Friday, 21 January 2011

Detailed analysis of The Stepfather (2009):

Detailed analysis of The Stepfather (2009):
The ident uses special effects portraying blood, and then shows an American subsidiary company of Sony Pictures Entertainment's Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group ‘Screen Gems’ here the audience are informed, who helped distribute this movie and most importantly the genre of the film. Splattered blood connotates murder hence the audience are subtly informed of the expectations of this film (Murder, suspense and violence).

The establishing shot is a long shot of suburban houses are shown with a car in front. The camera is panning giving the effect that it’s moving along with the car, hinting a connection to the car. We do not see who is driving the car; this leaves the audience in anticipating. Next a shot from the cars point of view shows the throwing of the paper to a house, the camera pans to the next house, a close up of a house is shown, establishing the significance of that home. The car pauses, we see the man in the car, the audience are no longer in left anticipating suspense. 36 seconds in the man in the man in the car picks up a clip board, a close up of the clip board is shown, informing the audience of the destination ‘Salt Lake’, and that the man is just doing his job, also realise one address is highlighted, and cancelled separating it from the rest of the houses. This creates suspense as the audience want to know why this house has been cancelled from the man’s paper round. Throughout this scene we hear non-diegetic music which you can describe as eerie, this creates the suspicion that something isn’t right adding to the audience suspense.

43 seconds, a panning close up of shaving apparatus’s are shown, they’re clean and perfectly arranged, this connotates the owner of this is a man, possibly with OCD which is unusual, obsessive behavioural patterns or simply a man who was in the marines/army/military.

52 seconds, a shot of a man looking into the mirror is shown, he begins to groom himself starting with washing his hair, then showering, all what seems to be normal but can symbolise ‘washing the blood off his hands’. Close up focus on his face and his hands are shown, whilst he is shaving he uses different tools step by step, showing he is a guy who knows precision. Close up of him cutting himself shaving 1:27, indicates he is guilty and has blood on his hands. 1:37 he removes contact lenses changing his identity, leaving the audience suspicious of his character.
1:47 the eerie music remains, camera pans along family photos, Christmas decorations are seen. Audience are aware of the time of year due to decorations, the lighting has a bluish hint to it creating a cold ambience, this isn’t the conventional association with Christmas and family, it should be hearty warm and cheery, suspense is caused as this doesn’t fit with the typical homely atmosphere, no children are around and the man doesn’t have a fatherly character, instead he has packed suitcases and is leaving the festive season, the audience question whether he is actually the father.

2:13 The man turns on the CD player, ‘Silent night’ is playing, we hear the diegetic noise of something beeping, its the phone off the hook, the man puts it back on. He makes a coffee and breakfast, which is seen a ‘normal behaviour’, his eyes focus on something we can’t see the, the camera rotates showing a dead child at the breakfast table, the man isn’t effected by the body, this confirms he is crazy and is the murderer. More dead bodies of the family members in the photos are shown. 4:07 a flash back is shown, sounds of the murders, cover the ‘Silent night’ song, giving the effect of the noises haunting him in his head, connecting the deaths with him.

4:30 he leaves the house, gets into the car looks into the car mirror almost visually showing he is looking back on what he has just done. He removes the tissue he used to cover the cut from shaving licks the blood off, then flicks the tissue out of the window and then drives away, without being caught; this gives us the sense he has done it before, and shows the lack of guilt he has. The fact he hasn’t been caught keeps us in suspense, questioning whether he’ll kill more? Or will he eventually get caught?

The Stepfather

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