Published on September 16, 2014
Movie release date: October 1st, 2004 Director: James Wan Genre: Horror Age rating: 18 The film title ‘Saw’ is well suited and conforms to the genre of a horror. The tool saw is known to be dangerous and sharp with multiple edges, something similar to the villain of the movie ‘Saw. The character is multifaceted and has many ideas in his mind to make people value their lives, he wants to be able to carve and changes peoples minds just like a saw can carve a piece of wood. Even thought he title is just the main villains name, the connotations from this suit and genre thoroughly. AUDIENCE GENRE The audience of the film is young adults, an elderly audience would not enjoy this film due to the gore and the murders, where as the young adults tend to take enjoyment out of it and these sorts of films would give them an adrenaline rush. The age rating of this film is an 18 which I think is good because the gore within the film is distressing so the younger audience would not enjoy it. The film Saw is a horror film, but specifically is a gore film (also known as a splatter film). This subgenre deliberately contains graphic portrayals of gore and violence. The trailer depicts the horror because there is a lot of blood which is a typical convention, not only this but the main character ‘Saw’ is clearly the murderer. This is typical of a horror film but his mask adds more depth to the genre. Some of the aspects that suggest it is gory is the Saw where the victims are expected to cut of their feed. The fact the victims are locked in a dark place also is commonly done.
Mise-en-scene The main location for the majority of the scenes seem to be in a boiler room or a ware house, this vast amount of space gives the audience a lot to look at however the location isn’t that clear because the film makes are intending to show how the victims are helpless. All of the locations however seem to be run down giving the impression that they have been abandoned. Through using the props of a saw the audience are able to witness first hand how the film is full of gore. It almost sums up the film in the way that it depicts the violence. It foreshadows how ‘Saw’ can control many victims. You could argue that having the object of a saw in the first movie trailer is used to reflect how the actually person ‘Saw’ is a tool and all of his victims are his purpose. Another prop is also used as the trailer continued which is of a newspaper article and the multiple articles shown emphasise the power of saw and how it is an ongoing problem. The articles look old and worn down suggesting this problem has been going on for a long time and saw will not stop for anybody. I feel that both of these props used are an effective choice because the audience are paralysed by the danger and the newspaper article is sufficient evidence of this while the saw enforces the violence. Another way mise-en scene has been used effectively is through the costume. When we see ‘Saw’ during the trailer he is in a suit and a bow tie, where as both of the victims in the same room are in scruffy clothing which creates a hierarchy. The fact Saw is in formal clothing highlights his power while the scruffy clothing represents how the victims lack control and have to follow Saw’s rule. In addition to this the clothes of the victim are wet and dirty, again showing how Saw looks down on them and they can’t be as good as him until they value life. The film trailer starts in the dark with a character saying ‘si someone there’. The audience is kept in suspense, not knowing who is there and not knowing what is going on. This is an effective way and conforms to the genre of a horror because the audience’s attention is grasped. As the scene continues the guy who is speaking is taking pictures that are flashing, giving the audience snippets of the scene but almost making them feel like they are trapped and in the same position as the victim. By using such dark lighting the audience are kept guessing therefore giving the trailer control and being effective.
Camera There is a close up of a women in a metal mask with her narrating over saying ‘All I can taste is blood [pause] and metal’. This shot establishes to the viewer that the horror film will be gory. The director is able to create a sense of shock and urgency immediately. Not only this but the lighting of the shot is dark and gloomy, reflecting the atmosphere and reinforcing the danger. There is a shot of two of the current victims and a victim who has survived and all have facial expressions of fear. In all three shows the camera angle is straight on showing how they all may be equal but they have been picked for a reason. Throughout the trailer the shots like these are dark and gloomy and this is done because the director is trying to continuously remind the audience that anyone can be the victim. The medium close up shots also depict the body language of two of the current victims which scream fear, by allowing us to see the body the trailer is drawing the audience in and making us feel empathetic towards the victim making in an effective technique. When the audience first see ‘saws’ face in the trailer, the tones are a lot darker and more green then the victims are. The close up shot emphasizes these dark tones which insinuate that saw has the power and the control, however this control is negative. The shot also gets Saw from side on, where-as the other victims we see there full face, this insinuates that Saw is the villain and he is multifaceted, supporting Prop’s theory of having seven defined characters. I feel the angle of this camera shot is really effective because it keeps the audience in the dark and informs them that the character has so much more he has planned.
Editing The trailers lighting has a green filter to it and green connotes the idea of gore and blood and this sets the tone for the trailer. This is a successful editing technique as it means that the trailer is conforming to the genre of a horror. Throughout the trailer the transitions from one shot to another change quickly and this affects the whole pace of the trailer. BY having quick cuts and transitions there is a sense of urgency being depicted and the audience have to keep up with the trailer. Unlike other trailers, this trailer isn’t as fluent because of this, but this is done purposely as a way of making the trailer jumpy and tense. The speed of the trailer picks up towards the end as the victims panic and struggle. At this point fast motion has been used in order to allow the audience to visualise that urgency. The inter titles have been edited in and this interrupts the clips adding intensity but also creating suspense. By having so much inter titles the audience are having to concentrate thoroughly, therefore making the jumpy sections even more shocking. I feel the editing of the text is really effective as it breaks the trailer up and this could be done as a way of reflecting how nothing can stop saw. Something else that is done is going back to previous victims in flashbacks, this allows the audience to witness the history of the murders and it also makes the trailer a lot more gory. On the left there is a screen shot of one of the victims who is called ‘Paul’ the fact he is out of focus due to the barb wire makes it clear the this victim lacked hope. The fact the flashback has also been filtered into a lime green tone foreshadows the victim is facing a gory death.
Sound The sound in the trailer at the beginning is quite with only the diegetic sound like the footsteps and the camera flash being used. The silence of this creates suspense but also allows the audience to gain a sense of reality. Soon after there is the laugh of what sounds like a little kid, this sends chills downs the viewers spines. As this laugh becomes louder an unknown figure comes out shown in the print screen below that makes the audience jump, a the non diegetic sound is used at this point as the music crescendo’s dramatizing the scene. Another sound that has been overlaid in post production is the heart beat which builds up with the intensity of the clip. The heart beat is quite prominent and is effective because your heart beat races when you are panicking therefore the audience are feeling what they victims are feeling. Furthermore a lot of the non diegetic sound that has been added in is high pitch and this helps to build a tense atmosphere. Paired with this the diegetic sound like the chains clinking are ones that are familiar with the genre of horror therefore the trailer is conforming to its genre. Throughout the trailer there is narration, but this narration is done with dialogues from the scenes of the movie. This is done effectively as the audience are informed of the background of the movie. The music throughout is eerie. The main villain, ‘Jigsaw’ talks and this entices the audience as this main character is intriguing and interesting. His voice is distorted and this creates a sense of mystery. In the trailer there is screaming involved and this scares the audience but also will make them want to see the movie. Another effective sound is the clock that ticks to reflect there isn’t much time left but also represents the challenge the victims face. The sound of this emphasises there panic.
Texts Something that differs in this horror from my first format research, ‘Oculus’, is the dense amount of overlaid text that has been used in post production. Words like voyeur, madman and psychopath are used to describe saw and this adds to the intensity of the trailer. The audience are given all of these ideas to them on a plate through the text but these ideas are ones already running through there might, therefore the director may have done this as a way of reinforcement. All the text is in the same font and the capital letters makes it stand out. The background is dark with the text being a mixture of white blues and greys, all negative and cold colours, foreshadowing the film and reminding the audience of a horror. The last two narration parts are ‘It’s his game’ ‘And its your move’ making the trailer personal to the audience and making them feel like they have some involvement. I feel for this type of horror movie the text is effective because it escalates the mood and puts all of these ideas into the viewers mind. The text at the top ‘twisted pictures’ is wrapped in barb wire and this is a company that has been used by the film production, the barb wire reflects the horror conveys danger and the need to escape.
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