Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The Haunting...

I really enjoyed today's film - very spooky, in a subtle and thought-provoking way. What I found particularly effective was the fact that all the creepy things that were happening were not far-fetched or over the top - in fact, I bet most of us have experienced them at some point or another! Who hasn't noticed a shape on the wall that looks like a face, and once you've seen it you can't stop looking at it? Or felt the eyes of a statue or painting following you around? Or had their heart beat so fast and loud that it sounds like someone is knocking.... Luckily for us, we don't usually get to experience all these things at the same time, unlike the poor characters in todays film!
There were a couple of techniques that I noticed that made the atmosphere all the more tense for me - firstly the use of high and low camera angles. This gave the impression that you were spying on the character, perhaps peering at them from a hidden peep-hole up high or from under a piece of furniture. This is unsettling for the viewer, as it puts you in the position of the ghost or spirit, watching and waiting for the moment to pounce. The other technique was the use of mirrors throughout. Mirrors placed directly behind the characters reflected the backs of the characters, and had the effect of stretching out the usable set space - the action did not only have to happen in the room itself, but could also potentially take place behind the viewer facing the mirror, in the reflection itself, so to speak. This also gave the possibility of something popping up in the reflection and scaring the life out of you! As it was, this did not happen - but the possibility was there, and so the suspense was created...
This evening I also watched the trailer for Paranormal Activity...EEEEK ! That's one film I will definately be off to see once its released on the big screen. Roll on the end of November!!


  1. Hi Jackie,

    Absolutely - I just wish I could get my hands on a copy of the film with re-mastered soundtrack, as the levels fluctuate throughout; many of the students found Julie Harris as Eleanour very irritating, but personally, I really feel for her - all that guilt, all that terrible loneliness and desperate need to belong - that last admission of hers as she's about to crash 'at last, something is happening to me' - so tragic :-( Also, notice all the lesbian undertones revving under the strained relationship between Theo and Nel? Last year, none of the students picked up on it at all, but a few of the students who stayed behind were much more aware of it. You're right about the film's preoccupation with mirrors and statuary - motifs for creating a sense of unease or 'in potentia'... Also, all the deep focus compositions where everyone is in focus at the same time. Hill House is the biggest character in the movie - distorted and distorting - and so cluttered and claustrophobic too.

    Meanwhile, for another faux-real trailer, check out The Fourth Kind...

  2. Hi again - not sure you've got all these?

    Dave at
    Earl at

    Ruben at

    Charlotte at

    Matt at

    Farideh at

    Sam at

    Simon at

    Jordan at

    Jack at

    Chris S’ at

    Matt at

    Ethan at

    Dan at
    Shafi at

    Leo at

    Jolanta at

    Richard at

    Elliot at

    Carl at

    John at

    Sean at

    Adam at

    Ethan at

    Godwin at

    Kin at

    Bharathi at

    Barry at

    Aj at

    Alex at

    Jade at

    Bob at

    Laura at

    Baja at
    Benja at
    Shahbir at
    Julian at
    Chris G’ at

  3. Below is a link to a third year blog - James Garner - who is currently working on an adaptation of an HP Lovecraft short story... check it out and spread the link around amongst your classmates - it will make interesting viewing in light of your current project...

  4. hello. this is my first comment. what i would find scary would be if someone appeared in a mirror behind you but not in real life.