Published on March 6, 2014
Shutter Island Analysis
USP This film has a range of USP that separate it from other films and make it more special. This film for one has a famous movie star that has won various awards and has been in many other successful movies. This film also has been directed by a director with a large reputation and therefore is expected to be good. This film is also not a normal horror film, it has many narrative twists which excite the audience and make them appreciate the mind of the director further.
What does sound do for the trailer? As soon as the trailer starts the audience can hear bells. Bells often connote churches and funerals, therefore the sound of bells gives the audience the impression that death is just around the corner. Considering also that there is no sight of a church in the trailer gives the audience the impression that death is around and present but not seen; this is a non diegetic sound. At the beginning of the trailer there is also some voice over. This is a voice over that asks about a “briefing”, this shows that the film is likely to be centred around a police/detective story. The voice also reveals a key fact about the film being about a “mental hospital”, due to social stigma, the term “mental hospital” has been stereotypically portrayed to be a scary and dangerous place where people are mistreated . Peoples minds have been conditioned to believe that mental hospitals are full of dangerous and strange people that will harm you. It then finishes with “ The criminally insane”. This then gives the audience a full feel about what the film is mainly about – two detectives going to a mental hospitable for the criminally insane to investigate a missing person. This early hook gives the audience a reason why to keep paying attention to the trailer and to see how the trailer unravels. The voice over then goes on to say that the detectives need to surrender there fire arms, this starts the audience asking questions in there head like “why do they need to surrender there fire arms”, however, these questions can only be answered if the film is watched. The idea of detectives handing over there fire arms is extremely strange and gives the audience the impression that all is not what it seems. There is continuous sounds that gives the audience the impression that this really is a mental hospital for the criminally insane, the worst of the worst. For example the dialogue explains that this mental hospitable is for the criminals that other hospitals can not handle. There is also a high pitched scream which Eco's thought the buildings .The eco suggest that the screams are often not heard by anyone and that the screams are a common thing within the walls of the mental institution, this again connotes that the mental institution is not a nice place to be. Ones an initial impression of the hospital has been made you hear the main actor running over the case that he is there to solve, about a women who went missing our of her cell. The sounds in the trailer then get tense and a sound climax begins with various dialogue which creates more questions in the audiences head to answer. The audience now are being pulled up the climax by the sound and asking themselves questions about the trailer, this then persuades the audience to go and watch the film and to find out the answers to there many questions.
What effect does editing have on the audience? When the trailer begins there a short clips which are cut using a fade effect, this fade effect gives the impression that there is mystery and unclearness about the film. The fade shots are only at the beginning where the main storyline of the film is released through sound. The fading clips gives the audience the impression that the characters don’t know much about the case, this gives the audience a sense of wanting to know what the island and what the case is about. The not knowing from the detectives and the audience also forms a relationship between them which gives the audience a feeling of an emotional attachment to the main character. This is important for the rest of the film/trailer. The close up shot of the main character also helps this relationship form. One of the shots at the beginning gives a POV shot from the view of the main character traveling in the truck to the mental institution. This POV shot put the audience in the shoes of the main character and connotes to the audience that the audience are also coming into the mental institution with the main character to experience what he will. This again forms a relationship between the character and the audience. The POV shot also gives the audience the impression that this is a high security site which is difficult to escape, again reinstating the dangers of the people inside the institution. There is also a pan shot of some barbed wire which again explains the high security feel of the hospitable and the feel that no one escapes. Throughout the trailer there are close up shots of parts of certain items which are of importance, for example the guns being passed over and the detectives sheriff badge. These items being shown close up make the audience starts to ask questions about the close up shots and why there are close up shots. For example the close up shot of the gun being passed over, this then leaves the detectives feeling venerable and not able to defend themselves, This trait will then be passed on to the audience and they then have an emotional attachment with the character due to them both feeling secluded. As the trailer progresses there are various camera shots which reinstate some of the earlier points. For example there is a areal shot of the institution showing that it is surrounded by walls and by the ocean. Again showing the audience that no one escapes from the island,. The audience may now start asking questions about how the patient escaped if there is no way to escape, this is one of the big questions which is likely to lead the audience to watch the film. There are shorter and smaller clips towards the end which show disturbing images, this is towards the trailer climax, these disturbing clips shock and horror the audience to again going to see the film, the adrenalin and wonder they get from seeing these disbudding clips gives them the intensity to go and buy the film. There are also various over the shoulder shots of the main character which gives the audience the feeling that they are behind the main character and are with him throughout the story. This again create an emotional attachment and makes the audience generally care about the character and his well beings. Therefore, towards the end of the trailer when the character is seen in distress the audience become distressed also and want to see the film to see how the character deals with the stresses he has.
Credit and Intertitles Institutional Reference Less that 15 seconds into the trailer there is a title which says “ a Martin Scorsese picture”. This is a very famous director which has produced other movies which have been extremely popular . Therefore when the audience see the name they are going to continue to watch due to the satisfaction they had of the director previous movie, the audience will hope to have the same feeling about this film and therefore be interested to watch, with high expectations. The quick mention of the name of the high status actor quickly hooks the audience into continuing to watch with a more non critical eye. After this there are no titles until the end when the title of the film is shown “shutter island”. The title is shown at the end so it stays fresh in the audiences mind after the excitement they have gained from watching the film. The excitement will push them to remember the name of the film and to go and watch it. There are then a page full of high end movie star names that are in the film. This gives the final push to the audience to and watch the film with high end movie stars in it. If the audience enjoy other films in which these stars are in they might be even more inclined to go and watch the film when it comes out. Towards the end of the film there is also the important release month. No date is shown so that the audience is ready the whole month for the films release and so that they can get more existed, worked up and inquisitive about the film. This gives the film a higher box office profit when the film is first released.
Mise en scene The Mise en scene throughout the film is dark and grey to show the audience that the institution is not a nice place and is a dull place which it self could turn someone insane. Throughout the trailer there is little bright light and this gives the continues feeling of dull and dark feeling to the audience. The dark feeling the audience get gives a strong indication of how the film is going to be set out as being a horror, disturbing and mind tricking film. The staff at the intuition all wear white clothing. The colour white signifies clean, innocence and purity. This is again an indication that the people in the hospital and non of these things and that the staff are helping them with there quality's. All of the patients all have ether messy ( connotes a messy and unorganised brain) or no hair. This compared to the staff/guards who all have a full head of hair, this could show a difference in status. However, the hospital manager also has no hair, this could unconchosly connote the audience that the hospital manager is not all that he seems.
Structure Act 1 shows the detectives arriving on a boat and discussing the case briefing, this quickly explains to the audience that they are two detective going to a mental hospitable to look Into a patient disappearance. Ones they arrive on the island the guards and the governor of the prison are shown and a roughly feel of there personality is portrayed simply through the brief words they say. A setting to the film is also set with many shots of the hospital and many angles of the hospital portraying it to be a place of misery, confinement and disturbance. The establishing shot to the whole trailer is the boat coming out of the mist. This could suggest that the boat and island are a long way from home and are now in unknown territory. It also adds to the mystery of why the detectives were never seen not on the island. Act one ends just before the story starts to unravel and the detectives starts to try to piece together the story. (0.59 seconds in to the trailer) The beginning of act 2 it is From 1 minuet onwards in which the story starts the unravel and the detective starts to encounter strange things and starts to think that there is more to this case than what meets the eye. The trailer shows many brief clips of innocent and then disturbing things, for example a women sitting in a chair with half her face burnt off and then two men talking's. It is then clear what relationships are formed in the hospital and which charters are against which. Act three beginning with a piece of tense orcasture music building up a climax with many quick short cut clips showing violence, anger and speed. This shows the audience that towards the end the character playing the detective changes and the original story of a women going missing chances to something much more dark. There are also various clips of the main character being in danger which cut quickly, this leads the audience to ask questions about how he escaped that problem and what he did to tackle the problem.
Narrative/Genre At first, it is not clear that the trailer is for a horror film. The trailer s first seem to be a detective story in which the main character is the detective. However, as the trailer continues the main character clothes, appearance and manner change to suggest that the story of a detective investigating a case about a missing patient, is not the main story which leads to the main characters life being changed. The narrative is shown well because it show how it plans out with many different techniques to show the mood and sense of the story. The film does mainly abiding by the genre it is under but not fully, the genre of horror usually includes more jumps and climaxes which give a clear sense to the audience that it is a horror movie, however, as said before it is not originally clear that this is a horror movie and therefore it not only horror. It is also a thriller due to the various action sequences and mystery aspect that the film as to it. The trailer does however abide by many codes and conventions of a horror movie with the dark feel it has and the scary looking character and make up which the trailer is filled with to give a impression of what a “mental patient” looks like.
Representation The main representation in the trailer is that given to patients in a mental hospital. The patients are shown to be dangerous, manic, unpredictable and scary. This stereotype is portrayed through media similar to this and therefore is a strong reinforcement to the stereotype. The stereotype instantly scares the audience and therefore they see the patients as being “baddies” this obviously however it not true as many being with mental disorders are perfectly capable of being able to integrate into normal society, however, many of the patients are also criminals which have committed serious offence ( eg, murder/toucher). The idea of criminal is also portrayed in the film as being someone who not only deviates from society with there actions but also there appearance; many of the patient had disturbing tattoos or unclean and messy hair. These deviations from norms appearance wise simply adds to the stereotyping mind of the audience to fear and outcast them even more to be dangerous and a problem to society. The trailer also represents mental intuitions to be places of simply high security and codes in which the patients are not comfortable in. However, this is simply untrue, many mental hospitals around the world have very high standards and keep there patients mentally and physically stable in a way that the patient is happy and unharmed. This film also shows the rooms as being dirty, grotty and not a suitable place to live in. This is also untrue but again this representation of the institutions is added to any other stereotypical thoughts about mental hospitals which has been portrayed through other forms of media such as the news or society's expectations of them.
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