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A Close Analysis of the Opening to 'Scream'

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The opening to 'Scream' sets the film up for a typical scary movie with the use of dark lighting, a night-time setting and the main character all on their own. Many other aspects of the clip such as camera shots and background music create a mysterious atmosphere, and an unnerving sensation that something is going to go wrong. The setting of the film is in a family home. This creates a comfortable setting to give the shock a bigger impact as well as creating an irony around the idea of being in the comfort of your own home and later being killed in it. The main rooms used in the opening are the typical family rooms of a house, the kitchen and living room, which tie in with the irony again. The scenes are set in the nighttime to give an impression of mystery and a sinister atmosphere. The lighting in the rooms is also quite dark and there is a lot of use of shadow and low lights to create this mood. ...read more.


By doing this, the director sets up a typical and natural image of someone doing day-to-day things in their house, which creates a greater impact when the violence and terror begins. The popcorn suggests that she may be settling down to watch a film and perhaps this could be a scary one as she tells the man on the phone later that she enjoys watching them. The voice of the villainous character is very husky, which suggests to the viewer that he is scary and mysterious, giving them an unsettling feeling. We do not get any images for this man until later on in the clip, leaving the viewer to base their interpretations of him solely on his voice. Once the voice on the phone begins shouting at Barrymore in a violent manner, some non-diagetic, dramatic music starts to play to entice the viewer and imply that things in the film are about to get bad. The camera gets a close-up of the girls face to focus on her scared facial expressions, helping the viewer to understand her emotions and begin to feel them too. ...read more.


While the girl is being brutally killed, the camera shifts quickly again to give the same effect as before of panic and desperation for her. All the while this is happening, the male character does not speak which is quite ironic considering he kept on wanting to talk to her when they were on the phone to each other. This implies that the murder of this girl is very gruesome and yet he is immune to it all. The clip ends with the teenager's parents coming home to find their house completely chaotic and her daughter hung from a tree that was shown earlier. There is a final scream from the mother as the title 'Scream' comes up on the shot to end the opening and introduce the rest of the film. To conclude, the film shows a dark secluded setting with a girl home alone. This is a good basis for a horror film and the build up of shock makes the viewer desperate to continue with the film, while also being so frightened that part of them wants to turn it off. Demi Shorten Media ...read more.

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