2. OVER VIEW OF THE CONJURING
The Conjuring was released in 2013. It is an American horror film directed by
The ‘Perron’ Family move into their run down Rhode Island farm house and
soon strange things start happening around it with escalating terror. In
desperation, Carolyn Perron contacts the ‘Warrens’ a husband and wife team
of paranormal investigators to examine the house. They soon discover that a
satanic haunting has targeted the family. It will follow them wherever they go.
The Warrens will have to use all their spiritual strength to defeat this evil entity
before it destroys everyone involved. This is what the trailer reveals to the
audience about the film plot.
The genre of the film is a psychological and supernatural horror, which shows
The trailer last 2 minutes 24 seconds and reveals through intertitles that the film is
based on a true story, this immediately makes the audience feel disturbed and
alarmed by the events that will take place during the film. This sense of realism
adds to the fear factor of the genre ‘horror’.
The audience are able to identify the genre of the film throughout the trailer
through intertitles used, dialogue, non-diegetic and diegetic sounds, the mise-en-scene
and the narrative of the trailer. The intertitles used in the trailer reveal that
‘out of the thousands of cases, that they’ve investigated, there is one so disturbing,
they’ve kept it locked away, until now.’ This entices the audience because it leaves
us feeling intrigued, wanting to know why the truth is so evil, what will ‘consume’
us? Creating a code of enigma.
The first shot is an over the shoulder medium close up of Ed Warren, it is significant to
the audience as it reveals the need and desire to communicate with this evil presence.
The use of a hand held camera has an impact of realism on the audience. The trailer
goes on with diagetic dialogue of the paranormal investigator saying “something awful
happened here Ed” This creates a code of enigma, making us inquisitive.
The diegetic sounds used in the trailer is dialogue from characters such as “There's something
horrible happening in my house” and “You have a lot of spirits in here” this relates to the genre
of the film and helps to terrify the audience.
Throughout the trailer we can identify, through the use of dialogue, that this entity is so
malicious, we can see this when the paranormal investigator says “but there is one I’m most
worried about because it is so hateful.”
Noises from the supernatural entity also helps to represent the genre of ‘horror’ to the audience.
The diegetic sounds used of young children screaming makes the audience feel anxious and
There are also sound effects of smashing and screaming which creates a negative atmosphere
to the film, which is almost sinister.
The non-diegetic soundtrack starts off at a slow pace and gradually speeds up which increases
the tension and action in the trailer to relate to the genre ‘horror’ which generally makes you feel
tense and makes your heart race.
The other non-diegetic sounds are bangs and thuds which are used when the camera changes
angle or when there is a change of scenery, this creates tension and makes you feel constantly
on edge throughout the trailer.
There is also a voiceover used of a women whispering “look what she made me do” this creates
a code of enigma and gives us a supernatural impression.
Non- diagetic music is used as it is one of the most important features in a horror film. It is used
to create a creepy atmosphere and to build suspense. It also helps to change the mood and
emotion of a scene. Synchronous sounds are often used in horror trailers to create an
atmosphere and to help exaggerate the scene. Sound is one of the methods that a trailer uses
to establish the mood and expectations of the film.
The mise-en-scene is constructed in trailers by using a variety of features and methods that relate to the
genre of the film.
There are a variety of props used within the trailer of the Conjuring which create numerous amounts of
effects on the audience and help to portray the genre of the film effectively.
The props used in the trailer are the recording equipment such as the microphone and tape recorder used
by the character ‘Ed Warren’. These props are used to help symbolise the need to communicate with this
evil entity. These props also immediately reveal to the audience that the paranormal investigators are
searching for this supernatural being, which therefore helps the audience to identify the genre of the film.
At the begging of the trailer there are numerous props that look old, vintage and dirty, such as the piano,
chairs and stair case. These scary looking props are associated with the genre of the trailer and also
match the setting of the film. The black and white photos embedded in the trailer show gravestones and
skulls which help to reflect the genre of the film seen as they are highly related to the genre ‘horror’ as they
The mise-en-scene is also of the methods that a trailer uses to establish the mood and expectations of a
6. The main setting revealed in the trailer is the isolated farm house that the ‘Perron’ family
move into, this is a conventional feature of a horror film as it is set in a remote place away
from civilisation meaning that there is no immediate help for the family, they are alone. The
fact that the house is old also adds to the fear factor of the trailer as it creates a creepy
setting for the film.
The props used inside the house such as old wardrobes, clocks, and furniture also create
the same effect and gives the audience an indication of the genre.
The lighting in the trailer is very dim creating a mysterious and creepy setting. This is
conventional of a horror film as its purpose is to scare the audience and darkness is usually
associated with evil.
The costumes that the ‘Perron’ family and the paranormal investigators wear are very
vintage and old which matches the time period in which the film is set. The costumes allow
the audience to identify that the film is set in the 70’s and the costumes also help to set the
scene for the film.
The makeup used for the bruise marks on the mothers arms is very effective creating the
impression of harm which is a conventional feature of a horror film. It also builds tension
making the audience wonder what will happen next, how much is the family in danger?
7. CONVENTIONS OF HORROR FILM
Here is a list of conventions that I have identified in the trailer that I have
Dark/ low level lighting
Music creating an atmosphere – slow non-diegetic sound which gradually
speeds up for tension.
Fade to black creating suspense
A montage for action effect e.g showing the most action filled scenes
especially towards the end
Key points shown through intertitles
The title of the film is revealed at the end of the trailer.
All the main characters are shown in the trailer.
These conventions have been used to create a trailer that is effective. The
Conjuring is a successful trailer as it portrays the genre of the film. Without these
conventions the trailer wouldn’t have had the same effect on the audience. As a
promotional device a trailer is the most effective way that a film is able to receive
viewers through the use of advertisement. Therefore a trailer must be enticing to
the audience for box office results. The trailer is the main method that motivates
the audience to view the film, meaning that trailers can also have negative results
as well as positive. They have to be interesting in order to gain viewers. The film
studio uses the trailer to market its product as the audience are sat in the cinema
so the effects are more dramatic.
8. CAMERA WORK
At the start of the trailer a handheld camera is used to give the audience a sense of realism, it creates the
impression of a home video instead of having a professional camera along with a film crew. Using this
technique also creates the impression that the film was based on true events resulting in the audience
feeling more horrified by the scenes revealed in the trailer, enticing them to go view the film.
The trailer has many conventional shots such as close ups which are used to show the emotion of the
characters and establishing shots which are used to reveal the scene and location of the film.
Establishing shots are also used to help the audience feel as if they’re experiencing these events and
therefore are more involved in the film knowing what is happening. These are two types of camera shots
which are most commonly used in trailers. Wide shots and point of view shots are also commonly used
types of camera shots in trailers.
Here are a few camera shots that stood out for me in the trailer of ‘The
This point of view shot is taken from the position of Lorraine Warren who sees these disturbing
paranormal activities. It allows the audience to feel involved in the action revealed in the scene as if they
are seeing it through their own eyes. Point of view shots are commonly used in horror films as it allows
the audience to see what the victim or villain is seeing creating a more dramatic and realistic effect. In
horror trailers point of view shots are used to let the audience see from the perspective of the victim
which therefore makes the audience feel as if these paranormal activities are targeting them instead of
the character, this adds to the fear factor of the trailer.
9. This establishing shot of the ‘Perron’ families run down farm house is used to establish
the main setting and location of the film. Establishing shots are commonly used in trailers
and they are usually wide or long shots which is effective in a horror trailer as it can allow
the setting and location of the film to seem isolated meaning that the characters are cut
off from civilisation. The fact that the house is represented as isolated means that the
characters within this location and setting are vulnerable, immediately creating suspense
and tension for the audience.
This wide angle shot of one of the ‘Perron’ families bedrooms is used to create tension.
The low level lighting is used to create a mysterious atmosphere, as darkness normally
represents evil. Darkness also makes people feel more vulnerable and threatened. This
shot adds to the fear factor of the trailer as people fear the unknown.
10. I think that the target audience for this film is 15-40 years old and of mix gender as
this is present in the characters shown in the film. Although there are a few
characters present that are below the age of 15 this element would not attract this
age range as the age rating is 15 and over. The film targets an audience that wants
to be scared, the jumpy scenes with paranormal activity and horror shown in the
trailer gives the audience the adrenaline rush they require.
I believe that the trailer of ‘The Conjuring’ has successfully targeted its audience
because it offers everything a horror film requires such as the elements of fear,
chaos, mystery and paranormal activities.
There is lots of fade out transitions in the trailer, creating darkness and negative
energy, this effects the audience by making them feel anxious.
The trailer creates a sense of narrative and reveals the plot to the audience through
dialogue, intertitles and the mise-en-scene of the film e.g the props.
The trailer states that the film is from the director of Saw and Insidious, showing the
audience that they will not be disappointed as these existing films had a high
standard of fear. This is how the trailer targets a specific audience. The trailer
doesn't show the audience an attempt to repair the disruption, instead it ends on a
cliff hanger with the audience left in suspense.