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Media Assignment

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Introduction

Have you ever had the displeasure of feeling as if your every significant move is being closely pursued by someone or something? Well, these two short, nerve-jangling films, released this week, are linked in with that very rhetorical question. The two films revolve around the horror genre and have a knack of engrossing the viewer. The title "The Sandman" hoodwinks the audience straight away as The Sandman is commonly known as the good guy that brings sleep. This assumption turns out to be horribly incorrect. In "The Sandman" we are shown a shot straight away of a hostile world, blowing away any original ideas that the audience may have had. In contrast, the title "The Virus" is more of a venomous unsettling title for a short film, this short film raises a very interesting question, and the plot is very much based on technology, is it a good thing or is it bad? As "The Sandman" begins we are welcomed by orchestral music, which suggests we are looking at a world, already doomed, because of the way in which the orchestral music sounds. Its loud and staccato like, which creates a mood of uncertainty and fear. As "The Sandman" progresses the audience are given the impression that The Sandman isn't so forthcoming, the graphics used to introduce the film rip into the screen, signifying this by generating an aggressive, ruthless atmosphere. ...read more.

Middle

A tall birdlike figure that moves in a crafty, untrustworthy way, with a crescent-shaped face, skinny legs and hands with long fingernails. The Sandman then enters the house without anyone being aware of his presence. What happens next? Watch the film, find out. "The Virus" is a stylish, unusual horror/thriller about victims of a deadly virus caused by a modern reliance on technology. Andrew, the main character, is working late at the office. He receives a blank email from his girlfriend. He then downloads the attachment, which generates a shot from her web cam. He watches the shocking footage unaware that the same destiny awaits him. Both films use a variety of different camera angles and some good visual effects to portray their fascinating storylines. For example, in "The Sandman", as Oscar timidly scurries up the stairs towards his bedroom, his daunting task is emphasized by the clever use of certain camera angles and the use colours that make his pale face and his white clothing stand out against a dark blue disjointed backdrop. All of this highlights the smallness and vulnerability of Oscar. In "The Virus", there is a symbolic use of colour as the dark, dull, grayish colours represent technology's downside. The camera angles used make the viewer seem very much on the outside looking in on the action. ...read more.

Conclusion

"The Sandman" is a short horror film that makes us think back to our childhood, that's why we empathize with Oscar at times. This short film thrives on real life theories; it is its rich film language that gives a somewhat simple storyline, depth and a truly nightmarish edge. Using German Expressionism Paul Berry preys on childhood fears and nightmares. This makes the film very effective. Overall, I gave "The Virus" 8/10, because of its capability to capture a viewer, its ability to keep the audience engrossed and its tendency to raise various justified questions, which have depth and are modern dilemmas. It wasn't perfect as the whole plot could appear to be confusing. I gave "The Sandman" 7/10, its fantastic use of German Expressionism is clinical and the high quality of film is remarkable because the film was made from an insufficient budget (as was "The Virus"). The film was a little disappointing in one aspect, I felt as if it wasn't direct enough it loitered on occasions. To wrap up, both of these films are well worth a watch and they have my invaluable recommendation. They are not only a pleasurable, entertaining watch but have hidden depths for those profound thinkers amongst us that enjoy exposing the views and ideas of the film producers. Joe Tonge ...read more.

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