The high angle shot and extreme long shot looking down at Dracula and Harker crossing through the hall. This shot draws attention to Dracula’s extremely long red cape streaming out behind him like a trail of blood. The low angle shot shows Dracula looming over Harker and makes him look powerful, like he is in control. Many two shots are used to allow the audience to make comparisons between the two characters. The low angle shot is also used to emphasize the shadow’s movements.
The low lighting helps with casting Dracula’s shadow which is again typical of horror.
Dracula’s eerie shadow moving in the gloom is very effective for scaring the audience as the combination of shadow with candle light works exceptionally well for this scene. This candle light makes the gloomy aspect more present as the castle is immense and there are not very many candles so most of the entrance hallway would be beyond the reach of the light and in darkness, which makes it very scary as you do not know what lurks in the gloom.
There is orchestral music played by the strings which go low and slow to create a sinister atmosphere.
This music adds to the feeling of tension, the feeling that something is going to happen. The music gets louder and quicker when Harker offends Dracula by laughing and Dracula gets furious and pulls out a sword. This combined with the change of pace and volume of the music makes the audience become afraid, a typical trick of horror. There are many different sound effects in this scene from Dracula. There is the howling of the savage wolves, which scares the audience and makes the element of horror and wildness of the setting more clear. There was the thunder, which is typical of a horror movie.
The clanging of the huge, metal gates emphasizes the feeling of the strength and inescapability of the castle and that Harker will not be able to escape and this will be his prison for the rest of his life. Harker’s costume is typical of a man of those times. He wears a suit and is very neatly presented. He has his hair combed very carefully. Dracula’s is very different. He wears a huge red robe which trails out behind him like blood. His hair is curled up high and is white and it mixes with the skin on the back of his neck which makes him look weird and scary.
His skin is white and wrinkled like an old man and this creates the effect that he has been drained of all his blood and that helps you to understand his lust for blood and the way he talks about the preciousness of blood. It makes him look very scary and effective, almost dead in a way. It also makes him look exotic and abnormal. He would stand out in a crowd of normal people. There were quite a few similarities between the film extract and the text; both were set in a huge, Gothic castle with a vast courtyard. The stone was ‘massively carved’ and the door was old and studded. Both had creeping shadows and lanterns.
In both the film extract and the text, Dracula is portrayed as having hairy palms (abnormal), profuse hair, an “extraordinary pallor” as he is very pale, he is portrayed as being an old man in both and he is also similarly portrayed as speaking with a ‘strange intonation’ (foreign accent). The similarities between the film extract and the text with Harker is that in both they portray his feelings of anxiety and his crossing of the threshold is made significant. The differences are that in the text, Dracula is described as having bushy eyebrows and a moustache whereas in the film extract he has a plain face.
In the text, Dracula is dressed in all black while in the film he is dressed in white which emphasizes his paleness with a red cape that is more powerfully visual as looking like blood flowing behind him. Also in the text Dracula is portrayed as having a red mouth with protuberant, pointed teeth while in the film he is shown as having a pale mouth and normal teeth. The director uses this look in order to make Dracula look like a normal human, adding to the feeling of mystery surrounding him, and to make him different from the stereotypic image of Dracula. Summary
These two films engage a modern audience in the way the films use clever tricks to give suspense, which can be overlooked in some of the newer horror films that rely on the amount of blood that comes out rather than clever filming and jumpy moments. In short, Dracula and Frankenstein were very similar in the way that they portrayed the typical horror tricks and consisted of similar camera angles to each other point out various bits. I thought that Dracula, both the written extract and the film extract fitted the horror genre a bit better than Frankenstein as it was more believable for me.
I also thought that the film extract was much more scary, although Frankenstein wasn’t bad and had its moments of fright. My final views were that Dracula was on the whole filmed better than Frankenstein as it used the different camera angles more effectively in my opinion. Andrew Baillie 10ALB Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.