Trailer Analysis – The Last Exorcism

The first thing that is clear and will draw the audience into the film is the fact that its the same producers as Dawn of the Dead. This is to let the audience know that they can expect the same sort of horror, even though it’s a completely differently film, and that they should be prepared for what is going to be revealed when the film is released. This will be also let the audience know that the effects and the style of horror is going to be very similar to Dawn of the Dead.
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An establishing shot is used at the beginning of the trailer and this seems to be a convention used in most horror films. However in this trailer the common convention used is that the establishing shot is displaying a house/cabin which is secluded and isolated from any close help. Furthermore it is also in the middle of the field and makes any attempt to escape “The Devil” imminent and virtually impossible. Establishing shots are very effective and a good camera angle at the beginning of a film/trailer because just from this one shot you could tell if help is going to minimal/impossible because of it being in a secluded area or if it is going effect more than one victim because of it being set in urban area.
Establishing Shot TLE

The audience is told that this exorcism will be this man’s last one that he performs. This connotes to the audience that this victim is going to be very specific and not like the other 46 that he has performed in the past.

All throughout the film they use quick jump cuts between each clip followed with a static look, as if the film has been lost or damaged. This would have been used to get the suspense up and make the audience off edge and in an uncomfortable position. They also have the main character of the film showing her “other side” which of course is the devil. Followed by this everything you see is in a red effect because this colour commonly connotes anger, dangerous occasions, blood and specifically the evil itself. They give the character dark and black eyes which, like the quick jumps, builds up the suspense gets the audience ready for the next sequence.

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After this shot, we see the man performing the exorcism looking for the girl who he is trying to help. Using a medium shot and then zooming into a close up we can see that the women is terrified through the expression and look on her face. It also shows that because of this thing that is inside her she doesn’t know where she is and that this” thing” has taken over and is controlling her body. The tension and build up is used through hard jump cuts and sound, like thunderclaps, every time we see her. This has the tendency of making the audience/viewers uncomfortable and on ease about the situation that the exorcist and the victim has found themselves in. This use of hard jump cuts and “cut the air tension” is a very common convention used in a lot of horror films.

Another common camera angle/convention used, is both the high and low angle shots. The high angle shots have been particularly used well on the victim and the girl that being exorcised. This is very good because connotes the low sense of power that she has and the way that she has been effected has completely destroyed her and made her extremely vulnerable. And on the other hand the vicar is the person that has the low angle shot used on him. this gives the audience a sense of how powerful he his and how he can help the victim and get this evil spirit out of her and get her back to way that she was originally.

This next scene is good way of displaying the character and the way that she is. Starting from an extreme long shot, all we see of the girl is her outline and her head looking down and, in a way, being secluded from everyone around. The black nature of the scene gives the sense of an eerie environment and that something is going to happen sooner rather than later. The way that she has been presented and the look of the scene is something that, I feel, works very well and is goo for the type of scene and film they have done. The camera angles and the props used work very well and I feel that this is something that I might take into consideration when planning the trailer that I am going to do for my own project. This use of camera angle is very popular with film directors because it allows the audience to see the horror but not get a full glimpse, in this case, of the girl . As a result it makes the audience feel uncomfortable because to them it just looks like a normal girl in the corridor but in reality it isn’t.

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