• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast the ways in which the director, Phillip Noyce, creates tension and suspense in the film 'Dead Calm'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Phillip Noyce sustain a sense of fear and suspense in the film 'dead calm'? The film 'dead calm is a dramatic thriller starring Nicole Kidman, Sam Neil, and Billy Zane. It was filmed in 1988 and directed by Australian film maker Phillip Noyce. The director uses various camera angles, sound effects and visual aids to create fear and suspense in this film. Throughout the film there are constant feelings of isolation and helplessness in the vast open ocean, which creates a great sense of suspense and definitely keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat. Surprisingly the film maintains an air of suspense and terror although there are only three central characters in the main body of the film. The film started with John Ingram, and officer in the Australian navy, coming hone for the Christmas holidays only to find that both Rae, his wife, and his 4 year old son Danny have been in a car accident, which resulted in Danny dying on impact, and Rae being seriously injured. With Rae needing a lot of rest and medical treatment, the couple decided to take a sea cruise on their yacht, the 'Saracen'. Little did they know that this cruise would ultimately almost cost them both their lives. Picking up a stranger named 'Hughie' rowing alone on the vast ocean, the Ingram's (Nicole Kidman, Sam Neil) give the man water and a place to stay until they can sail to shore on their yacht. ...read more.

Middle

This suggests she is in control of the situation and has power over him. It also shows that she has hope that she will find john again. She also changes back to a black dressing gown after sleeping with Hughie, which suggests that she feels violated and ashamed at what she has done. The contrasting colours of the two boats also have a strong impact on the visual element. Hughie's ship, the Orpheus is coloured black which suggests elements of danger, death and evil, and that there is nothing good to come from visiting the ship. The Ingram's ship however is coloured white, which reflects their innocence and this also stands for a symbol of hope when Rae is looking for John. The weather in the film also plays a major role in adding tension and creating suspense. At the beginning, you see Rae driving in the car with her son, while there is a storm outside. The fact that it is raining heavily makes the scene tense, and also makes you suspect that something bad is going to happen, which of course It does. There is also an element of chilling music in the background. The title of the film 'Dead Calm' is in a way very ironic, as there is only a small part of the film where the weather is actually dead calm. From when you first see the Ingram's on their boat, until just before Hughie arrives the weather is calm, but once he arrives the weather gradually starts to deteriorate. ...read more.

Conclusion

Other close ups that are used really quite effectively are of the blood dripping from the door, when Rae shoots the dog, and when Hughie jumps out at her and tries to strangle her, as this makes the viewer jump. It is really quite a shocking image, as by this time he is starting to feel the effects of the pills and this makes his body language quite strange. One of the shots that really make the viewer gasp is when Hughie's blood stained hands start to wash Rae's hair as the camera zooms in on his hands, which has a disturbing impact, and this terrifies the viewer. The key scenes in this film are the ones that give the audience a feeling of anxiousness and terror, and give the whole film a disturbing quality. Most of the scenes involve the audience being shocked, such as when the rope swings down at John when he is on the Orpheus and when Hughie jumps out at Rae and tries to strangle her. Overall Phillip Noyce uses many different and effective ways to create tension, suspense and to keep the viewer on the edge of their seat. His wide use of colour aesthetically alerts the viewer to the danger that is apparent in most of the film. The clever use of technical elements like camera angles and music, create the constant effect of fear, and make sure that the viewer never misses a piece of the action. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Task- To discuss how Steven Spielberg uses cinematic techniques in the opening sequence of ...

    4 star(s)

    By not seeing the shark, it triggers our imaginations to think how the shark looks. Compared to the other shark attacks, the first attack lasts considerably longer. Several different camera angles are used to show there is no escape for the girl.

  2. The Whole Town's Sleeping, Lavinia Nebbs

    Lavinia said, looking at ease. "I'm sorry. It's just that-." I stopped. "Lavinia, you know you are the prettiest lady in the town of Illinois?" A shy smile crept up on Lavinia's face. "Ok Tom that's enough. I think you'd better be going home now."

  1. Is Macbeth a dead Butcher?

    She says 'Was the hope drunk' and 'And live a coward in thine own esteem', "Drunk" and "Coward" are both powerful phrases that shows her beliefs that he is backing out because of his own cowardly emotions. She tells him that before she would go back on her own word,

  2. Give a detailed analysis of the film 'The Sandman'

    The camera zooms out to reveal a flight of long and gloomy stairs; ad the high vulnerability and, also, to make the audience think that the young child is diminutive and innocent compared to his surroundings. From just this short scene we can tell that, although they have a relationship,

  1. A FRACTURE IN FICTION

    DAN BROWN Because the changing of this book could change how well it did, which would change my life, my wife's life, my publisher's life, Ron Howard's life-. ROBERT LANGDON Wait did you say Ron Howard? DAN BROWN Yeah the movie came out last year.

  2. Adventure begins here.

    Just the other day I had been kicking over some bins when I had been caught. Other times I was unstoppable, if I saw something valuable in a shop window I would come back later that night and break in.

  1. Hemingway's The Old Man and The Sea - complete set of notes, page by ...

    It's almost as if the fish is showing grief, and is ennobled by his expression of grief. Ultimately, Hemingway makes the connection between the physical beauty of the male marlin ('his lavender wings') and the fish's moral beauty ('he had stayed').

  2. Victorian And Edwardian Stories, Tension

    who read on will find that just because it is a clich� of building up events doesn't mean the stories a clich� as we find out there are different aspects that you can introduce to make it more interesting. Charles Dickens, in all his novels, is very descriptive and imaginative in every aspect.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work