Float Textual Analysis

When a ‘friend’ from her past with schizophrenia turns up at her doorstep and asks for her help to kill his parents, she kicks him out… only for him to show up and attempt to carry out his plans on her. However, not everything goes to plan, and who kills who?

Textual Analysis:

At the beginning, text establishes the date and time at which the film is set. Furthermore, because it is set in the early hours of the morning, it will put the audience on edge as stereotypically, it’s more dangerous when dark. Moreover, it is in white typography against a black background which is symbolic of purity and innocence against dark and evil.

A WA tracking shot, follows a young female, dressed in pink which is a colour commonly associated with young, innocent girls. When opening the door (in a OTS) an alarm sounds, from which the audience can depict that it is warning her of danger and possibly the danger of him. Immediately, the females facial expression and body language show confusion and unease, whereas, the male (Carter) seems mentally troubled and even mentally unstable due to his tone of voice, blank facial expression and body language. The female tries to get rid of Carter but he pleads desperation by saying “Please” and is let in.

It then cuts to an WA OTS shot, where Carter has a bright red light on his face, which is symbolic of blood, danger and violence… possibly foreshadowing the future. A pull focus is used to highlight to the audience the females wariness. The male has a long shot duration during his dialogue to make the scene more dramatic and important as well a loose frame to connote that he is alone which is reinforced by him stating “I don’t have any friends”. When speaking there is a non-diegetic sound score making the audience feel on edge. It then stops to add emphasis on the sentence “it just keeps telling me to kill them”, shocking both the female and the audience. A CU on the females face illustrates her shock, worry and terror. She then continuously shouts”no! no! no! no! no!” and pushes him away, denoting how desperate she is to get out of the situation. Furthermore, she repeats the adjective “insane”, resulting in worrying the audience about her safety as she has most likely upset him more, making him more dangerous. The camera is hand-held making the scene seem more realistic as well as making the audience feel apart of the action. However, when he becomes calm and ‘normal’, this results in the audience being in suspense and anxious because they wouldn’t believe that he would just leave so easily and creates questions such as “will he come back?”.

It then cuts to another title stating the date and time, only three days later and once again in the early hours of the morning. The camera tracks the female, who seems to be relaxed. Until, an OTS shot reveals a person dressed in all black (symbolic of evil and darkness) and a mask who is just staring and watching her and slowly zooms in, intensifying the suspense and putting the audience on the edge of their seats. A whip pan is used, speeding up the pace of the scene.  A MS WA highlights the female’s isolation and therefore, how no one can help her. The sound score immediately intensifies, making the scene more dramatic, but the music stops when she rips off the mask, resulting in the attacker stopping. It can be interpreted that the mask was the face of the voices in his head, making him strangle her but once the mask came off, he was Carter again and therefore stopped and walked away.

It becomes clear to the audience that Carter cannot accept responsibility for what he’s done and blames her as if she calls the police then his “life is over”. However, the audiences feelings toward Carter change and they begin to sympathise for him as he is now portrayed as the vulnerable character due to being scared, shown through his body language, tone of voice and facial expressions (crying). The blame is still put of the female due to the repetition of “because of you”.

A WA MS shows Carter going into the water and attempting to end his life. The female’s desperation to help him is highlighted by the diegetic dialogue of “I told you I could help you, I told you we could sort something out, but Carter you tried to kill me!”. The female keeps trying to get him out of the water, but then there is a loud dramatic sound effect as he pulls her in… attempting to kill her again. It can be insinuated that the water is now his mask. A high-pitched screeching sound effect makes the scene seem more intense, as well as the diegetic heavy breathing of the female while struggling to stay alive. HA’s are used to highlight their vulnerability and lack of power, both herself and to Carter due to the voices in his head. The female gets to the surface and out of self-defence, keeps trying to keep herself up… until Carter stops thrashing.

Finally, the camera tracks the female quickly swimming to the edge of the pool. The shot is held for a long duration, allowing the audience to focus on her shock, her facial expressions, her breathing and her trying to come to terms with what just happened and how she is now the murderer… not him.

My opinion:

This amazing thriller leaves the audience shocked with a catastrophic cliff hanger, resulting in many unanswered questions such as “what happens to her now?”. Furthermore, from the very beginning it grabbed the audience’s attention and held it throughout as well as getting the audience to feel sympathetic towards both characters. It has so many amazing features that make a great thriller and it has inspired me for my short film to come…

Media Theory:

  • Levi Strauss (Binary oppositions) – Good VS Bad overall however, it’s discovered that the princess also has evil/bad within her when she kills the villain… but does that make her a villain too?
  • Roland Barthes (Enigma theory) – The theory which suggests any text (e.g tv and film) makes the audience question something and intrigues the audience, drawing them in. Many questions are raised in the audiences mind such as “what will happen, will he kill her?”, this becomes answered however, the film ends on a cliff hanger, leaving the audience wondering what happens to her next: “will she be put in prison? Or will she get away with it?”.

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