2. Audiences & Institutions
Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96Itg4gjtts
Length of Trailer: 1 minute, 46 seconds
Title of Film: It Follows
Director: David Robert Mitchell
Release Date: 27th March 2015 (USA)
Certificate: 15 (R)
Top Billing: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist and Olivia Luccardi
Awards: 8 wins & 5 nominations
Genre: It is classified as a Horror/Mystery. I agree with this as it incorporates the usual Horror elements but the antagonist remains unclear
within the trailer subsequently displaying the mystery element. However, I believe it should be primarily promoted as a Psychological
Horror because it does revolve a lot around the mind and insanity.
Production Companies: Animal Kingdom, Northern Lights Films and Two Flints.
Distribution Companies: RADiUS-TWC and Dimension Films.
Worldwide Gross: $14,674,076
Target Audiences: Their primary audience was teenagers, considering the age of the main characters and the stereotypical demographic
for this genre. Secondary audience could possibly be youth between 20-25 but that would still be an unlikely audience to see the film.
Aimed at both genders but slightly more to the female side due to a female protagonist and the film taste of the gender.
Marketing: This was an independently produced film so the marketing campaign wasn’t very high profile. Trailers were the main source of
it showing in cinemas both in the US and the UK months before the release.
Marketing Success? The film received an average of $3,129 in its opening weekend and managed to gain a gross of nearly 15 million
dollars. The budget was nowhere near north of 5 million so financially it was quite a success and it remains RADiUS-TWC’s biggest
success. Critically, it was described as being its own new version of Horror so it was a success in that sense too.
3. Micro Analysis – Camera Work
Throughout the trailer, the camera appears to be tracking in slowly within the shots. This is illustrated nicely
in the first 5 shots of the trailer as the camera is gradually drawing in closer and closer on one particular
female character. This is the protagonist of the film and therefore, the camera is already displaying the
genre and the plot synopsis of this film well as it revolves someone following and getting closer to this
character eerily throughout its narrative. It is almost as if the camera here is emulating the same story. One
particular shot I thought was very effective was the one of her in a wheelchair as the camera shakes vividly
as she attempts to escape leading the audience to think that they are trying to escape with her.
Furthermore, most of the shots are entirely focused on this female lead from a variety of angles.
Another iconic shot for me is the long shot when she is standing in front of the house with her friends and
turns towards the camera. This can perhaps give the audience a sense that they have indeed embodied a
character that is watching her, which leads us to the presumption that there is always something or
someone that has eyes on her. In fact, the trailer consists of a dominating amount of long shots and mid
shots; mainly being focused on the protagonist. The long shots I believe just establishes the variety of
locations used within this production and consequently illustrating the fact that this follower/antagonist is
stalking the protagonist, and the viewer in the metaphorical sense, in a diverse range of places. The mid
shots are definitely used to build up the emotions of the protagonist showing the state of equilibrium at
the beginning of the trailer and then gradually changing to a much more nervous and anxious state before
showing her at her most distraught state in the high angle shot of her crying in the corner of a room.
4. Micro Analysis – Mise En Scene
First of all the lighting is very bright stating the equilibrium quite clearly until it quickly snaps to night time
dark lighting creating a very tense mood. This is to highlight the source of the disequilibrium in the film as
it happens that night as the boy passes on the curse of the follower onto this girl. Following on from that,
the protagonist is shown as being quite bright most of the trailer until towards the end which is perhaps
demonstrating how she is the character we are meant to be rooting for and hoping she will win this battle
but as the film develops it is gradually taking over her life and her physical body. Finally, towards the end
we see the colour blue being captivated by a smudge of red. Blue is usually associated with the calming
effect of the mind and the body. On the other hand, red is associated with anger, blood and death. As a
result, we can interpret the fact that the producer is saying that this antagonist is taking control of her
mind and body considering that it is indeed following her everywhere and ruining the character’s life.
The costumes within this trailer are very generic and not too vibrant as this film is aimed at quite a
mainstream audience. The female lead is shown in some shots wearing very little clothing which employs
the conventions of this genre as Horror does tend to exploit the bodies of women. Shen also wears a lot of
white symbolizing the purity and the solace we can conceive within her character. Having said that, most
characters are not exactly shown to be wearing anything complex which appeals to the lower class
audience as well. The prop of the wheelchair is also very effective to me as it gives the audience a sense of
entrapment and danger which can give us a feeling of struggling to escape and having the face the horror
of the truth.
5. Micro Analysis – Sound & Editing
The voiceover in this trailer is very vital to the mood the producer is setting here. You can slightly hear an echo in her
voice connoting that she is alone and therefore, promoting the themes of loneliness and isolation when you have this
horrible curse that she entails in the film. The male voiceover is juxtaposed with the female as she speaks with very light,
high-pitched music compared to his eerie piano tune in the background. This highlights the evil act that he performed
by passing on the stalker to her in the shot displayed at the same time. Following on from this point of disequilibrium in
the trailer all the dialogue has quite nervous breathing in between words illustrating how each character is most likely
very on edge and scared in the film enhancing the scare factor in the audience as well.
For me the music in this trailer may very well be the most iconic part. At the very beginning, it is quite joyful and calm
until it quickly snaps to the eerie piano tune. I believed this fitted the genre really well as it emulates some Horror
classics such as ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘Halloween’ both films that also are about a person or entity stalking you and taking
over your life. Then we hear a repeated four beat tune that gives us a sense of a climax about to happen as if it will all
come down to her strength of dealing with it and passing it on to someone else. To end the trailer we hear an alarm-like
tune which resembles the themes of danger and alert at every corner. The audience can only take horror and the
coming of something horrific if they watch this film just through the music.
Overall, the editing within this trailer is quite distorted and unclear which in a way already sets the tone of the film as it
revolves around the jump between reality and fantasy and whether what we’re seeing is in fact clear and real. The
repeated transition we see is the fading of total, pitch-black darkness symbolizing how the darkness is the main part of
the plot and it is in fact taking over this film. Additionally, we see the evident use of slow-motion furtherly adding to the
distorted nature of this trailer.
It is quite interesting how this trailer employs text considering there is not one cast
member or related film company mentioned. The majority of the text just uses the
reviews the film has been awarded with which is understandable considering the
amount of praising reviews the films has received. The most likely reason no cast
member is mentioned as they are all not very well-known so it would most probably be
quite a difficult technique to use to promote the film. Similarly, the production and
distribution companies are very independent organizations that would most likely not
be very widely recognized by the viewers of this trailer supported by the fact that the
target audience is teenagers.
The fact that the letters are all uppercase fits very well with the genre and the mood the
producers are setting here. It is just like the reviewers are screaming at the audience
just like you would at a Horror picture so it is implying the audience will feel the same
way. They also swivel as if they are underwater which hints at one of the biggest scenes
in the film shown briefly in this trailer.
The style of the text here is also quite effective as it links very nicely with the topic of
the film. Again, it is displayed in a much distorted manner which connects well with the
editing but it is also once more displayed in a vivid, bright blue colour showing how its
once more all about the mental state of yourself and how that relates to the
surroundings around you. Additionally, there is a faint splash of red in the background
of this illustrating that there is always a sense of danger and blood in this story.
List of text within this trailer:
2. Visit Films, Northern Lights Films
and Animal Kingdom
3. ‘A Horror fan’s dream come true’
4. ‘A Future Classic’ Danny Leigh, Film
5. ‘2015’s must see Horror’ Total Film
6. ‘Spine-Tingling’ The List
7. ‘Gripping’ Hollywood Reporter
8. ‘Chilling’ Little White Lies
9. ‘Scary as Hell’ First Showing
10. ‘Terrifying’ Indiewire
11. It Follows
12. February 27
7. Macro Analysis - Representation
I believe the main stereotype of this genre displayed in the trailer is the stereotypical
female character. She has an essence of a ‘Damsel in Distress’ which is quite clear from
the moment the problem arrives in the story. This is developed further by adding a male
character that needs to be there to protect her and ends up becoming very close to her
in order to aid her from the antagonist attempting to destroy her. In addition to that, we
are exposed to her in very little clothing and we are lead to see her attractive
appearance so we can see how her character is a typical one we would see in a Horror
genre. Having said that, at the beginning of the trailer we also see her being represented
as quite a typical teenage girl dreaming of her ‘Prince Charming’ coming along to fall in
love with her. As a result, this connects more with the female audience supported even
further by the possible thought of being lied to by an ex-boyfriend or a person similar to
that kind. Moreover, the rest of the characters within this trailer also seem to be
vulnerable to some level of distress. They are all in their clear youth; relating more to the
target audience and representing the particular age group to be in danger of this horror
chasing after them.
8. Macro Analysis – Genre & Narrative
The genre of this film is classified as a Horror/Mystery/Thriller. Whilst I believe all of
these genres are most certainly incorporated within this trailer, I think, to be specific,
this film narrows down to a Psychological Horror. This is mainly because of my analysis
of the camera work, sound and the very nature of the narrative. The camera has some
shaky shots with blurry vision on occasions which I believe highlights the state of the
character’s mind. To extend that further, I believe it also is supposed to play with the
audience’s expectations as they may expect it to be yet another paranormal entity
haunting this stereotypical female character when in fact it may very well be her losing
her mind or an actual person stalking her and ruining her life piece by piece. The music
is also very much linked towards the stereotypical Horror music you would hear but to
me it ties more in with the Mystery element due to its placement within the trailer
whilst she’s attempting to figure out what it is that has possessed her. To that end, the
narrative is certainly the key factor to the psychological element as it all revolves around
someone or something playing with your mind and your life in order to simply
sabotage them as a person. Overall, the genre is still slightly scattered but for me it is
circled around the Psychological emotions of this main character.
Todorov – Equilibrium Theory
Equilibrium – Girl meets guy and starts a
Disequilibrium – Guy leaves girl with
horrible affliction of a constant stalker
Recognition – Girl realises that there is
someone following her and she struggles
to handle it
Attempt to repair – Girl attempts to find
out how to stop it or passes it someone
Equilibrium – Girl gets rid of the affliction
Roland Barthes – Enigma Code
Will the girl survive the affliction?
What is it exactly that is haunting this
How will she destroy the affliction?