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Saturday, 22 January 2011

WS - Black Christmas (Glen Morgan, 2006)

For the IMDB page of Black Christmas (2006), click here.

This version of Black Christmas is a modern remake of a film from the 1970's, Pre-Halloween. The opening of this film is similar in length to the film opening we will have to make, and lasts 2 minutes 29 sconds.

Sound is quite important in this opening as it shows the change from happy christmas time, wrapping presents and drinking wine, to showing the fear that someone is in the house and watching the girl, before killing her quite violently. The film begins with a really upbeat christmas song, making the audience feel happy and warm inside, quite an unusual beginning for a Slasher. But this works quite well because it makes the change in mood more obvious. The music suddenly changes as the female character senses something is wrong when she hears rustling in a cupboard. The music builds up as she gets closer to looking into the cupboard, but there is nothing there. However the music continues as she sits back down, signifying the danger isn't over yet. It begins to buil up again as the girl realises something is missing, before a sudden increase in volume and a change of note as a bag is thrown over her head. The music then becomes faster and lower as a knife is stabbed through the bag before a last loud bit of music as the film title flashes up. 

The film opening, although quite short, does incorporate a large number of shots. The most significant shot is the Extreme Close Up of the pen which the female puts down, because it is that that shows something has changed and that there is somebody present when the pen suddenly isn't there. Early on there are a number of Close ups of christmas objects, confirming the time of year. Christmas is also considered a happy and joyful time, Binary opposition for what is about to happen. The camera shots also throughout the opening suggest somebody else is present, for example the shot looking through the clothes as the girl approaches the wardrobe/closet. High-angles are used to make the girl look vulnerable, while low angles are used cleverly, for example the shot that shows somebody behind the tree.

Mise-en-scene too is vital in this opening scene, and is cleverly thought out. All aspects link in with each other to try and create an effective opening. The outside of the house looks christmassy, further confirmation of the time of year and setting. The house is also quite upper class, clean and warm which could signify the kind of people that live their, as well as providing further binary opposition of good vs evil; warm and cold.The female is drinking wine, which is significant because of the view that Slasher killers often have on this terrible and sinful behaviour. The most key bit of mise-en-scene in the opening scene however, is the pen the girl originally writes a label with. She puts it down with it's lid and walks to her cupboard. When she returns only the lid is there, showing there is someone else there. She doesn't have much time to realise this though, before a bag is thrown over her head. The shot then has a straight cut to the titles. The film title is written on a red background in black writing. 

All of this is crammed into 2 and a half minutes, which could be helpful to our own filming.

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