Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Shining By Elyse Lightner

Shining: holding a conversation without ever opening your mouth

I have to argue that what makes this movie exceptionally scary is the use of music. Many times throughout the film the music sounds like a heart-beat like when Danny rides his tricycle over the carpet and then over the hard wood floors. This pulsing noise creates suspense especially when the pace keeps growing faster and faster. Another time that the noises sound like a heart beat is when Jack continuously throws the tennis ball against the wall out of anger; the growing suspense leads the viewer to believe that Jack is getting closer and closer to snapping and going crazy. Loud noises also make suspense like when Jack pounds on his typewriter in the great room where the noises echo off the walls. Since there is constant music throughout the entire film, the few times that there is silence is terrifying because it is out of the norm musically and the characters in the film are about to do something abnormal. A scene in the movie where there is silence and also suspenseful is when Jack says, “ Here’s Jonny!”
Another strategy of making suspense is the use of long, five minute, shots that follow a character around for the duration of the shot. The reason this is scary is because we don’t know which corner Jack is hiding behind and the viewer actually feels like he is sneaking around the hotel with Danny trying to avoid Jack. Another creepy method utilized in the film is the use of the dissolve when the scenes change. When the changes do occur, its possible to see both the old scene and the new one simultaneously making it seem as though the old scene is ghost-like and transparent. What a perfect film to watch during Halloween time!

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