer unleashes repetitive stabs to her with the knife. This is a key convention as the girl is effectively being punished for performing sexual activity, a common convention being used.

The killer then exits before running into 2 people just exiting a car. The killer is unmasked as the camera changes to a mid shot of the child, and is revealed to be Michael as the camera slowly rises up and widens the view to show a quiet neighbourhood with both Michael's parents staring at him.

A key point of inspiration our group can take from this film is the sense of isolation the house is given due to no non-diegetic sounds being used, and not a lot diegetic sound is needed, giving the audience a sense that they are on their own.

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