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The Host opening analysis

  1. The Host Title Sequence Shots Shot 1: Open Road presents Shot 2: In association with IAV International and Silver Reel Shot 3: The Host The Host Genre Main genre: Post apocalyptic/sci-fi genre. Other genres in the narrative: Action/thriller, romance. Narrative/Plot shortened A race of non-corporeal, parasitic aliens who go from planet to planet looking for hosts have come to Earth and taken over the human race. When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie Stryder will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about - Jared, Ian, her brother Jamie and her Uncle Jeb, proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world. Colour codes: white connotes minimalist, techno, clean. Bold, capitals – stands out, contrast to the dark background. There are no connotations which indicate a specific audience which implies that the colours chosen are to suit male and female. Where as if the colours were pink/purple, the audience indicated would be for females.
  2. The Host Camera Shots/Angles/Movement The first shot in the mise en scene is a view of the stars and the earth. When the title sequences are appearing the earth is slowly coming towards the camera. The audience feel like they are getting closer to the earth which draws them in. This extremely wide shot establishes/implies what the genre of the film is: the stars, earth and sun infer that it is about the whole nation, not just a certain place. We associate the whole nation/society in most post apocalyptic films.
  3. Graphic Match is used in these three shots: earth expanding/exploding  eyeball  extreme close up of eyes on a woman. It goes from a wide establishing shot to a extreme close up of a characters eyes. From this shot, the audience can imply that the person is apocalyptic/ an alien creature due to the abnormal colour in the woman’s eyes. There are connotations of the genre: white, blue, black. They give a sense of sci-fi/techno. The way the camera has moved from the earth to the woman may hint to the narrative: seeing through someone else's eyes.
  4. There is a continuous montage of shots – different people are shown. Graphic match is still used when zooming through people’s eyes, into others. This indicates that everyone is the same/has the same vision and are part of the same species like a family which relates to the narrative. There is movement of the camera as it zooms from a close up to a mid shot for all of the people shown and has transitions fading in and fading out and overlapping. The editing is not to quick either.
  5. It then cuts suddenly to a different scene. This introduces the main character in the film. This close up identifies the character and her facial expressions. It suggest that she is uncomfortable or worried because she looks like she is confused and looking at something/someone. The lighting is very dark which connotes evil, problems etc. This shot is a long shot which shows her being surrounded by the aliens.
  6. The next part she is fighting and hitting the aliens – match on action is used. The shots are quickly swapping from different angles to create tension. The editing speeds up which keep the audience interested and alert. There are mostly mid shots used when she is hitting the opponents. MATCH ON ACTION IS USED A LOT SHOT 1: smashing through glass SHOT 2: falling through the air SHOT 3: landing on the floor
  7. When she is falling, a low angle shot is taken to exaggerate and show how high the height is: the buildings look huge compared to her. In these shots there is eye line match. The woman (alien) is looking over the girl. The close up of the alien shows her facial expressions and then cuts to a POV shot to show what she is seeing. This puts the audience inside her view. The high angle shot shows the dead girl which makes her look small and useless. The angle makes the alien look more powerful as she looks down on her.
  8. It then fades from that scene to establish another location. A wide angle long shot shows the setting change and shows the characters involved. The layout of the building is stereotypical sci-fi/post apocalyptic genre based – minimalistic, clean, futuristic. Mid shot shows the main character – shows the damage done.
  9. Clever technique: shows the persons actions in the reflection. Close up of the silver container. Extreme close up of the mythical alien creature. The audience are questioned and challenged because they don’t know what this is or why they want to give it to the girl.
  10. There are three main shots to show the alien creature being put inside the girls body. A close up of it being put into her neck, the creature moving into the back of her neck and into her brain and the effect it has on her. They are all close ups to show the audience what is happening. There is a rotation of the camera going from her neck to her face. The extreme close up shows that her eyes have changed and she is now like the others. The mythical alien entices the audience because they want to know what it will do to her and why she has been targeted. The camera movements are slow still to show clearly and carefully what’s happening – it sets the narrative up.
  11. The Host Sound One thing that is used a lot in post apocalyptic/sci-fi films are voice overs. In The Host, the voice over is used right from the beginning up until it cuts to the woman’s/alien’s eye. This is significant because it explains to the audience about the context – “we’ve been invaded… by an alien race”. It explains that there are only few humans left and that they are on the run from the aliens. The voiceover helps set up the narrative and it makes sense when the aliens are running after the girl who is still human. There is non-diagetic sound (music) in the background when she is hiding round the corner. It is tense music because it’s quiet at the start and gets louder slightly when she runs off to the middle when she is surrounded by the alien enemies. When she is swiping her weapon at the aliens, a ‘swish’ sound is used to make it more realistic. This may be a foley sound. When she starts to hit and cut them, sound effects are used (foley maybe) to make the hit sound harsh and realistic. It is a graphic sound which shows the action and violence.
  12. The Host Sound Throughout the chase, there is a upbeat action soundtrack. The track used creates tension for the audience. There is still diagetic sounds eg. When the glass breaks when she goes through it and a bang sound when she hits the ground. When the aliens find her body there is a slow tense soundtrack used, the mood has changed. There are sound effects used such as: sci-fi, techno, futuristic sounds. In some parts, the music gets louder to build tension.
  13. How are the character types established? Melanie Stryder: Main character She is one of the few humans left on the earth and the aliens are after her to change her into one of them. She is put across as a ‘good’ character trying to get away from the enemies. She is young (16-18 we presume) so the audience can feel sympathy for her. She is shown as a strong, brave character as she stands up for herself against the aliens. Stereotypically, women are seen as objects and attract male audiences, however in this case, she has a masculine personality eg. Power, fighting, violence. Alien race The aliens that are taking over the human race infer that they are in charge and have more power over the humans. The main woman is shown more than the other aliens which infers that she is in charge. In terms of costumes, the men are wearing full black and the woman is wearing all white. The colours represent futuristic and relate to the genre. The white eyes also show that they are aliens/post apocalyptic creatures because we know as an audience that having white eyes is fiction.
  14. Narrative Enigma: Barthes' Enigma Code is a theory that suggests a text (whether that be television, film, a poster etc) portrays a mystery to draw an audience in, pose questions and, as such, become intrigued in the piece. For instance, a murder mystery will often not reveal the identity of the murderer until the end of the story, which poses the question "Who is the murderer?" The host uses enigma codes because the audience don’t know why they want Melanie Stryder (the human) and they may ask questions like: • Why have the aliens taken over? How? • What’s happened to all the humans? • Does Melanie escape?
  15. Do I think this is an effective opening? I think the opening is good because it represents the post apocalyptic/sci-fi genre very well. The camera angles, shots, sound and characters all establish a futuristic film which the audience can identify easily through the use of codes and conventions which represent the specific genre. From start to finish, the genre is easily recognised: Beginning: the earth, stars and sun with an exclamatory voice over End: the human being taken over by an alien. Audience The target audience for this kind of film and genre would stereotypically be teenagers from about 15 onwards due to the romance and the young characters in it. The genre mostly appeals to a male audience however, because of the romance storyline, the film will appeal to a female audience also. Maybe the romance narrative has been used so that the film is targeted at a wider audience rather than just at males.