The Hangover From Hell

After watching various recut video trailers and thinking about my favorite movies, I decided to turn The Hangover (Todd Phillips, 2009) into a horror movie. This film is a comedy about four friends (Doug, Alan, Stu, and Phil)  who travel to Las Vegas for Doug’s bachelor party. In a series of unexpected, yet hilarious, events the gang loses Doug and runs the risk of not getting him back in time for his wedding. There are various scenes in this movie that I will be able to manipulate with sound, cuts, pacing and transitions to make them appear as if they are from a horror movie.

I watched eight horror movie trailers, from all from the past decade, and discovered a few patterns. The trailers ranged from 2:12 to 2:38 in length and seem to follow a specific formula. For example, the shots vary in pace. Sometimes they linger on a specific haunting object while the music builds to create suspense, or they cut quickly from several terrifying scenes. A few of the trailers started out upbeat with images of children playing in the front yard or a family moving into a new house and then the music switches and the images, soundtrack, and mood turns sinister to hint at what is to come. Within the trailers there is very little narration. It is mostly images and cut scenes paired with a hair-raising soundtrack or dialogue with a suggestive audio in the background.

The way horror movie trailers tell a story relies on the build up of action. It often begins with seemingly innocent happenings or slightly scary occurrences and then everything changes and there are images of gore and startling creatures popping out paired with the terrified shrieks of the protagonists. Instantly, the viewer knows that the main characters are in for a haunting experience. This may draw in horror movie fanatics or those who need to see how the movie ends. Also, I think the ending credit’s topography is also important to horror movie trailers. In every single trailer there is little to no typography except for the title of the film (or perhaps a director’s name), in a chilling font, at the very end of the trailer. This is the last image the audience remembers and creates a very unsettling,suspenseful effect.

The mastery of scary movies has a lot to do with the cuts, pacing, and transitions.  A common transition in these films is placing a black screen between two cuts. This breaks up the cuts and gives rise to a feeling of darkness which surrounds the plot. I believe after studying these trailers I will be able to effectively turn The Hangover into a hair-raising film about a psychopathic murderer.In order to accomplish this task, I will have to find fitting audio to place over scenes that zoom in on Alan’s face and take dialogue out of context to create a different story line.

Trailers: Emelie, Don’t Breathe, Lights Out, The Conjuring, Insidious, The Orphan, Paranormal Activity,  and Annabelle.

Recut Trailers: Christmas Vacation (comedy to horror), Mean Girls (teen romantic comedy to horror), and Step Brothers (comedy to horror).

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