Visitor Textual Analysis

Visitor is a 4 minute thriller short film. It is about a serial killer who is known by the name “visitor” and one night he visits someone else.

Textual Analysis:

During the titles there is shots of a male going about his daily life, during which there is a radio report about a serial killer as well as a news article. The news article is shown from a POV shot, highlighting that the male is reading it as the audience is however, the male doesn’t seem concerned by the article and ignores it by clicking off the website, furthermore this is reinforced by a CU shot which reveals his blank facial expression and carries on drinking his tea. When standing at the window, the male sees someone and a OTS shot reveals another man… the ‘visitor’ standing there watching him. Moreover, the danger of the man is reinforced by the synchronous dramatic sound effect when he sees the ‘visitor’.

The camera keeps going in and out of focus illustrating his confusion, panic and disorientation. The suspenseful sound score highlights his danger whilst a flashback shows the article, connoting that he believes that it is the ‘visitor’. A POV shows the male looking down the stairs and the silence creates an apprehensive atmosphere. Unfortunately for the character, this is broken by a dramatic loud synchronous sound effect when the ‘visitors’ foot is shown, making the audience jump. While the male scrambles frantically to find a weapon to defend himself, the slow motion footsteps of the ‘visitor’ put the audience on edge.

The male grabs a knife and as the door opens, attacks him. The screen goes blank and the music stops, conveying that it is over. It cuts to a shallow focus shot, focusing on the knife and the dead ‘visitor’. However, the next few shots (in slow motion making it more dramatic) show the male putting on a jacket to disguise himself making the audience ask questions such as “why is he doing that?”. The plot twist is revealed with a CU of the real ‘visitor’… the male all along. Furthermore by breaking the fourth wall (due to looking into the camera lens) it makes the audience feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Finally, he leaves the “visitors card” clarifying that he is the antagonist.

It becomes clear to the audience that he was the true ‘visitor’ as he was never in his own home, he was just ‘visiting’ and awaiting for his sixth victim to arrive.

My Opinion:

I loved this unpredictable storyline, that the ‘visitor’ isn’t the person you’d expect, and I will incorporate this idea into my film and have the ‘hero’ secretly the unpredicted ‘villain’ and make it seem as if the character has betrayed the audience’s trust in the hero. The mise-en-scene was very detailed and therefore added to the overall realism of the film for the audience.

Media Theory:

  • Levi Strauss (Binary oppositions) – Good VS Bad.
  • 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. Creates questions such as ‘what will happen to him?’.
  • Propp’s Narrative theory – There is a villain and princess throughout, however, it turns out that the princess is really the villain.

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