The theme that appears to be the most prominent is that of childhood fears. The director has exhibited this by using an abundant amount of creative and interesting camera techniques. The techniques cause us, as an audience, to become captivated in the short film’s horror. As the film begins, the mis en scene is very welcoming – a mother and her son in their residence, doing natural and everyday things. Whilst the boy is playing, his mother is sewing in a rocking chair. This leads the audience into a false sense of security, making them think that everything is perfectly fine when – in actual fact – it is the total opposite.
The director does this to add to the effect of eeriness and mystery that was created in the opening scene before the title – which was a mysterious place that seemed out of this world, we get the sense that this was the case by the camera zooming down giving the sense that Earth is below. The young infant appears and acts relaxed but only before the clock chimes. After the clock chimes the boy seems to be anxious and worried of what is about to happen. To ad to the effect of suspense the director cuts from the boy, to the mother and then to the clock.
This gives the audience the impression that the time signifies an important part of the day; causing the mother to stop what she and tend to her son. It is as the mother gets up that we see the insecurities of the young boy being revealed. When the mother removes the drum from around the boy’s neck and takes away his instrument sticks, we see the boy become both upset and nervous. The director has done this, I feel, to add to the child’s insecurities – making the boy feel like he is on his own. The director also conveys the child’s insecurities by using a long shot – showing the boy’s whole posture.
By doing this, the director has created a sense of vulnerability. The boy also seems fairly insecure; not only within himself but also with his surrounding. The director puts this across by moving the boy’s eyes – making him look around as if he is searching for something. As the boy is looking around his mother eventually ushers her offspring to an oak door – that seems large and intimidating. The mother hands her son a miniature candle, which I believe to be a significant sign that the boy is inferior to his surroundings.
To show how the boy is feeling, close-ups have been used and these show the boy’s expressions and movements. The director has done this to build up more tension and drama, giving the audience the impression that there is a lot more to come. When the little boy looks out of the large, oak door we see one of a young child’s worst fears… darkness. To add an effect of urgency the director uses a montage, cutting from the boy, to the mother, to the door. Just by using this simple cutting technique the director had formed a message in the audience’s mind – what is so threatening behind the door.
By doing this the impact on the audience is quite uncomfortable – making them fear for the young child. The mother comforts her son, but in a way which leads the audience to think and feel that the mother is reluctant to do so – this can therefore create further insecurities. The director has done this so, it keeps the audience still enticed within the film, and also gives the sense of anguish which the boy is feeling. The mother then forces the young child out of the door and shuts it behind him. This makes the boy seem even more vulnerable and petrified.
The director conveys this by using camera techniques such as zooming and high angle shots. The camera zooms out to reveal a flight of long and gloomy stairs; ad the high vulnerability and, also, to make the audience think that the young child is diminutive and innocent compared to his surroundings. From just this short scene we can tell that, although they have a relationship, the mother and the son do not have a strong bond – which is not what should be seen from a parent and their child’s relationship.
The director has also used point of view shots to show the son’s weary expressions – which are cautious and preparing for something unexpected to occur. As the boy reaches the top of the stairs the director uses zooming out to give the impression of fear and also giving the sense of tension and build up within the film. The director has also used close-ups of the boy’s face – this gives the effect that the child is terrified by the look of the hallway and stairs.
When the boy enters his room the director has used a high angler shot – looking down on the boy, showing him at his most reliable stage. The audience can feel the horror through sound effects, which add both drama and tension. The direct does this to create a great deal of suspense and drama. As soon as this technique is over we see the young boy run into his room. The director uses another high angle shot to make the boy seem again vulnerable and unsafe; by using this technique the director has caused the audience to believe that the boy is not alone.