Thursday, 17 November 2011

Devil Poster Deconstruction 1

      The main image of the poster is of a lift. This would usually be a mundane everyday thing, but the image has been altered to become an object of fear. The lift would appear to be where the core storyline takes place, and using a lift as a core factor in the narrative creates distress because of its previously normal nature. This reversal of perceptions of normal objects suggests that the events that take place in the film could happen to anyone, and thus incites more fear but simultaneously a curiosity about the narrative. The shot of the lift is slightly low angled which makes the lift appear more daunting and threatening and therefore linking it with the cause of fear that will be revealed during the film. The image only shows the lift doors, which adds tension and anxiety over what is inside the lift. This is also exacerbated by the intense red light that is spilling through the doors, which could create the idea that something is trying to get through, which would increase a feeling of paranoia in the audience. The red light displayed also reflects the supernatural genre of the film and implies that the threat is not man-made. The colour red emphasises this threat. It could also hint that the lift goes to Hell when coupled with the title of 'Devil', instantly drawing in audiences that are interested in religious horrors. In the image, the button that takes the lift down is also red, while the number of the floor is 6, which could be referring to the Devil's number of 666. These both maintain a constant idea of the Devil's presence, reflecting the paranoia that is a factor of the narrative.
      The title of the film is blunt, immediately giving the antagonist a name and placing the film in the supernatural and religious genre of horror. The font is simplistic and plain, in bright white to stand out against the black background. This could be suggesting that the content is more important than the names, or emphasising the presence of the Devil. The narrative is based on mind games and mystery, and the title does not give very much away about the narrative to create curiosity and insecurity. The white coloured tagline also promotes the ominous theme of mystery, making the audience unsure in order to reflect the uncertainty throughout the film. It is also foreshadowing the kind of psychological film that it will be for both the characters involved and the viewer. The audience being unsure and learning as the characters do will make the audience feel more involved in the story, and the tagline aids this. The important part of the tagline, 'one of them is not what they seem', is also in bold to be more shocking.
      The production team information is shown underneath the title, also saying 'The Night Chronicles Begin' in brighter white to gain attention. The blunt sentence suggests that something has started, creating an ominous tone over what will happen next and involving the audience as they wait to find out. If there were a sequel to 'Devil', this could make the audience more interested in viewing it. The name of the director is given for those that enjoy his previous work, saying 'from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan'. He is a well known director and often linked with mind games and twists in his narratives, so this again eludes to the psychological element to the horror while suggesting that something shocking will happen at the end of the film. It also broadens the audience for M. Night Shyamalan enthusiasts.
      The layout of the poster places the lift in the centre, showing it to be the main focus and making it appear threatening. There are lines of light around the lift which make it look eerie and supernatural but also urban, perhaps referring to the lift shaft where the film takes place. The background is dark and shadowed, making it appear dangerous and revealing little about the surroundings to maintain a sense of mystery. The background would not be the usual surroundings of a lift, showing the lift to be eerie and wrong. The colour scheme remains the same as many other horror posters, with red, black and white as the three main colours involved.

This poster and other posters such as 'The Last Exorcism' have made us consider the use of simple layouts to create mystery and emphasise the image shown. The use of a mainly black background is effective, so we are likely to use this idea when creating our own poster. Through using one main image and then few other details, the poster will focus the viewer's attention on the image presented and show its importance to the narrative. It will also look more threatening if there are no other visual clues or places to look. Even on the image that we do use, we think that the use of shadows is also very effective to continue the theme of mystery and something dark or unnatural. 


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