A nightmare on elm street 1984 opening

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Page 1: A nightmare on elm street 1984 opening



Page 2: A nightmare on elm street 1984 opening

CONVENTIONS• Freddie’s claws from his gloves are used

to cut, and the variety of tools he picked those blades out from were all cutting tools. This is a typical type of weapon for killers to use in slashers, as they ‘slash’ people open thus giving them the name slasher films.

• There is a frightened blonde who appears to be the next victim, and blondes are often the archetypal victim in in slashers.

• A creepy laugh is heard, and the killer’s voice if heard at all is usually found to be disturbing (e.g. Scream).

• There is a typical black and red theme, signifying darkness and blood.

• Freddie’s face is never seen in the opening, adding to the mystery of his identity and his appearance which is another slasher convention.

Page 3: A nightmare on elm street 1984 opening

SOUND• In the beginning the music feels as if

it’s building up to something, uneasy. • Non-diagetic sound can be heard of

Freddy breathing heavily as he chooses and works in making his weapon.

• There’s a constant noise of things cutting: sawing, drilling, swiping.

• The music gives a very anticipatory air, making it feel as if something big and terrible is about to happen.

• The build up of the music comes suddenly to a head as the film title is displayed on screen, with a DOO DOO DOO!

• It continues on after there but grows more ominous as the blonde appears on screen.

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USE OF TITLES• There are red bars against the black

background and the bars then turn into the production company’s name: NEW LINE CINEMA. It flashes, red on black, black on red, red on black, several times before fading. The colours are typical of a slasher film, black for darkness and red for blood and danger; they give you a hint of what is to come.

• The rest of the titles are not in an even line and are a little shaky, unstable like Freddy’s mind, trembling white letters on the screen introducing each name of cast and crew.

Page 5: A nightmare on elm street 1984 opening

CAMERA TECHNIQUES I• The film begins with a low level of

shoes walking slowly – this shows the killer is taking his time, careful in what he chooses to do.

• There’s a POV shot (another common technique in slashers) with an aerial view as he empties out his sack of cutting tools onto a table, so we feel as if we are in the killer’s head watching through his eyes.

• Mid level shots are used to show how he sharpens his blades – but we never see his face. This increases the focus on the tools that shall be used for killing, and adds to the mystery of his identity, who he is and what he looks like.

• There’s a close up of a blonde looking around then forward – then a sudden cut to an extreme close up of her face, which unsettles the audience.

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CAMERA TECHNIQUES II• There’s a long shot of the blonde running down

a long dark corridor to the audience. Though she is clearly running away from something, it seems in vain because she’s only managing to get closer running to us – where the killer is.

• Again, there’s a swift cut from a mid level shot of her looking back to another close up shot with her face in shadows – this surprises the viewer unpleasantly, and increases the feeling of uneasiness especially as her face in shadows, playing on the fear of the unknown.

• The camera has zoomed out, she is seen turning her back from a mid level shot as the camera zooms in on her slowly – then abruptly she turns, which is uncomfortable watching as her face looks as if she’s about to scream, but we cannot see immediately what she is looking at that has terrified her.

• There’s a long shot of her from a high angle, looking down on her which gives the viewer the feeling of having the upper hand. This feeling is emphasised as the viewer is watching from the killer’s POV behind pipes and a metal frame – suggesting the killer is hidden so that she can’t see him, though he can see her.

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• Costume: Freddie is wearing a red jumper – red is symbolically the colour of danger and blood, which he brings to his victims later in the film.

• The props of the knives and other sharp tools are all capable of cutting and slashing (hence ‘slasher’ films), violence and harming others – at once the audience realises the character’s dark intentions, even though they haven’t seen his face.

• Although we may watch from POV shots, in the opening the audience never sees Freddie’s face – this adds mystery to his character, and adds extra fear from the natural fear of the unknown.

• His hands are dirty, and dirt is a symbol of something unclean, filth, immorality – this is linked to killing which is immoral.

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MISE EN SCENE II• Blades are seen cutting through a curtain, but we

can’t see what the curtain is attached to or the room – again, this adds to the mystery of the location and disorientates the audience as they do not know where this is happening.

• The blonde’s face is sweaty, scared and although it’s subtle we see her swallow – she is extremely frightened, but we do not know why which in turn scares us as the audience.

• There is a terrible laugh we hear which is what the blonde is running away from, another convention of slashers and although she is yet unharmed this implies something horrible will happen to her – the waiting is very uncomfortable as we don’t know when the killer will get her, and puts the audience on edge as we want to see if she manages to get away or not.

• She turns and is about to scream because she thinks the killer’s found her but sees only a sheep – but is still scared. Sheep are shepherded, often killed with ease by wolves and are usually found in herds but this is one lone sheep. This could signify that she is alone, making her vulnerable and even the sheep is running like she is doing so – maybe the ‘wolf’ of the killer is about to find her.

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MISE EN SCENE III• The blonde is constantly looking

around her, back and forth and turning around in circles – this makes her look as if she feels hunted, and feels frantic and frenzied as the audience looks with her though in vain as she can see no killer. This makes her efforts feel fruitless and increasing exasperation and fear that she cannot find him but still allows the hope that she might be able to get away.

• After running down the long corridor to instead of away from the killer’s POV, she has turned her back and the focus on that gives her the appearance of being absolutely exposed – just like the lone sheep.