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Tuesday, 7 December 2010

JW - Deconstruction of 'Idle Hands'

-Directed by Rodman Flender in 1999
-Had a budget of $20mil and made $4mil in the USA boxoffice, no UK figures given.
-To see the imdb page for this, click here

Opening Credits: (End after 1 min 34 secs). Main colour is red, clear signifier of blood, lots of blood and gore in opening credits. What appears to be a skinned head or something similar, screaming in agony. Definite horror feel, although music gives slightly different feel. Quite fast tempo and a modern feel, more of a suspense/thriller feel from the music. However, creepy piano music (similar to that of The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973), which is one of the most famous horror movie soundtracks ever). The actor names are very significant, shown in bold white lettering which is a strong contrast to the dull red of the backround.

Opening Scene: (End after 7 mins 14 secs). The first thing that struck me about the opening scene is the large amount of 'fake scares', there is at least three in the opening scene. I think this is done to add to the slight 'comedic' area of this film, due to the fact that is generally classed a 'horror/comedy'. Something happens that first appears to be something terrible (such as the screech of a cat), it then adds to the comedic effect when it's something silly. However, these could've also been used to lull the characters and the audience into a false sense of security, so when the real actual scares, our heart is already racing and we might not expect it quite as much.
The second thing that struck is the references (possibly deliberate, possibly accidental) to other classic horror movies, such as the pumpkin as the first shot (possible reference to Halloween) and the lamppost outside the family house (possible reference to the infamous lamppost outside the house of The Exorcist). These could've been used to add to the fact this is sort of a more spoof movie rather than a true horror, and also it engulfs classic horror movie fans. The mise-en-scene if the first scene is quite standard, it seems just like a typical American house that take Halloween very seriously (due to the large amount of decorations in the establishing shot), there is nothing particularly special about the couple (despite the fact they're quite elderly, this age group isn't traditionally used as victims in horror films). There is little sound in the opening scene, the focus more is on the scene being quite quiet. This way when noise does crop up, it is a lot more alarming to the audience and this adds to the 'shock' affect. Little editing is used, nothing that is particularly noticeable, it's mainly continuity editing.

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