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Tuesday, 14 December 2010

JW - Deconstruction of 'A Nightmare on Elm Street'

- Directed by Wes Craven in 1984
- Had a budget of $1.8mil and made $10.8mil in the USA, (No UK figures given)

Opening Credits/Establishing Scene (ends after 1min 6secs) - This scene shows us all the company idents, but also half the screen is very well done. It implies lots of narrative enigma, but to fans of the horror/slasher genre they will know what's going on. It is of course Freddy Krueger creating/building his infamous 'claw'. Mise-en-scene used in this scene is very relevant, the famous red jumper that Freddy wears, and also the wide variety of obscure props. The location is also vital, although most of it is hidden, from various clues (water pipes, variety of monitors) we gather it could be some sort of boiler or gas chamber area. Yet again, fans of horror/slasher will know it's the boiler room. This entire scene is also shot using a considerably smaller screen than the rest of the film, this is done for two reasons I believe. One, because the opening credits etc. are also present and need some screen space. But also, to invoke the idea that this has already happened, or perhaps is supernatural. Hence why they use a smaller screen, it gives the impression that it is not normal, and therefore may not be of true reality.

Opening Scene - The opening shot of this is very significant, the close up of the lady, infront of a glistening white backround. This is a clear indicator, that is a dream. Also, the location the woman is in compared to her dress. She is in a white, upper-class night gown. For her to be running through what appears to be a large boiling area, would be quite obscene. So the idea of this being a dream becomes quite clear. The music also contributes to this idea, it is quite supernatural and almost sounds like something from a fairy tale, yet again adding to the sense of this being a dream. A fake scare is used (the goat/sheep), a very common piece used in cinema, creates an initial shock factor and increases the heart rate of the audience, it also invokes a false sense of security. Lots of POV (Point Of View) shots are used in this scene, to give the impression that someone is watching/stalking the soon to be victim. This is yet again, a very common method used in cinema, gives a real first person view to the film. Narrative enigma, is possibly the most important of this opening scene. Who is watching/chasing/stalking this person? What did she do? Is it real? These all of course, are answered in due course in the film. The idea of religion (God vs the Devil) is slightly represented in this scene, towards the end. The girl, hugs the cross, in a bid to save herself from the terror. This gives the idea that the bad guy is a representation of the devil, and perhaps supernatural.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) wallpaper

1 comment:

  1. some stills to illsutrate what you're discussing would be useful, and/or an embedded clip!!!
    really push yourself to use precise semiotic terms too
    and think about the genre - this is a key text and influence on your genre


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