Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Case Study - The Killing

Exploring the Generic conventions in the trailor of The Killing and how they are used with in it.

In 'The Killing' we have your traditional Noir thriller as we have the dark surroundings. Here we can see that effect of suspence it creates as we are unsure about what is going to happen next.
There also a use of chiaroscuro lighting which presents the right on dark effect. This also helps to connate us to the illusion and to the nightmare of the scene that is is used in. The use of the torch also helps to create that classic thriller as it can be associated with so man of them.
Mise en Scene - Examples

  1. Torches to create the chiaroscuro effect
  2. Having a dead body creates again the classic thriller example as you always see a minimum of one dead body.
  3. Search parties which are also associated with the thriller are a must as their are always police or detectives in the search for clues as they are in search for who has committed the murder.
Lifts which are also seen in the thriller genre are a signifier for thrillers as is creates mystery and sometimes have people trapped which also creates suspence.

As we see in thriller films, there are always the same locations we see which help to make the thriller the genre it is. An example of this would be car parks. This type of location helps to show that if a victim is being chased by the villian in a sense, once you enter the car park then normally there is no escape for the victim; especially multi-story, which if you reach the top then you cannot get away.
Another example of locations can be cities which help to create a dystopia. As you can see below the city looks menancing which cross-references to the film Bladerunner which also uses a city to look menancing. If we look at 54 seconds to 58 we see the use of this through the trailer.

There isn't really much to say on the costume aspect apart from one major element. During The Killing, we are able to establish that Sarah Lund wears the same Jumper in every episode. This helps to tell us one of two very important aspects to her character; firstly it shows us that she isn't just a typical cliche character and has her own style and way she wants to go about her.
Secondly, linking to the job element is that it implies thats she cares more about her detective work than the appearence of her which also portrays than her job is more important.
To start with, the Jumper look that Sarah Lund took up in the first episode of The Killing looked to be monotonous and dull, whearas it has had quite the opposite effect where it has become an iconic figure when we talk about her character as a whole.


Another generic convention for The Killing is the use of effects throughout this thriller series. As you can see to the left is a picture of the use of water. The water in the picture is of a character from the series The Killing running through a dark/noir forest. (Again another signifier of the thriller genre) The usage of water in this context helps to reflect the lighting used; whether it being Ambient or Non-Ambient, towards the scene so we are able to make out what is around the character and also where they actually are. It also supports the way it helps to create a sense of mystery as we do not know why this character is running or in more realistic terms to the thriller, What she is running from.

Vanishing point

As you can see above, we have The Killing's trailer. Because I am unable to pick out certain bits and print screen them, I am having to show you this way. If you play the trailer and skip to one minute and six seconds you are able to see the use of the vanishing point that gets used within the series. This, in effect helps to show a sense of danger or even mystery as you are unsure what could be down the corridor or even if anything could be down their such as clues in the attempt to help solve the storyline. They also provide an enigma thus adds to the sense of mystery. Where does the vanishing point go and what is at the end? This type of camera shot is also visually appealing and adds style and interest to a film.

1 comment:

  1. Well done Dean for analysing how the director of The Killing (Denmark 2007) uses generic conventions in the trailer.

    You must correct spelling of jumper!! Jumper not jumber!!!

    Your comment about the use of vanishing points being a key convention in thrillers is useful. Because they provide an enigma thus add to the sense of mystery. Where does the vanishing point go and what is at the end? This type of camera shot is also visually appealing and adds style and interest to a film.
    You may be interested in this article in The Radio Times, go to the link:


    A mainly satisfactory/proficient analysis, well done Dean.