Analyse the opening sequence of "Twister"
Analyse the opening sequence of “Twister”
The title of the film is “Twister”. It comes from the action/drama genre. The director of the film is Jan De Bont. The film “Twister” has a very short story line but has incredible scenes of special effects. The film is about the young girl Jo who grows old and becomes interested in hurricanes because her father died in a hurricane. Jo and her ex husband Bill who is a meteorologist chase tornadoes. He decided to give up chasing tornadoes to become a weather man. Bill gets the divorce papers signed by Jo. But Bill is drawn back to pursuing tornadoes because Jo decides to use his idea of sensors. Bill’s idea was tracking tornado activity using small sensors. They get caught in danger dropping the tub of sensors and escaping out of the way of the tornado at the last moment.
The opening credits are made up of three shots of titles and one of the main title. The backgrounds of the titles are dark and gloomy. Clouds swirl around faster and faster and some lightening. These features emphasise the gathering thunderstorm. This background runs throughout the opening credits. The music throughout the opening credits is a menacing rumble which emphasises the danger, power, force and something is going to happen. Special effects are used on the main title. The main title “Twister” appears in large block capital letters. The letters suddenly disperse like leaves all over the screen and only the impression of the word remains. This emphasises the hurricane destroying and blowing away everything in its path. This gives the viewer an image of the hurricane. These opening credits show a quick, dramatic message to the audience giving them an idea of what the film is about.
This is a preview of the whole essay
The first shot is of the landscape and is shown in a series of shots. The first shot is of an oil drill. The next is of an iron bridge in front of the sunset and the last is of the gathering thunderstorm rolling across the prairie. The sky is dark and gloomy. The music of the last shot changes from a peace and quiet to the rumble of the storm. The first two shots are peaceful and quiet. The peace is soon broken by the arrival of the gathering storm and the rumbling. The camera performs a steep tilt from the sky all the way down to focus in on the house. The sky is dark and cloudy with lightening same as the background of the opening credits.
Jo’s father is seen in the comfort of his home making a cup of tea in the kitchen. The black and white TV was left on in the room on a news channel. He hears the news reporter talking about a storm warning. He listens for what the reporter has to say and in panic he puts down his cup of tea and runs up the stairs 2 steps at a time to prepare his family to escape to the storm shelter.
The child Jo is fast asleep upstairs with her dog. The camera pans from the dog along to the girl. This shows it is peaceful and quiet creating“calm before the storm”. Suddenly the dog’s ears prick open hearing the lightening and the rumbling of the storm. The child wakes up with the barking of the dog and the rumble of the storm. The mother rushes into the child’s bedroom and picks her up to comfort her. The father is also up in the room calming everyone down. They all run down the stairs in fear and panic. The camera is on a track and it follows them side to side down the stairs. Whilst running down the stairs the child is screaming “Toby” “Toby” the dog’s name. The dog follows behind and the camera does the same on the track following the dog as it comes down. This is done to make the audience worry about the dog because dogs are loyal and friendly pets. Also the girl and the dog were close.
The family are now outside the house but the dog Toby lags behind. The father takes the daughter from the mother. This suggests the father as a hero figure and emphasises the little girl’s vulnerability. It also suggests the father is stronger. They are running to the shelter. The camera keeps on switching back to the dog so the audience does not forget about it. The camera then zooms on to the television and we hear the weather man say “If you don’t have a basement r cellar then stay in the centre part of your homes. The tension is built through this device the audience knows that the family has missed this message creating dramatic irony when they leave the house in to the storm. The family are still running towards the shelter whilst things explode all around like a tree is struck by lightening falls and sets on fire. The girl still shouts the dogs name in terror and fear.
The family hurry into the shelter. The father slams the door and puts the latch on. The dog Toby is still outside and the girl is still shouting and screaming. The effect the screaming has on the viewers is they feel sorry for the girl because she misses the dog and is a sense of panic intensifying. The dog is now just outside the shelter barking.
Toby is let in there is a sigh of relief for the audience and the family that the dog is safe. The mother lights the kerosene lamps which are used as backups because the electricity is out which has been caused by the hurricane. The father puts the latch on the door. This is a sigh of relief emphasises they are not safe and something is going to happen. The door begins to rattle. The tension builds up because something dramatic is going to happen. The door rattles like an animal or something trying to get in. the camera zooms in on the latch of the door because it’s about to give way. The father grabs on to the handle of the door trying to keep it shut. The strain becomes terrifying and the door suddenly gives way pulling the father with it as he disappears in to the twister. The mother and the daughter look and scream in horror. The daughter runs towards the door way flailing her arms shouting “daddy, my daddy” the mother pulls the daughter her back preventing her getting pulled in to the twister. The dog howls and barks.
The shot is of the mother and the child fades to the next shot which is of the landscape early the next morning. After the excitement, tension, and exhilaration of the storm. The shot of the landscape calms the viewers down because of peacefulness and quietness. The music dies down to also calm the viewers. This is done so then they can build the tension up again later because tension cannot be built up when the viewers are already tense.