1408

This scene from the horror film 1408, is based off of a Steven King novel. It uses many of the elements discussed in chapter 2 of the textbook. These elements include the use of repetition, the contrast of soothing music with the growing sense of danger, the increasing sense of helplessness and isolation, and the feeling of unity throughout not only the scene but the entire film 

This scene really emphasizes the use of repetition. First of all, a majority of the movie takes place inside the hotel room so the viewer is constantly seeing the same areas over and over again. The camera is constantly jumping from John  Cusack’s face to other objects in the room such as the telephone and key to show how each effects him. What you can’t see in this scene, is that he also enters a dream state during the middle of the film in which the audience revisits many of the areas shown in the beginning, but with the addition of characters seen in the hotel. The audience is constantly revisited by old characters and venues hinting to what is going to happen next. 

Another important element to note is the use of the soothing song played on the radio, contrasting with the growing sense of danger in the scene. By itself, the song would be peaceful and enjoyable. However, once it is mixed with the quick camera movement and the increasing desperation of the character the song quickly becomes a symbol of danger and fear. It is played before each major part of the movie and is also repeated near the end of the film further emphasizing the use of repetition. 

What this film really excels at is the sense of helplessness. The combination of the actor’s expression, with the music, camera work and scene composition really make the audience feel isolated and scared. The room alone creates a very claustrophobic atmosphere. While the removal of sound builds the tension for the upcoming attack. When the actor sees only himself in the window, it highlights the feeling of isolation even more. 

Finally, the movie comes full circle with a feeling of unity. The film starts with Cusack losing his faith in both God and the afterlife following the death of his daughter. However, after the events in the hotel room he finally begins to believe after confronting his daughter’s spirit and recording her voice on tape. He finally accepts his daughter’s death and comes to terms with what he has been writing about all this time. In my opinion, this is an excellent film that captures many if not all the elements discussed.

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