Nightmare on Elm Street. VS. Fight Club. Nightmare on Elmâ€™s Streetâ€¦. Genre. Fight Clubâ€¦.
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The film promoted in the trailer is clearly a horror- because of the fact there seems to be an obvious life threat against various victims by a crazed villain- a usual convention seen in horror films. There appears to be a sense of mystery at the villain’s identity but it is more a case of waiting for it to be revealed/something to happen rather than the audience trying to work it out themselves (a convention usually seen in thrillers).
The genre seems quite mixed, probably an action/ thriller – action is implied through the use of dialogue ‘I want you to hit me as hard as you can’ and the scenes of fighting included in the trailer. However, the trailer makes the film out to be a psychological thriller through use of doctors and the reveal of ‘insomnia’ and the main character not being able to sleep.
Some differences here then- While Nightmare on Elm’s Street is very straightforward in being a horror (which most would know from the original film) Fight Club is a bit more complicated. The audience is left unclear of whether the film is an action, thriller or a mixture of both. Leaving it unclear also connotates mystery within the film.
The trailer uses a variety of shots, including….
Mid shot- to establish important characters within the film
Close ups- to show emotion and heighten character’s fear
Low angle- to show power of the villain and establish his control over the victim
The trailer also uses a variety of shots, such as…
-Two shots- of the narrator/ Tyler Durden to establish their close relationship and that they are the main characters of the film
-High angle and Low angle shots- to establish which characters are in control, who is the more dominant one etc
- Shot Reverse Shots- to show exchanged dialogue within the film, mainly important pieces that relate to the plot- and the relationships between certain characters (hero/villain etc)
Really, both of the trailers are similar in terms of camerawork. They both use various shots seen regularly in films to establish different things, such as relationships of character, emotions etc. Nightmare on Elm’s street does use the camerawork to create an element of mystery to the villain's identity- such as extreme close ups (regular conventions seen in horrors).
The music overall is tense and fast paced- it leaves us wondering what is going to happen next and gives audiences the idea the film will be full of action and have plenty of twist of turns in the plot.
The music at the beginning of the trailer is fast paced and sets the tone of the film to be a horror- we wonder what is going to happen…
We also have kind of ‘religiously’ themed music to hint at a sub genre of religion- it makes the audience scared as we are dearly with supernatural and unexplained themes, such as ghosts and spirits
Children singing- can be seen as very sinister or ‘creepy’ to audiences- heightening the fact the trailer is promoting a horror film
It is clear that music is more important or recognisable in Nightmare on Elm Street’s trailer than in Fight Club’s. It helps to set the tone, genre and mood of the film being promoted directly to the audience while Fight Club’s background music is less memorable because it relied on dialogue and camera work to tell the story than music.
Nightmare on Elm’s Street…
The dialogue really gives us an insight into the plot and themes of the film….
‘She ruined everything’- a villain ruining our hero’s life, character relationships etc. Leaves the audience to question who ‘she’ is
‘Rule number 1 of Fight Club: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club’ sounds strict, like a secret society/group – makes us wonder what ‘Fight Club’ is…
The dialogue included in the trailer tells us the film will certainly be a horror…
‘Oh my god!’- tells us something has gone wrong, someone is scared- but we are left wondering why
‘Wake up!’ – gives hints at a psychological theme within the film- linking with dreams/nightmares and questioning reality.
So both the trailers uses dialogue for two different reasons..
Nightmare on Elm’s Street uses it more to set the mood/tone of the film itself and establish genre, while Fight Club uses it more to establish plot points and character relationships, thus connecting the audience to the characters and making them want to see what happens to them.
There were only two titles we recognised in the trailer…
‘don’t fall asleep’- helps establish genre, and the psychological aspects of the film- to so with sleep, dreams and nightmares etc
The title of the film itself- claw marks are slashed across the screen- the iconic claws of the villain, Freddy, and it puts fear into the audience. The title of the film is also put at the end, as always, to leave viewers waiting until the end to see the title of the film.
A lot of titles here…
‘From the director of Seven’ – will catch people’s attention, popular film.
‘Brad Pitt’- well known and popular actor, will bring audiences to see the film with the name alone.
‘Edward Norton’- popular American actor from films such as ‘The Illusionist’ and ‘The Incredible Hulk’
‘Helena Bonham Carter’- well known English actress for films such as ‘Sweeney Todd’ and ‘Harry Potter’
The name of the film- again left to the end to leave audience’s watching it until the end. It is also iconically carved into soap- suggesting it to be an important prop and linking directly to the film.
So, both trailers have very different uses for inter titles and credits-
While Nightmare on Elm’s Street uses titles linking to the film and it’s genre/subgenres, Fight Club uses the titles deliberately to attract audience attention- mention of well known stars and directors are likely to persuade audiences to go and watch it if they have enjoyed they’re previous works.
Nightmare on Elm’s Street…
‘Brad Pitt’ - well known, very popular actor. His name attached to the trailer is likely to bring people to the cinema to see the film. (because of previous films- Seven, the Assassination of Jesse James)
Remake of an original film – Those who enjoyed previous films will be more likely to see whether this film is as good/better than original.
So While Nightmare’s on Elm’s street focuses on the film itself and characters to sell to the audience, Fight Club focuses on the people who actually made the film, like director David Fincher and actor Brad Pitt to persuade people to think they will enjoy the film advertised.
Iconic horror character- Freddy-Those who like the character and the films he has been featured in will be more likely to go see the film if they know it revolves around him.
‘Director of Seven’ - Popular thriller/horror film- will persuade people who enjoyed the director’s previous film to see this one. In the top 100 best Thriller’s of all time on www.IMDB.com (ranked 10th)