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Influences on my psychological horror film. Donnie Darko and the 'Silent Hill' Playstation game series.

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Introduction

Statement of Intent My intent for this project it to create a psychological horror-themed film. However I am going to try and create a more 'gloomy' story line rather than a 'true' horror film. I am going to attempt to create this buy having the main protagonist always in a dim light and make sure that general atmosphere of the film is gloomy and creepy fell through the entire project. For my film, there are two main influences that I will work from. One is a film, and one is a videogame series. They all share similar styles and themes, which is why I have chosen to use them as influences in my work. Influence 1: Donnie Darko is a 2001 American surrealist psychological thriller film directed and written by Richard Kelly I have chosen this film as one of my influence because of the gloomy effect the entire way through the film. Also the plot of the film is slightly similar to that of mine. ...read more.

Middle

One example is the iconic monster 'Pyramid Head', which is a monster that features a lot in the second game. It is found out towards the end of the game that it is in fact a nightmare version of a painting of a traditional town executioner found in town. This has symbolism because the main character has a desire to be punished that is manifested as Pyramid Head - a monstrous version of an executioner. Mise-en-scene is used very effectively in the first game, with lots of things such as pictures of monsters/origins of monsters scattered around, and many items used in solving puzzles being related to children's books. These all reference the mind of the child from which the nightmare came from. The soundtrack, particularly in the first game, is unique. Instead of using recognisable music, the soundtrack is mostly made up of scraping, squeaking and tapping noises that get louder and more chaotic when tension is meant to build. ...read more.

Conclusion

Finally, the 'camerawork' in the cutscenes, especially the second game, is very good. There is a particularly effective close-up of one character where it shows her face and a knife that she was going to use to kill herself, making both her expression and her intent clear in one shot. Another good piece of 'camerawork' is in a confrontation between two characters where the angle changes rapidly, making the whole thing feel disjointed, unnerving and surreal. My Film: In my film, I am planning to make a psychological horror-drama. I am going to utilise the theme that runs through both my inspirational materials, which is the idea of the past and buried horrors in the mind of an individual surfacing to haunt them. My intention is not so much to shock the audience with these things, but to create a feeling of unease and mystery. As mentioned earlier, to portray the main character's feelings of fear and isolation, I am going to look into the use of restricted lighting, such as torchlight or single areas of light in darkened places to show how the character feels as if they are lost in shadows and all alone. ...read more.

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