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A comparison of two horror movie trailers - Prom Night and The Orphanage

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A Comparison of Two Horror Film Trailers The purpose of a good horror film trailer is to entertain the viewer and convince them to attend the full length film by whetting their appetite with a brief synopsis of the storyline and showing some of the highlights from the main production. I was impressed by how both trailers had an impact on the viewer and the way they entertained in a short time slot, giving a taster of the full film through the use of a series of quick and exciting sequences. Neither trailer shows the whole narrative of the film, as this would ruin the full screening for the viewer, the whole point of the trailer being to draw you in to see the climax for yourself. Both trailers use enigma codes to good effect by leaving a series of unanswered questions throughout their length. ...read more.


Supernatural overtones are shown and heard throughout the trailer, with windows and doors slamming, ghostly voices and haunting music. The air of menace is built further by the images of a child wearing a strange sack over its face and the distressed mother looking for her lost son. The trailer starts in a state of equilibrium with children playing and enjoying themselves but soon descends into disequilibrium with the images of the strange child and dark, foreboding shots of the passage ways and slamming doors. Rising panic from the mother and the use of searching police officers all add to the air of suspense and rising tension. In 'Prom Night' once again equilibrium is set with teenagers looking forward to a graduation ball, discussing what to wear and all the excitement surrounding the event. The mood continues into the event with dancing, upbeat music and an award ceremony but menace is quickly conveyed by the iconic use of a power cut, flashing images and heartbeat, which bring distress, fear and a sense of evil. ...read more.


'The Orphanage' relies on a supernatural theme to instil a sense of evil, leaving the audience with a number of enigma codes as to what is happening and why. This is further enhanced by using paranormal sounds and actions to build suspense. The characters appear to be a normal family, another iconic image, who have been affected by their surroundings and it is this unnatural atmosphere provided by the house and its isolated location that causes the suspense and tension to grow. In 'Prom Night' the evil is provided by a psychotic killer who is on the loose in a dark hotel and intent on killing one of the students trapped inside. The storyline is much simpler but follows the horror genre by providing enigma codes in not revealing the killer and concentrating on the fear and panic of both of his intended victim and those trying to save her. ...read more.

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