Representation Analysis – Liam Higgins

Scream Representation Analysis

I1346794676_scream1mmediately, a horror themed film is established from the first sound we hear. This is through the use of a high pitched screech from a girl, this resembles the film’s title and displays possibilities of what the film is likely to be about. It also generates a genre of Thriller and Horror due to the loud and fearful yell. This creates suspension already and grants the audience an enigma code, it causes the audience to think about what is going to happen and why a girl is screaming. This also announces a female victim which connotes innocence and vulnerability due to the fact a young girl is screaming. The screaming sound is being played as a background track during the visual title introduction which flashes up as white lettering with a rather un-usual, scary look to it… This represents the genre being a Thriller/Horror. The white lettering slowly turns into red lettering which runs down the screen like blood which could foreshadow a bloody death later on in the film. During the girl screaming, a phone is also ringing, this is still being played while the film’s title is shown. This has a relation to the first scene, because it begins with a phone ringing.

imagesThe protagonist is introduced within the opening 10 seconds of the film and the audience can gather that the main subject of the film is a female. The main effect of having a female as the victim is that it generates stereotypical value, suggesting that she is vulnerable and too weak to defend herself. It is when the female picks up the ringing phone that the audience notice that she is alone, this once again implies a sense of vulnerability to the audience. It also gives them a strong idea that something is likely to happen to the girl, due to the fact that thriller/horror movie often have female victims. When she answers the phone the audience are introduced to what could be a potential villain of the film. When the protagonist is on the phone, we get a close up shot of her face, this allows the audience to see the characters facial expression. During the situation, the female looks at ease and not interested in the caller on the phone. She has a composed tone to her voice which suggests that nothing dangerous or scary is going to happen soon. The camera then tracks out, and when the phone rings again it cuts to a MCU into the girl’s facial expression to show the confusion and to increase overall tension for the audience. The voice of the caller highlights a male character, with an intimidating and captivated tone of voice. This once again suggests to the audience that the character calling could be a dangerous presence.

The second time the phone rings the audience are given a clearer insight into the caller’s character. The fact that the caller rang back “to apologise”, insinuates to the audience that something is abnormal. When the camera is panning around the females face, as a close up shot, it displays the background. Due to the audience having a clear view on the location – which seems to be a large house located within a forest, with a dark exterior in terms of light (Typical Scary Location). This sets the Scream-200x300mood for the film as a spooky and mysterious. After the second call, the film then continues to show more of the location as a long shot. The audience can clearly see the big house and outer garden area which has huge trees and a swinging chair which is heard to make a squeaky noise. The effect of this sound suggests to the audience that a child or someone young could potentially be involved. This makes things much more frightening due to the possible outcomes if a child is involved. This can also suggest that it is a windy night, setting the scene, the fact the swing was moving could suggest that the “Caller” was sitting on it staring into the kitchen. Because she is home alone in the large house, all of the noises made from her are highly emphasised and made to be more dramatic, such as when she turns the gas hob on. The near-exploded popcorn is particularly focused on, this could resemble the females emotions as she seems to be close to exploding mentally.

As the caller continues to ring, the male protagonist’s voice becomes more distorted. She explains that she enjoys to watch scary movies, this is applicable to the film because the caller sounds as if he gets satisfaction by the fact she enjoys watching scary movies on her own. Due to the caller gaining satisfaction, this implies to the audience that he is likely to do something alike to her. When the female is in the kitchen, she is seen playing with the knives in the knife rack. This could be a hint of foreshadowing as this represents murder and pain, and could suggest that this will be a key element within the film. She also talks about her favourite movie being about a guy who “walks round in a white mask and stalks babysitters”, this relates with the overall theme of the film as the villain wears a white mask too. While speaking about this topic, her tone of voice is rather confident which demonstrates that she is completely oblivious of the possible danger. The camera then cuts to the popcorn on the oven which looks complete, however she is unaware. This could suggest to the audience that the caller is very intriguing in terms of dialogue, as he has completely thrown the protagonist of her trail of thought. This once again connotes danger as the bag looks as if it’s going to explode… This could also be an extended metaphor in relation to the female’s mental emotions, as she seems to be close to losing it. When the caller states “I want to know who I am looking at” her overall mind frame changes instantly, and a range of non diagetic and diagetic background sounds begin to occur. These noises are gradually increased in volume to raise the overall tension already created by the possibility of an encounter.

Liam Higgins


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