The Ring of Shire, Hobbit Meets Horror

Horror films bring out the emotions in a person by using tension to instigate fear and horror. These films use the unknown, mystery, suspense, and even aggression to bring tension to the viewer.  They try to feed off of your emotions to draw you in with the music and the scenarios they devise. It is interesting how music and angles can dramatically change the interpretation of a scene. This is why I decided to recut Lord of the Rings into a Horror Thriller when I originally was going to make it into a Romance Comedy. I felt that the horror genre was something that would be harder to achieve using the relationship between Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) and Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin). Also I figured more people would go after Romantic Comedy style but it seems I was wrong and majority went for horror in the end.

I was very tempted to use text to create my story but text takes away from a horror because it disenfranchises the viewer by pulling them away from the immersion. While avoid text it was also had to determine how to progress the trailer in a way that would make sense without much being spoken, I had to play around with the different scenes to create the right feel such as lengthen or shorten the shot.  Good example is at the very end where Frodo is looking up at Sam I lengthen that part by about 200% so it could last the extent of Sam’s dialogue so the viewer wouldn’t see the Sam’s face which would kill the mood I was trying to convey.

In my trailer, I wanted to try and tell a horror story without using lots of dialogue so I opted to use a track that has a suspenseful yet eerie feel to it. Marcel Densei says that, ” Sound symbolism is an example of iconicity in language, as is onomatopoeia”.  This means sound can be considered a icon that people can recognize and understand what it symbolizes. Such as the ominous and horror/thriller feel of the track used.  Using instruments that contain sounds  with deep impactful tones, its steady crescendo, and some audio manipulation done on my part is able to fully express the horror genre.

Benard Dick basically says that, “the shot defines the area,” are only part of the message and they can have a huge impact on what you are trying to convey to your audience. The way the camera is position and how close or far the view is has a huge impact on the message that is trying to be conveyed. For example Benard Dick says that a close-up, “can reveal a particular emotion,” and, “can  also a means of emphasis”. By using shots that focus on the actions and the emotions of the characters in the trailer I was able to bring out the desired horror feel with the looks of fear in Frodo’s eyes. Also these close up shots used have depth in detail that can express emotion such as when Sam pulls out the ring from his pocket. In this scene Sam’s face isn’t visible and the ring is in the center of the cut. The object of interest is the ring and Sam talks about the ring which out of its original context and without his face pulls off an ominous close to the trailer.

According to Greg Smith Identification is important to Film, because it, “Invites us to try on another person’s perspective”. By identifying with character, the viewer develops an attachment to said character and thus cares about their well-being. This is one of the hardest things to break when making a recut, especial with a well know movie that has a high profile.  Most people will have memorable ties with Frodo’s and Sam’s friendship that was hatched out in three epic long movies as they bring the end to evil.  In order to do this I tried to show scenes without them together and I almost avoided all scenes with Sam since he is such a kind-hearted fellow. Any scene they were together, it was put out of context to try and break their friendship preset notion people have.

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