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"The Others". Through close observation of Alejandro Amenabars direction, discuss how cinematography, characterisation, setting and narrative sequence help build suspense throughout.

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´╗┐The others (2001) has been described as a physiological horror that sustains suspense until the final resolution. Through close observation of Alejandro Amenabar?s direction, discuss how cinematography, characterisation, setting and narrative sequence help build suspense throughout. In this movie, the director maintains suspense from the opening sequence to right through to the final resolution, the main reason for this being that it is a physiological horror film. The horror is shown through the movie with supernatural events happening. Also the environment is covered with mist and is in an isolated area, which makes you think that something out of the ordinary could just appear from the shadows. In addition to this, Grace?s children are allergic to the light as they have a special condition. So the curtains are closed most of the time making the scene dark, meaning that the unexpected could happen at any time. He is able to maintain the suspense by using effective methods and devices and the development of the plot which leads to the final climax. I am going to show how the film creates suspense with the following devices. In the opening sequence of the movie, parts of the book are a little picture of what happens in the parts to follow. ...read more.


The transition between the images is a very smooth fade, which allows them to hand in our mind. The overall effect of this sequence is that the audience is confused by the images which at the time mean nothing to them but as the story unfolds we learn the relevance. We see a lot of diegetic lighting because the children are photosensitive. Also low key lighting is used when Amenábar wants us to see some part of the frame but not all of it so he uses a lot of dark and light, keeping the suspense. Like when Anne and Nicholas hide into the wardrobe their faces are lit up while everything else is dark. Props play very small parts in building suspense but are used quite a lot in the film. The rosary is probably the best example and is seen a few times and it helps build suspense because it makes the audience feel that the only reason for it being used is it something unnerving is about to happen, we think this because it is mentioned earlier on in the film that it should be used whenever you feel frightened. Also the statues in the junk room are made quite scary. Curtains are used a lot and create suspense because the children are photosensitive. ...read more.


The old lady then asks questions and Anne answers, after a while they start to say we aren?t dead. Then Grace comes to the table and starts to shake it. They have a little change and they show 2 of the same things happening one with Grace shaking the table in the underworld, and then two with table shaking by itself like its supernatural. Grace then starts to tear paper up and it flicks from the real world to underworld signifying that Grace and her children are dead and no longer living. This is where we reach the final resolution and all the answers are answered. To conclude I think that the reason cinematography, characterisation, setting and narrative sequence help build suspense is because all these techniques have been established as classic elements of horror movies. These elements build suspense when they are sustained throughout the film, maintaining the audience?s interest in the film through use of mystery and subtlety. It also does sustain the suspense till the end by answering the most important question of all, which is who are the intruders, and the camera angles throughout the movie make you agitated. The Others is a psychological horror as it leaves some questions unanswered of why Grace screamed at the beginning, or if Anne was being possessed by Victor or whether she was just tricking her brother. ...read more.

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