Michael (Penn Badgley) opening the cabinet. Will he find what he wants?
Analysis of The Stepfather - Searching the basement.
At the beginning of the scene, the stepson is searching the basement trying to find out what he thinks his stepfather is hiding. He forcefully breaks open a padlocked cupboard using a metal tool, which shows his determination to find out information. During his search in the basement, an intercut of his girlfriend in the car outside is used. Intercutting increases tension, which therefore heightens the audiences identification with the two characters. An eyeline match of her looking at the house conveys and transfers her anxiety to the audience, raising awareness of the dangerousness of the situation. Combined with the mise en scene of a fierce storm at night and the shadowy lighting, this is the perfect setup to arouse tension and suspense within the audience. As he is searching, he finally comes across his fathers bag and a cutaway of the broken phone. I notice when he is looking through the basement, a panning is used of the place and the stepson, possibly so the audience gets an insight of what he is working with. After the eyeline match of him looking around the basement, the camera settles upon the freezer. An over-the-shoulder shot is used for this scene, which puts the audience into the film, involving them in the drama that is happening. It intercuts again to the girlfriend, who finds out that the stepfather has now woken up. We know this by the lights being turned on from the point of view shot. A close-up of her face in addition to the quick cut edits convey worry, therefore increasing suspense. Jumpy intercuts are used once again further creating a feel of impending danger. The audience's worst fears are confirmed as the stepson comes across a dead body inside the freezer. When this happens, the diegetic sounds of him screaming and the non-diegetic sounds are amplified, shocking the audience.
Analysis of The Stepfather - Killing the old neighbour.
I am only going to do a brief analysis of this scene, as the first analysis is very detailed. In this scene, the old woman hears a knock at the door. When she goes outside to see who it is, there appears to be nobody there. This creates suspense as the audiences curiosity gets the better of them. Then, it cuts to a point of view shot inside the house, giving the audience the impression that the elderly neighbour is being watched by a mysterious being inside the house. The audience gets a fright when a plateau of the cat jumping in front of the woman is used. the plateau is effective , as it increases shock of what happens next, when we find out the stepfather has in fact been in the house the whole time. When the woman is thrown down the stairs, a point of view low angle camera shot from the father, giving the us insight to what he is viewing. Our fears are later confirmed as we watch the stepfather suffocate the woman. Cleverly, a shaky ECU shot is used to really emphasis the reality of what is happening and how she feels.
Analysis of The Stepfather - the opening. In the very beginning of the sequence, it appears to be a father getting ready for work. Calm holy music is playing in the background as he gets his breakfast, which conveys a sense of peace. Then, the camera tilts downwards to reveal a young murdered boy slumped on the table, and the music amplifies. This surprises the audience and heightens suspense. We are then further shown other victims of the stepfather, confusing the audience and rasing possible questions as to how this may have happened. A surprise cut into the insight of the stepfathers mind, using a speedy zoom, moreover contrasts with the current atmosphere.