Monday, 1 November 2010

Film Trailer Analysis of The Ring (2002)


The Ring is an American horror movie released in 2002 its sub-genre is Psychological horror, it garnered a positive reception and ultimately did well at the box office, and therefore was granted a sequel (Ring 2) along with a further film entitled Ring 3D (Release date TBC). The Ring has been compared to the sixth sense, a similar Psychological horror film from the 90s. The plot outline revolves around a videotape which is seemingly cursed, and after viewing it a range of random scary events start to occur.
How are the genre and sub-genre signalled?
Right from the start of the trailer the inside of a video recorder is featured, which is considered an everyday object turned into something which could be used negatively in terms of horror. The style of sound is very similar to that of other horror movies. The film trailer has a number of elements that help the audience to identify the genre of film, such as the darkness of the onscreen image, being set during the night, expressions on the child’s face are very neutral and almost sad looking, also the woman who is presumably the mother of the child is looking distraught when the child is watching a video tape which would suggest something bad is related to it. Also at the beggining of the film a woman talks about how after watching a video tape they will die in 7 days, the suggestion of death is another indicator that the film is in fact a horror.

Conventions, Iconography, Actors, & Directors?
Actors typically star in the same genres of films, this being no exception with Naomi Watts who has starred in another Psychological film called Mulholland Drive, although it is specifically a Psychological thriller elements overlap with horror. The director is well known for directing the Pirates of the Caribbean films.The film also starts Martin Henderson who is known for appearing in a number of action films such as Windtalker, and Flyboys, he is however unknown to the horror genre. The conventions used in the trailer include the use of a dark setting, many scenes being set during the night. Sound is heavily depended on in this trailer to create the horror effect, with sudden screaching, and use of people screaming and shouting, the echo type sound used has a demon like quality to it something which may have been seen in other horror films. The iconic use of the child who is innocent but possessed by this spirit to do things, such as the drawings of the ring, also a childs voice is used when the women answers the phone, the idea of using children may be because they are considered innocent, vulnerable, and easily lead. An unkown figure tells the child to draw the drawings, not knowing who this women is means that they could be dangerous or even demonic.

Just like many trailers the speed increases towards the middle end, and so does the music, with the use of an up tempo sound and quick flashes of different scenes relating to the film. The sound used is very electronic and almost as though it might be how spirits or the undead sound. Also a very common feature of trailers in general is the use of a timelapse of clouds moving, with this trailer in particular it is overcast and dark, relating to the feel of the movie.

How is the audience lured in to watch the movie?
The trailer prevents the whole of the films narrative from being revealed, preventing the audience from knowing all of what will happen means that they may wish to find out more, and fill in the blanks. The originality of the story, about a tape which can make people become possessed is one of its main USP's (Unique Selling Points), people who are interested in this genre of horror will genuinley be curious to find out more, such as Who will be possossed, who the women is, what she/it intends to do, and how they will combat it. This is usual for more questions than answers to be given in the trailer because at the end of the day this is a promotional material used entice an audience in to buy a product.

What is the trailers narrative structure?
The trailer itself does not appear to be in the same chronological order as what the film possibly is, scenes are mixed, to possibly confuse the audience or lure them in to view the film, by wanting to find out what happens.

The trailer starts of with a woman disscussing the idea about the tape which kills you when you watch it, this remark is likely to be near the beggining of the actual film as it informs the audience about the tape which will be the focal point of the trailer. It then seems to skip to a scene between a boy and another figure, possibly a women, as it is not really suggested this particular scene could be in the middle or even towards the end of the film.

Half-way through the trailer the idea mentioned by the women at the begginging about a tape which when watch leads to a phone call is then created when the main female cast member watches the tapes and then receives a phone call which says she has 7 days, possibly left to live, this then happens again after the male cast member watches the tape.

The issue with the young child and the disturbing drawings is then covered, a woman is then mentioned to be the culprit although no details about the woman are mentioned. A fast montage of edits in the shown towards then end, with split second fuzzy clips from what is likely to be the video tape, these clips may play on peoples unconcious, increasing the scare factor.

Which elements of the movies narrative are revealed?
The elements of the narrative which are revealed are rather limited however it is clear that there is a woman a boy and a man as the central characters, just from studying the trailer the main target or the vulnerable and effected person in this trailer is the child who also watched the tape, the child then begins to behave differently by drawing disturbing images including the repeating the image of the Ring. How the tape is used by the possible spirit is also revealed, although it is not clear who or what this creature is. Also a few clips suggest woman is on some sort of mission regarding the ring, where a black horse also plays a pivotal role.

How are the following used for effect and to create meaning?

Sound: Echoing electronic music which is muffled slightly creates the feeling of uneasiness, and puts the audience on edge. Diegetic sound is used considerably to explain certain elements of the film which may be difficult to show visually, they offer an insight into the characters and what they may be going through emotionally.

Setting: Locations used a rather isolated, such as the home environment but also at the end when the women is in what looks like an island, suggesting that she is on her own- no one to help.

Hair: The hair of most the characters does not change throughout the trailer, however the womans her towards the end looks more out of place, and unstyled, this likely suggests how possibly the issue surrounding the tape has worn her out.

Camera: A close up of the character talking at the beggining is used to show how they are serious about what they are saying convincing the audience to. Other close-ups are used to show the expressions on the woman's face, varying from concern to distress, panic and shock. Zooming in on objects such as the phone let the audience know that this is where they should be looking and that it may be a possible concern, a zoom is also used on the bookshelf where the tape sits.
Props: Props used are: 
Video Tape: The source of everything which happens in the film (creates the narrative).
TV: To show the tape on.
Phone: Used to make the call to person who watches the tape, a wirless handset and wired phone are used.
Make-up: The actors in the trailer appear to look very white throughout, as commonly shown in horror films, to possibly visually show the characters panic.

Expressions: Expressions vary; shock, seriousness, panic, neutral, concern, and fear are all the different types of expression used in the film trailer.

Costumes: As the woman appears to become increasingly involved in the films narrative towards the middle her clothes are more casual and ragged, suggesting that she has been through something tough or demanding.

Lighting: Although daylight scenes do feature in the trailer they have also tried to be kept dark in keeping with the codes and conventions, only dull days feature in the film with no overuse of lighting.

Speed & Style of editing: Editing speed increases as the trailer proggresses and as the audience become slightly more aware of what is happening, on this trailer, like many, the ending clips are a random series of events which provide a teaser of what is in the bulk of the film.

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