Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Day 7: The Structure of Thriller Openings

In different film openings, there are three basic structure which can be followed, each of these has a different effect and look which can differentiate the appearance of each film.

The thriller film 'Panic Room' uses a narrative opening, this is where the titles are running throughout. This choice of narrative opening only shows the landscape and the surroundings, which is New York, mainly its buildings, giving a business feel. It does not refer to any of the characters so far in the film, until the opening scene. The string orchestra increases in tempo throughout the opening to suggest the impact of a thrill, the surroundings and use of sans serif font give a modern effect to the film.

The thriller film 'Se7en' which is a psychological chiller uses a discrete title sequence. There is no narrative and the whole opening is a series of extreme close ups on particular objects and elements of his actions. There is a lot of emphasis on a black pen that he uses to disguise particular newspaper print. We also see them removing their fingerprints with a razor and that he is making a collage. It makes the audience wonder whether this is the psycho, this type of title sequence reveals a lot about a character but without showing him in the opening.


The thriller film 'Dead Calm' uses titles over a blank screen, which is then followed by a narrative opening. At the beginning there is eerie music which increases in volume. The titles are very plain, however there is an interesting fade into the title which appears bold on the screen. As we see the tracking shot of the old railway train, we see that there is some historical event linked with the movie. But also it does not reveal a lot about any characters or the film.

The thriller film 'Mezrine: killer instinct' uses stylised editing for its titles, the effective use of its split screen allows us to see the character from different perspectives and at a slower delayed pace so that we can view their movements in great detail. It also allows the camerawork to be more advanced using a variety of different shots, eg over the shoulder, point of view shots which help to engage the viewer. The split screen also resmebles 1970s context and imagery, giving the opening a sense of authenticity. A thrill is also administered through music, with the sound gradually building up to a crescendo. Already what is revealed are the two main characters and their actions suggest that something terrible will happen to them.

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