Looking At Movies, by Barsam and Monahan
Read Chapter 11
Paranormal Activity is a recent addition to our nation's long history of horror films. What's your favorite scary movie of all time? Using your knowledge of film and the vocabulary from this class, tell us what makes it so scary. It would help to describe the sound, the shots, the acting, the lighting, and so on. Make us believe it really is the scariest movie out there!
In general, I am not a fan of horror genre at all. That being said I do have a few films of the genre that I do enjoy. Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece The Shining is one of those few films. Throughout the presentation of the film, many different types of shots are used to build the suspense and the fear.
Through the use of many creepy close up shots, especially of Jack Nicholson, raising his signature eyebrows help illustrate the insanity going on inside his head. Another example of different shots is when the family is traveling up to the hotel, there is a high-angle shot done from a helicopter, following them giving the sense they are being watched. Another type of shot that is used quite frequently in the film are jump shots. The shot that comes to mind is when Danny is riding his three wheel around and sees the twin girls and the shot is jumping from a full-body shot to a close-up shot to create tension.
Jack Nicholson, one of my favorite actors, is extremely creepy in this film. He really makes you think that he is completely out of his mind. The way he speaks the lines. The way he expressed with his face. Amazing work!