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Screenwriters and film producers use various techniques to make their films extra interesting. Suspense is a literal device applied in movie manufacturing to ensure that the audience is at the edge of eats. In Identity (2003) and Vertigo (1958), the suspense is basically developed in using various techniques. Identity involves distinctive characters who coincidentally meet in a motel in Nevada desert after heavy rainstorm hinders them from reaching their respective destinations. The characters are strangers from a limousine driver, a tv start, a convict, parents, a girl, a couple in honeymoon, a hotel manager, and a police officer. Soon, the characters start getting killed one after the other which raises anxiety and causes mistrust among the characters. This leads to more deaths caused by the serial killer and caused by accidental killings between the characters. On the other hand, Vertigo (1958) is based on the psychological disorder of a former detective. The movie shows John, a detective, having a rooftop chase with his witness who is a fellow police officer. Accidentally, the police officer falls as he tries to save John from falling which adversely impacts Johns attitude towards height. The event leads to a fear of high heights in John leading him to quit his detective career. Eventually, he moves back home and gets much time to spend with his ex-girlfriend. However, he is offered a job to spy on Gavin’s wife who has is reported to behave strangely in a manner proposing being possessed by spirits. However, he develops affection towards Galvin's wife. However, she takes her life after throwing herself from a rooftop as John watches helplessly due to his fear of heights. Eventually, he understands that Elvis wife was not the Madeleine after having some time with Judy. He understands that it was the husbands plan to kill his wife. After Judy confesses, she also jumps from the rooftop and kills herself which escalates Johns negative attitude towards height. In both movies, the suspense is employed making them interesting and exciting. The movies depict that suspense can be applied through the focusing on emotions, creating conflict, providing opposition, using surprise, developing expectation, maintaining doubt, as well as establishing consequences.
A major technique used to create suspense in both movies is through evoking emotions. On Vertigo (1958), the audience is subjected towards various emotions based on John character. He quits his job after losing his partner during a rooftop chase. As a result, the audience perceives him as a coward who gives in to fear to make him the character of interest. Additionally, he also shows his kindness and concern by spending his time with his ex-girlfriend. Apart from that, he develops emotions towards his subject which increases suspense on whether he will succeed in his mission (Auiler 65). By evoking particular feelings in an audience towards a particular character, the movie maintains suspense since the audience looks out for to see how the character will succeed in his objectives. By watching Identity, the audiences are in suspense on whether John’s relationship with Madeleine will enable her to recover quickly or how it will end up knowing that she has a husband. Likewise, in Identity, the movie uses the technique of evoking emotions through subjecting the audience to various emotions. This is achieved through introducing ten strangers from different backgrounds and who are experiencing different things in their life. It shows a nine-year-old boy and his parents who are undergoing a crisis after her mother is hit by a car (Verevis 97). This invokes a sympathetic feeling towards the characters creating suspense of their fate in the movie. Additionally, the incorporation of an ex-police officer in the strangers invoke emotions of hope in audiences. The audiences tend to feel that the officer could aid in preventing any hazards hence creating some suspense in the movie.
In modern movie production, the creation of sympathetic characters that an audience could relate to or like. Movie produces understand that characters tell the majority of the movie’s story via their dialogue and action. Therefore, modern movies tend to create a particular emotion in one episode which creates suspense of the characters fate or next moves.
Build Expectation is also another major technique used in creating suspense. In Identity, the movies create various expectation that aid in creating suspense. The hotel owner does narrate that he found the hotel owner dead due to unknown reasons. This does create an expectation of bad occurrences as the movie proceeds which puts the audience in suspense. Additionally, the presence of Timmy, the nine-year-old, creates an expectation that the kid cannot be of any harm to the rest of the members. After the killing starts, nobody understands the main killer. However, the audience shows the expectation that the killer cannot be Timmy but a grown person like the convict or any other adult. This vividly creates suspense in the movie from the start to the end. Similarly, Vertigo also creates various expectations to the audience which aid in developing suspense (Hitchcock & Sidney 44). The early resigning of John creates an expectation that he could no longer take part in detective roles. However, suspense arises after he agrees to follow Galvin’s wife to affirm the allegations made by Galvin. Likewise, the factor that John and Madeleine develop affection for each other creates the expectation that both will solve the issues in Madeleine. This creates suspense on how John will help her solve her problem. Additionally, the expectation that John will do anything in his power to ensure she also creates suspense of what he will do in case she faces a real danger.
In the development of suspense, modern day movies provide the expectation to audiences that something is about to happen. This makes the audience expectant of trouble, pain or freedom at in the movie. By doing this, the audiences are left under suspense of when their expectation will be fulfilled and how it will be fulfilled.
Creation of conflict is also another significant way of creating suspense in movies. In Identity, conflict is created by the guest after the first killing. Larry is suspected of murdering Maine after Maine is killed by the assailant when she is left alone (Poe 30). As he tries to escape, he drives over George and kills his hence increasing the suspense in the movie. The audiences are put into the suspense of knowing the killer and understanding how the deteriorating relationships of the guest will end up. Additionally, there is also conflict on the sanity of the convict who has been sentenced to murder. Initially, there develops a conflict on whether the convict is insane or sane and whether he deserves to be sentenced on his mental state (Katz & Ronald 100). This creates suspense of the mental state of the convict and how it could be related to the killings in the guest room. Similarly, Vertigo also uses the conflict to create suspense. Conflict is developed in the movie after Judie discloses Galvin’s plan of killing his wife. Through, this suspense is created ion which is the real Madeleine and the reasons a husband could demand the following of a wife he was about to kill. Apart from that, the death of Judie also leaves the audience in suspense on the next steps John would the having derived vital information.
In modern movies, use of conflict is a significant way of developing various themes and literal devices in a film. Conflicts create an expectation to the audiences which keeps them in suspense of the next scenes as well as of the fate of the characters. Modern producers and screenwriters have the notion that crafting of stories that have fierce opposing forces as well as conflict does propel the audience to move along as well as speculate about the end of the movies. Hence, they find the use of conflict as a major way of creating suspense in a film
In conclusion, it is vivid that creation of uncertainty in movies is a factor that determines how interesting a video should be. During the narration and filming of the movie, screenwriters and movie producers have a chance of creating suspense in their films to ensure they are luring and interesting to the audiences. As clearly shown above, techniques like building expectation, conflict as well as evoking emotions are the major way through which movie producers create suspense. This is evidently shown in the movies Vertigo (1998) and Identity (2003).
Auiler, Dan. Vertigo: The Making of a Hitchcock Classic. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998. Print.
Hitchcock, Alfred, and Sidney Gottlieb. Hitchcock on Hitchcock: Selected Writings and Interviews. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. Print.
Katz, Ephraim, and Ronald D. Nolen. The Film Encyclopedia: [the Complete Guide Film and the Film Industry]. New York: Collins, 2008. Print.
Poe, Edgar A. Tales of Horror and Suspense. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2003. Print.
Verevis, Constantine. Film Remakes. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005. Print.
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