Compare the impact and the effectiveness of the Paranormal Activity’s film and poster
The purpose of the poster and the trailer is to advertise but in different methods. They both try to tell you a narrative and give you hint to what the film is about. They both use synergy to relate to each other like the same bedroom and actors.
The poster is separated into three parts. The top part is black and has connotations of darkness and horror. The text is in white bold text to catch your attention; it says ‘Paranormal Activity is one of the scariest movies of all time’ which is praising the film. It also says ‘you will be affected as it’s hard to ignore’ is also praising the film and suggesting you should watch it. ‘Nightmares are guaranteed’ suggests the film is a must watch horror movie. They’ve used the generic elements to make it look real and to appeal the horror fans. The review is also from the famous website bloody-disgusting who are well known for reviewing horror movies, so the horror fans will know this is a good recommendation.
The middle part of the poster shows you a man and a woman in bed. This suggests that they’re the main characters in the film. The woman is pointing at the shadow on the door like someone is there and not supposed to be there. It makes you wonder what it is or what is going to come through the door. The mise-en-scene is dark and that suggests that something bad is going to happen to them. Their facial expressions make them look scared and worried like someone is in there room with them. The door is open and the woman is pointing at the door which suggests that someone or something is going to come through the door. The man looks protective of the woman because he is reaching over to her and trying to protect her. The woman is young, attractive and dressed in her nightclothes, so she looks like a stereotypical vulnerable female victim. The time at the bottom of the picture suggests that it’s late at night and that’s when paranormal activity usually happens. The image is recorded by a camcorder which makes you wonder if it’s based on a true story or if it’s like a documentary.
The bottom half of the poster has a black background like the top half of the poster. The bottom half has the title in red and the font is smudged to represent blood, it’s the biggest and the brightest text on the poster to catch your attention. The title stands out the most because the rest of the poster has no bright colour to it. It asks you a rhetorical question, ‘What happens when you sleep?’ and you can see them in bed late at night which makes you want to find out what happens in the movie. ‘Don’t see it alone’ suggests that it’s a must see movie but it’s that scary you can’t see it alone. It could also be a way of making money because people will bring their friends along.
You can also demand it in your area by visiting the website which helps them make more money. You can see the name of company who made the movie and some other information at the bottom as well. There are no names of the actors or director so this keeps up the illusion that the film shows real events.
The trailer starts off with a state of equilibrium so it a bright, happy, suburban home. It’s filmed by a camcorder so it suggests that it’s like a documentary, to make it seem more frightening if it’s really happening. The camera tilts so this implies something is wrong and you hear a man saying he’s filming. The camera turns to woman called Katie who is showing a bit of flesh and the camera is looking down at her which suggests that she is vulnerable. She’s making jewellery; she’s young and attractive so she is a stereotypical woman doing a female pastime. The man who is called Micah is possessive over the woman so he represents himself as the man of the house and represents her as being weak.
Micah says his girlfriend Katie thinks there’s a ghost in the house. He says it like he doesn’t believe her and is doing this just to prove her wrong so he is sceptical. While he is saying this he is looking at himself in the mirror with the camera, the camera is looking up at him making himself look strong and powerful like he is in control.
There’s a quick fade to black and time passes, the mise-en-scene is now dark which suggests that something bad is going to happen. He says ‘Doors locked alarms on’. The locked doors represents that they are trapped and he starts putting white powder down in front of the stairs and while he’s doing that the frame of the door makes him look trapped.
There’s another quick fade to black and you can see at the bottom of the screen the time has changed. They’re in bed and the mise-en-scene is very dark and quiet now which suggests something is going to happen. The door is wide open and it makes you think something is going to come through. It dissolves to a later time and you hear footsteps both of them wake up. It cuts to Micah’s point of view with the camera and it shows you the footsteps in the white powder. He then says that the footprints are only going in the room and not back out which suggests that whatever walked through the powder is still in there with them, setting the scene for the audience
There’s a shocking forzando and the screen looks like there’s interference on it and then goes to a title card saying ‘one of the scariest movies of all time’ which is praising the film. It’s also from a popular website called bloody disgusting what does reviews on horror films, and their recommendation will be important for fans of the genre.
The next sequence is them panicking and you can hear a paranormal investigator say ‘You cannot run from run from this because it will find you’. This makes you want to see it even more because it makes it sound like an exciting film. The camera looks down at the woman making her look vulnerable and scared. There’s a non-diegetic sound of a heartbeat that is representing the victims panicking.
Another title card ‘freaky and terrifying’. It is also from a popular website called Weekly Entertainment and they review big popular films, so the audience think the cases are related.
In the next sequence Micah looks at the computer and he finds an image of a mark that Katie has. There’s a flash image of the marks the woman has and it shows you the reaction from Katie, so the audience think the cases are related.
The next sequence is the man picking the woman up from the floor. As he does this you can see the marks on her leg. Its makes you want to see how she got the marks and who or what is causing them trouble. He says ‘it looks like something bit you’ as he is picking her up, so the audience wonder what ‘it’ is
There’s a quick fade to black and title card ‘Experience it’ shows up. At this point of the trailer you know what the films about and now you want to know why it’s so big. You start hearing voices getting louder and louder as there’s a montage of clips to build excitement.
Everything goes silent and it shows you the couple sleeping. There’s a non-diegetic sound of someone walking, it raises suspense because you can see no one is moving. Then you see the bed sheets lift up like someone is climbing in with them. There’s a crescendo building up then all of a sudden the door slams shut loudly to shock the audience
It finally shows you what the film is called and the title becomes disjointed, as if he’s been disrupted by paranormal activity. Everything goes silent again and all you can hear is Katie saying ‘Please’ over and over again and the final scare is someone flying towards the camcorder to knock it over. The camera shows the fan spinning to suggest that the footage is real and a forzando underlines the shock for the audience.
It ends with the credits, the release date and where you can find more information about it. There’s also text at the top saying ‘you demanded it’ suggesting that it’s popular and you can click the link on the website to demand it in your area.
I think the trailer is more effective because the trailer gives more information about what the film is about. The poster gives you an idea what type of genre the film is going to be. The trailer and the poster show the same iconographic imagery of a documentary like film so it’s from real footage of ‘Paranormal Activity’. Both of them would be much bigger marketing campaign if they used the film’s website as a hub.