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Does the opening sequence of Halloween

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Introduction

Does the opening sequence of Halloween establish genre and build up suspense for the audience? The film 'Halloween', directed and produced by John Carpenter, establishes the horror genre and builds suspense through symbolic, written, audio and technical codes and conventions with a number of different factors such as iconography, contact with the audience, characters and setting. The film is based on a six-year-old boy, Michael Myers who murders his sister on Halloween night in Haddonfield, Illinois, 1963. The iconography of the film and horror itself includes innocent victims, blood, darkness, screaming, etc... Characters in the horror genre are usually quite predictable. For example the villain in 'Halloween', Michael Myers, is an outcast to society, this is a typical trait to the horror genre and eventually as the film progresses he is sent to a mental asylum. Another conventional feature of the horror genre is that a lot of low-key lighting and shadows are used; this shows that there is a lot of darkness and mystery associated with the film, this can also attract more of an audience. ...read more.

Middle

This type of shot is usually creepy which gets the audience more involved and also interested in what's going on. The character seems to already be in the front garden and walks towards a white house which looks like a typical setting for horror. The house is surrounded by trees, has the porch light on and a pumpkin on the ledge, this links back to the connotations at the opening credits. One upstairs light is on suggesting that there is one person alone at home. At this moment there is no sound. As the camera gets closer to the door a light goes on a figure walks past behind the curtains. This brings more mystery to the story. The person with the camera as his eyes walks round to the side of the house and looks into a window. The room in view had a few pictures on the wall, was very beige, had a flowery couch with two seemingly innocent teenagers, a boy and a girl, sitting and talking, this also represents the horror genre as in 'someone's going to die!' ...read more.

Conclusion

This also gets the audience even more involved as it is a limited view. The teenage girl seen beforehand with the boy can be seen brushing her hair in a bedroom; this shows even more innocence indicating that she is most likely going to die soon. As the camera, always in 1st person, draw closer to her, clothes can be seen on the wooden floor. The '1st person' approaches her from behind, knife in hand. She turns around startled with a confused look on her face, as horror victims are usually unsuspecting, "Michael" she says. This is probably the Michael that she had mentioned earlier. He raises the hand with the knife in and begins to murder her. This opening sequence of 'Halloween is perfect example of the horror genre. It is very typical and not very unusual. Personally I do not find that many films 'scary' but I believe that this is one of the greatest horror films of all time as it is one of the classics. I also think that it is easy to tell who will be murdered and by whom, right from the start. Fryer ...read more.

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