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Psycho

Analysis of trailer- Film Noir

Introduction of characters

This is the first introduction of the protagonist, Marion Crane that the audience sees. This close up of her sets the horror tone as the use of chiaroscuro lighting creates a clear contrast between the black background and her shadowed face. This is a dominant feature in the genre of film noir and particularly symbolises her vulnerability amongst the horror and the beginning of terror. This feature is also typically used to create a sinister and uncertain tone.

Typography
The audience is introduced to the typography very early in the film, as the modern trailer focuses on the classic context of the film.
The text itself unfolds in a peculiar black and grey, striped style. This monochrome colour palette creates a more subtle symbol of entrapment and links back to the idea of shadows and graduation in darkness. This metaphorically alludes to the theme of imprisonment in the motel, and in the horror itself.

The non-diegetic soundtrack also sets the theme of entrapment. It begins with a very low key humming sound, which then changes into a sudden, staccato note, which is heard when the text appears on the screen. This begins to set up the horror, film noir genre, and makes the audience feel uneasy.

The sound bridge of Marion saying Do you have a vacancy? over this screen of text is unnerving as the word nightmare is associated with her question. This forebodes a sense of danger and forces the audience to question what will become of the woman, if she stays at the motel.

Throughout these clips, the sound of the rain continues and subtly suggests a mysterious character will be introduced.

The second character of the proprietor Norman Bates is seen to be inviting the woman to stay. However, the sound bridge of him telling the woman to stay is heard throughout a black screen- reinforcing the idea of danger at this particular setting.

Relationship between characters

An unnerving relationship between these two protagonists begins to be evident as the non diegetic soundtrack continues to be the same as before, however it decreases in volume and only a very faint sound of rain can be heard. This immediately introduces the horror genre as in a typical film noir, or horror scenes take place when the setting itself has quiet, limited sound- resulting in an uneasy feeling amongst the audience.

The use of Close Ups


Then follows two fragmented close ups of symbolic objects within the film, that to some extent, complete the narrative. The distorted angle of the object/eye, makes the audience feel uneasy and out of comfort. The audience first sees the extreme close up of the watchful eye- assumingly spying on the protagonistMarion. This is more personal for the audience as it positions them on the same level as the killer.

Following this, is a close up of the shower itself. This object is key within the film and suggests the cause of death. The shower head is positioned at the top left corner of the screen and therefore creates a distorted focus on the running water. The amplified noise of the running water heightens the suspense seen in film noir and therefore connotes the horror genre.

These close ups adhere to the horror genre as they immediately fit a sense of violence and death. Each of these shots is followed by a black screen which connotes the distortion of the plot and the safety of the protagonist. All non diegetic noises are amplified throughout these clips- thus heightening the fear in the audience and the killing of the character.

Graphic Match

The continuing short, staccato clips of the murder is followed by this image of the running water flowing down the drain. The close up on this object is reminiscent of the victims eye, which is also graphically matched in the film. This emphasises the down fall of the character and her ultimate doom.

The Revelation of the Killer

These last two scenes of the trailer create the climactic moment. As the male looks straight into the camera, an unnerving feeling is created amongst the audience and it is suggested that he is the killer. As his close up is followed by the title of the film and the introduction of the colour red (not previously seen) the theme of murder is heightened and associated with that one character.