Trailer Analysis – Paranormal Activity 2

This is the first trailer that I will be analysing which is a part of my research for this unit.

This film is within the sub genre Psychological horror and I machining to like these type of films. This is because even though it doesn’t follow the codes and conventions of a normal stereotyped horror film it does work very effectively. Not being able to fully see the perpetrator/antagonist can be just as scary if you can see the antagonist. It works well in this trailer because it has been heavily backed up with jump scares, medium shots and low angle shots. Tie all of this together and it produces a film that is very mind ridden and makes the audience wonder, “What will be next?”

The first thing that strikes me about this trailer is the fact that the trailer itself is very short, only 1:13. The camera angle used is a high angle shot and this has been used to connote that the occupants of the house are the victims to something eerie and frightening. Furthermore the trailer shows the film all in the dark and this gives the impression of, as it is all quiet and calm, it suddenly goes straight to something/somebody being “moved” and this case, a man being thrown across the room in the opening clip.

As something happens it all of a suddenly switches to an extreme close up of what seems to be the main perpetrator of this horror film. This gives the sense to the audience that the figure is powerful and getting its serenity an fear into the head of the audience, because of this it then sets the scene for the rest of the movie/trailer that what they are about to see is going to be scary and nothing that they have ever seen before.


This is good technique used because it means that the audience can really see what is being a threat and terrifying the family that is living in this house.

Some of the effects used are very effective as well. A common effect in this film and in other horror movies using a home video tape is the static/crackling effect. This is very effective towards the audience because it connotes that something isn’t right about this situation and that the footage has been found and damaged in a way that the audience can only see as not a very good outcome for the victims. This use of effect is something that I am considering about using in my production of a horror trailer.

Effect 2

Effect 1

However there is a lot of inactivity in the trailer in which is it just static camera switching between one another but this is making sure that the audience get into a slow routine and lean into the movie but then all of sudden it all goes off and things, that can’t be imagined would ever happen, start flying towards the screen and making the audience jump out of their seats in fear. Furthermore this is followed by sharp jump cuts, which is common in horror films, and this would have been used to make the audience feel on edge and trying to shield themselves away from the horror and the sudden jumping of the characters

For sound, when something suspicious or out of the ordinary is about to occur they use a quiet and slow rumble effect (non diegetic) to, what I believe to be, set the scene in a way and get the audience ready for what is about to happen next. But then when something does in fact happen they up the volume and slow it down a little and what sounds like a thunder clap to make the event much scarier than what it actually is. This is very effective because it means that the tension can slowly build up and then once the audience are comfortable and relaxed the out of the ordinary suddenly appears and frightens the audience.

To conclude I think that some of the techniques used in this trailer/film are going to be very effective and I am sure that I will try to include at least some of these for my main production.

This trailer has been known as a trailer that subverts the typical connotations of a normal horror genre. This is because the trailer itself shows very little of the trailer and really focuses on the reaction of the audience and how they feel about the events happening in the film. Also the same applies for the film poster as well.

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