Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Suspense - The Stepfather

The Stepfather holds many key elements of creating suspense, to keep the audiences heart pounding by creating action-packed and thrilling moments. These include Bomb Theory, False Plateau and Normality.

1. Bomb Theory - Bomb Theory is when the characters in the film doesnt  know something yet the audience does. For example, if there was a dead person laying dead inside a box, the characters wouldnt know but still interact and act normal around the box because they don't realise that there is a dead person in it. There could also be an extra method of creating further suspense for instance, the characters may have many moments where they are on the edge of opening the box which makes keeps the audience in vain of what will happen once they find out.

In The Stepfather the audience know that the main character is a mad, crazy, pshyco killer and is going to kill his next family like his previous. But the characters in the movie doesnt know this as he meets another young woman who becomes his wife. The audience also knows that he sets out a serial killing rampage behind the families back before hand.

2. False Plateau - False Plateau is used to build up a moment full of tension and suspense for the audience until they get let down by a false alarm, and then  seconds later, it really happens leaving the audience in shock. For example, in Jaws the civilians think they see a shark, when it happened to be two kids playing a trick. But couple of minutes later the real event happens and everyone is shocked again.

In The Stepfather there is a scene where he is about to murder one of his neighbours who suspects he may be the wanted criminal. As the lady feels paranoid and insecure, she slowly creeps around the house, making the audience believe that the killer will pop out of nowhere. Suddenly a cat jumps outs of nowhere making the audience jump while realising it  werent really the killer. Minutes later, the killer appears and kills the lady as he pushes her down the stairs and chokes her to death.

3. Normality - Normality is commonly used to open a film by showing everyday routines. For example a working man or a father getting ready to go work.

In The Stepfather it is established at start as the main character is shown as a normal and typical guy.  The audience sees him shower and shave like an average everyday man. He then goes down and puts the radio on, which creates a little suspense as the song playing is 'Silent Night', which sounds very slow and saddening as a morning start. He goes into the kitchen to make breakfast for himself; he drinks coffee and makes toast. But this all becomes subverted as the audience sees a dead child laying on the table and dead bodies all over the room. This may explain to the viewers why he dyed his hair and took out his coloured contact lens earlier.

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