Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Teen Horror Film Deconstruction 2

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer


I still know what you did last summer is the sequel to a teen horror classic , the 1997 hit “I know what you did last summer” , this film series is so well known that it has been parodied and referenced many times over the years in pop culture.
The basic storyline follows two teenagers who were lucky enough to escape the fisherman they thought they had killed by accident in the first film but may not be so lucky this time as the villain returns to seek his revenge once more.
The film begins with the opening titles stating “Columbia Pictures Presents” from the very beginning background non diegetic sounds of screaming can be heard which creates a tense atmosphere and implies the genre of the film immediately.
As the title of the film appears in fractured white text against a stark black background sounds of what seems like flashbacks of dark conversations can be heard vaguely as they have a disjointed effect as well as use of echo to create a jumpy horror feeling to the film.

As a final non-diegetic sound of a knife slicing echoes out an establishing shot can be seen at 1:08 of a religious figure, as the camera pans downwards a figure of Jesus can be seen and non-diegetic music begins to play; as the scene moves on the clip cuts to a close up shot of a pair of female feet in a church walking through the centre of many pews.
Diegetic sound of her feet moving can be heard clearly notifying the audience to just how silent the surroundings of the church are , as the shot pans up to reveal the back of a woman she appears to be in complete darkness creating an enigma into who this mysterious character is.

The scenery of the church often connotes ideas of isolation and silence which could put the audience on alert to a possible scary situation, creating tensions which are an important factor of a successful horror.

As the shot changes to that of a bird’s eye view it gives the audience a sudden sense that this character may be being watched as it pans towards her briefly before her full face is shown in a mid-shot at 1:37 , by revealing the identity of this character first it can be assumed that she is one of the main protagonists of this film along with this the fact that her face has a heavy focus on it and the background seems to have gone slightly out of focus shows her importance in the scene.

As the shot smoothly cuts once again to the back of the character suddenly a change of scenery and a close up shot of the character in a confession booth puts the audience on edge once again as it is unclear what will happen next, this creation of the sense of enigma is key in teen horror films as it keeps the audience on their toes.

This shot is filmed through the barrier to create the idea that we are seeing the protagonist from the view of whoever is listening, as the character voices “forgive me father for I have sinned” she begins to divulge into the guilt she feels for the death of the man who had died the previous summer.

Throughout this prose the shot changes from through the barrier at a close up to a mid-shot of the character in profile, this again creates the idea that the character is being watched as well as the listeners face not being revealed creates a sense of nervousness to the scene as anyone could be on the other side of that barrier.

A diegetic sound of a male saying “yes” in reply to the female is the first interaction given which seems to lull the character into a sense of security as she continues her story and confession, by doing this it not only creates a ambience in which something bad can be felt it also fills the audience in on the theme of the film from the start.
As the female finally voices the name of the man she killed the second character can be heard to say “I know”, as confusion crosses the protagonist’s face the shot switches back to that of the second character viewing through the barrier as suddenly it switches so we can now see the face of a man from the protagonist’s view creating a sense that this man is not someone to be trusted.

As he states “I know what you did last summer” the shot switches to a close mid shot and the man is seen to plunge towards the camera with a fishing hook as a loud diegetic crash can be heard.
With the use of slow shots and the small range throughout this opening it is the perfect build up to the horrific end which starts the film off perfectly as it is clear what is to come.

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