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How is the genre of horror established in the opening sequence of the lost boys

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Introduction

How is the genre of horror established in the opening sequence of the lost boys? A horror film is one that attempts to make the viewer feel frightened or nervous. One way of doing this that is often used is to make normal things seem strange or fearful. This is done using lighting, camera shots, music and sound effects. They often use Juxtaposition, which is putting two contrasting ideas next to one another, to make the separate ideas seem more extreme. For example, a shot of a peaceful day with a very relaxed tone would cut away to some people being tortured. Another convention of horror films is the use of iconography to signify certain things. An example of how iconography could be used in horror is if a garden is growing well and is full of colour and plants at one point, and when they return to it the garden is dead and all a dull colour such as brown. Colour is used in horror films as well. Black is often used to represent evil and white to represent good. The title 'The Lost Boys' has a double meaning. Its literal meaning is boys who are lost and that also has two significant meanings as lost can mean that they do not know where they are or could mean that they have lost their way in life. The second way the title can be interpreted is an intertextual reference to 'Peter Pan', in which a gang of boys 'The Lost Boys' are searching to find a mother. The actors and director of the film give a clue to what the film could be about. ...read more.

Middle

There are also alarms going off and all of these things combine to suggest that there could be danger and that something is not as it should be. When the camera moves towards the guard at the end of this scene in the carpark, the sound of the guard's footsteps echo unnaturally loudly and this is another effect used to make him seem alone. The sound of bats flapping their wings and squeaking gives an idea as to what the flying creatures could be but there is also the sound of laughing underneath it that could not be created by bats and only by humans, which creates the idea that they could be human bats i.e. vampires. All of this sound is non-diajetic so the viewer can never be sure if their assumptions are correct. Non-diajetic sound is often used in horror films and this is another indicator of genre. The music used from the very beginning helps to set the tone and genre of the film. It opens with a choir of children singing what appears to be the Ten Commandments but the lyrics are actually 'thou shall not feed, thou shall not die, thou shall not cry'. This hints that there could be a religious theme in the film and it also makes it clearer that they could be vampires, as the commandments are those that could apply to vampires. There is also music used in the scene by the carousel. The music used is similar to that which would normally be played at a carousel but is slightly muffled and dulled to make the scene seem more surreal and add to the strangeness of the scene. There is not much dialogue in the first section but there is some. ...read more.

Conclusion

One of the boys asks 'if he is really dead can we leave?' and that makes us realise that they do not want to be there. The clothes and way shots are organised help develop the characters. The boys at the start are all wearing dark clothing and have strange haircuts. The clothing would traditionally put them on the bad side in a horror film and the hair makes them seem different from normal people and rebellious. The clothing worn by the family in the car is bright and colourful and also a more normal style. The bright colours would put them on the side of good and because it is all normal clothing it helps the audience to identify with the characters. When it moves through the mid-shots of strange people it makes the viewer think that they will probably not appear again as they are all put together in rapid succession. As they drive up to the house there are a lot of strange things hanging up such as strange dead animals and wind chimes. The camera does not focus in on these separately as they are not too important but their presence makes the viewer think that the old man could be a fun character before they have even seen him. It also builds up the spooky atmosphere of the place and makes it seem as though nowhere there is normal. The director in this film has used many techniques to establish that 'The Lost Boys' is a horror film. These include the use of lighting, mise-en-scene and music. These and many more devices help to develop the genre of horror in the opening sequence of 'The Lost Boys'. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sammy Alkhalaf Lost boys Essay 5/5/2007 ...read more.

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