Opening sections Essay
The opening section of the sixth sense and the others has many similarities and many differences. The way in which a film begins has a great impact on the person watching it. It can affect their opinion on the film and even allow them to make presumptions on the storyline to follow. The credits are the very first thing we see and therefore must catch our eyes. The credits for the ‘sixth sense’ are made simple but effectively. Coloured in black and white; they slowly emerge out towards you giving a sinister and deadly feel.
As the main feature title; ‘the sixth sense’ is displayed a sweeping shadow is cast across the text. This creates thoughts in the minds of the audience that there is a supernatural presence. However, the credits of ‘the others’ are quite contrasting. They are intricate and captivating, grabbing the attention of the audience. There is a voice over of a woman; she tells you that she is going to read a story. As the story begins we see pictures, comparable to a storybook. They show two young children living in a house with their mother.
A candle with a dim and flickering flame lights up the pages. This portrays the feeling you are being told a ghost story. As the last page is turned we see an old mansion house, the hand-drawn picture fade into reality, we then know this is where the story begins. The music for ‘the others’ carries on in a similar style throughout the opening sections. It is very jerky and pronounced and there is a chorus of instruments such as violins. The music creates tension and when the level of suspense is increasing, the music gets faster to build the audience to a climax.
The ‘sixth sense’ had a similar composition of music. Except in a bad situation the music stops completely. This is effective because it creates a build-up of anticipation and lets you know there is a presence of a hurtful ghost. The use of the camera, with angle shots and movement creates different effects on the film. In the ‘sixth sense’ cinematography is used, especially with point of view shots. These were often shown in the eyes of the young boy; Cole. This gives the audience a better feel of his emotions and struggles and it also makes you feel as if you’re in his shoes.
When there is a focus on the main characters, sometimes camera shots were taken from behind objects. This gives the feeling that there is an intruder and they are being watched, this develops edginess and apprehension. The camera movement and angles in ‘the others’ are used carefully to ensure the correct impact is made on its audience. Gentle, sweeping movement of the camera in the credits helped to emphasize the fact you were looking at a story book. As the page was turned, the camera moved too.
When we are fist introduced to the main characters, the camera circled around them. This gives the audience the perception that there is more to them than we can see. In the sixth sense, colour and lighting is quite a focal point. The intensity of the light symbolises different states of mind and the security of the characters. When the light is dull we acknowledge that there is danger around where as when there is bright light, safety is presumed. Likewise, warm, autumn colours such as reds and oranges symbolize invulnerability.
Cold colours are signals of jeopardy. ‘The Others’ is set in a more old-fashioned period where clothing, furnishings and surrounds are drab colours and therefore lighting is dull throughout the opening sections. This is partly because the house the family lives in has no electricity, candle light is mostly seen. The children are allergic to the daylight and this is another reason for the lack of light. These surroundings make the audience feel apprehensive and tense. The locations of the ‘sixth sense’ and ‘the others’ have similarities and differences.
The ‘sixth sense’ is set in up-to-date and modern day times. The house which the two main characters live in is very large. The house seems rather desolate and it would seem appropriate there should be a larger family living there. This resembles the location of ‘the others,’ this too is set in a large house with only a few people. The only difference being that it is set, dating back the end of World War 2. The location of these two films is ideal for a storyline involving spirits and a supernatural presence.
Without the actors in a film, a plot and script could not be made into a reality. The actors in ‘The others,’ play the parts of their characters very well. Nicole Kidman, cast as the mother, has a very disturbed mind and the intricate detail put into her character makes her seem the perfect person to play the main part in a horror film. She can make the audience feel terrified and in emotional times we can also sympathise for her. There is also a great deal of humour from the young boy ‘Nicholas,’ he is very warm-hearted and can sometimes be seen as comical.
The two main characters of the ‘sixth sense’ show their feelings through their speaking and just as well through their actions. Terror can be portrayed by them running away frantically or moving gingerly in the discovery of danger. Finally, all of the various factors which have been compared from the two films illustrate the way in which quite diverse plots can have the same impact creating trepidation, shock and the ultimate feeling of fear. Film producers can create all of these sensations using different techniques to provoke an appropriate response, hence maintaining
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 7 July 2017