Saturday, 1 January 2011

Conventions of Horror Trailers

I have found in my research that nearly every horror trailer has two sections; Equilibrium and Disequilibrium, but never new equilibrium. The main reason for this is the fact that there is no need to have new equilibrium within a horror. The main reason a horror is a horror is because it rarely has a new equilibrium section. If a horror were to have a new equilibrium section then the film or trailer would become positive again, which is not wanted in a horror trailer. Instead, the end of horror trailers normally leave the audience hanging in suspense, often leaving them puzzled, which is the full intention of the trailer. This can be done in a few different ways. The most popular way is the build the music in the trailer up to a climax and then stop or slow down the music, in anticipation of a large scare or haunting spook, which frightens the audience. This can be seen in the trailer for the morgue when there appears to be new equilibrium until a quick shot of a man cutting his throat appears to give the audience one last scare.

As well as this, most good trailers are fast paced when the disequilibrium starts and often contain shots of knifes plunging or flashing on the screen and weapons being thrown. This often promises the audience blood and gore, to which most people who like horrors are attracted.

Whilst I was carrying out this research I discovered many key conventions very common in nearly all horror trailers:
· The use of the name of the producers in a text card for example ‘Fox Searchlight’.
· The use of fast shots with little or very little amounts of clarity, this is very effective and leaves the viewer in suspense, leading them to want and watch the film.
· Dark lighting is very effective as most people become nervous in the dark.
· Pathetic fallacy is often used, especially the use of rain to give a gloomy feel.
· The use of rural areas is important, in our trailer especially, because if a very urban location was used the person would not seem alone and isolated.
· Text card are often used to tell information, such as the actors name which will help to endorse the film if they are well known. However they are normally used to tell a story in separate intervals between shots.
· The use of weapons and showing of blood or gore is often popular to horror audiences.
· The use of a victim.
· The editing of the piece, especially in the disequilibrium section, is very fast and often has very few transitions, which help to make it disorganised as mentioned above.
· Many horror trailers also leave the viewer in suspense with one last scare at the end after the text cards.

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