In this essay we were set to find out how Kenneth Brannagh’s version of Frankenstein creates an atmosphere of horror and suspense in the wedding night scene. I will focus on four main sequences and analyse them thoroughly, this will be done by showing what the audience sees and hears. The first sequence I am going to analyse is the first one in this scene. This sequence is where Victor and Elizabeth are kissing on the bed. In this little frame not a lot happens, but the things that do happen give us little clues to what is going to happen further on.
The frame starts of by Victor and Elizabeth kissing on the bed having a good time like any normal couple. But then Victor notices that there is a flute being played, by the monster. Although Victor knows that the monster is out there playing the flute, Elizabeth just thinks it a person outside playing some music for his or her own amusement. Because Victor knows the monster is outside, he starts to take action, what he does is that he gets out of bed, takes his coat and gun and heads toward the door. The fact that he gets his coat may make the audience think he is going out side – which he is.
I think Branagh chooses the monster to play a flute at this point because he wants to make sure victor knows the monster is after him. I think the audience’s reaction to this is that they may be feeling a little tense and nervous because, they sort of know something is going to happen. Whilst they are kissing on the bed, it is a close up shot of their faces. I think Branagh chooses a close up shot at this point because he wants to show their facial expressions, which at this point was very happy and jolly.
I think he also does a close up shot because he wants to make the audience think that victor and Elizabeth are finally alone, he does this by showing only a picture if Victor and Elizabeth together. I think in this little sequence the audience must be feeling two things. The first one is that they must feel that finally Victor and Elizabeth are together having a good intermit time. The second thing they must be feeling is that they know something bad is going to happen because of what the monster said before ‘ I’ll be with you on your wedding night’.
The second sequence of events I am going to analyse is when the monster is on the window sky light. What happens exactly in this frame is that Victor leaves the room, and then we see Elizabeth on the bed by her self, which is a medium shot of her, we then see Elizabeth lie back on her pillow, at this point we see a close up shot of her face. Then all of a sudden the monster pop up on the window. This frame is frightening because it all happens very quickly. What happens is that Elizabeth is on the bed just lying down, then all of a sudden the monster pops up on the window, there is very bright lightening and a clash of thunder.
Instantly after the thunder and lightening, we see the monster on the window, which looks very frightening, because this is very un expected, because you would not expect somebody to climb up, and attempt to scare you through the window, and also, it may seem a little unrealistic, this is because, it would be very hard to climb up and stay on a vertical window or a wall. And also another thing that affects the frame is that you would expect the monster to fall through the window, but all you see, is him in the window.
This part may also be frightening to the audience because there is no noise what so ever, it is completely silence until the clash of thunder and lightening, this would make you jump. When the atmosphere is silent it make the audience think that something bad is going to happen. This is because in most horror movies when it is silent, it gives you the impression something bad is going to happen. Then all of a sudden, the bad thing happens. And there is a flash of thunder and lightening and usually a monster appears.
I think the use a silence is good in this sequence because it in a way creates suspense. Another thing could be because Elizabeth had an inquisitive look on her face. She lies back and looks almost like she’s waiting for something to happen. Although this sequence happens very quickly, it seems like when Elizabeth is on the bed it takes a lot longer than it actually does, I think this may be because the audience must be so anxious to what going to happen next, they just can’t bear it. The third sequence of events I am going to analyse is when the monster has his hand over Elizabeth’s mouth.
Unlike in the previous sequence I analysed this one alone takes very long. This scene alone is probably the longest and is also very intense and frightening. What happens exactly in this frame is that we see a quick glimpse of window (from the window sequence) and it is still strangely very bright. We then see the monster with his hand over Elizabeth’s mouth, then there is also a silent flash of lightening and still he has his hand over her mouth. When there is a silent flash of lightening it makes us jump because we did not expect it to happen.
I think in this sequence Branagh uses an excellent technique, he raises and lowers the tension, e. g. first of all when his and is over her mouth, there’s loud music being played. But then the monster goes in to a different world, and he admires Elizabeth and strokes her hair, this in-a-way relief’s us. And we take a sigh of relief. Then we see the men come in the room and the tension builds up again. As his hand is on her mouth, he seems to be applying a lot of pressure, which would naturally want to make Elizabeth scream in agony.
When the monsters hand is over her mouth, she is strangely calm. This is very strange because a normal person would be terrified and scream for their life. Also whilst he has his hand over her mouth the music being played is very intense, it is played again and again, which creates suspense, because it just repeats the same tune again and again, and the audience in their mind may be thinking ‘hurry up and get to the point’, although they may say this, they would mean it in the form that ‘I can’t wait to see what happens next’.
The music being played is a stringed instrument along with a violin. This sequence must make the audience feel sorry for Elizabeth because she is innocent and got involved in the mess for no reason. When the monster is on top of Elizabeth with his hand over her mouth, we see a low angle shot of the monster, this give the impression that the monster is very strong and powerful, but on the other hand, we see a high angle shot of Elizabeth, giving the impression that she is weak and helpless. The fourth sequence of events I am going to analyse is where the monster is holding Elizabeth’s heart.
What happens precisely is that the monster thrusts his hand into Elizabeth’s chest, and whilst his hand is still in her chest we see a close up shot of the monsters face, I think Branagh chooses to take a close up shot at this point, just to show the facial expressions of the monster. We then see a shot of the men which were looking for the monster coming into the room, when we see them coming in the room, we barely notice it, as it happens extremely quickly. Then the thing that Victor least desired happened, the monster pulls out Elizabeth’s heart and she dies.
Although this frame may seem to be a bit frightening at first, we then think it is not. This may be because we knew something is going to happen anyway. I think this scene may give you a little shock when he pulls her heart out, because it is still beating, I think when the heart is beating it may make some people fell sick, but not frightened. When he is holding her heart, he stretches his arm out, and makes it look dramatic. I think this because it reminds me of an olden day play where a person sticks their arm out when talking about something emotional.
(Used in shakesphere plays). In this scene the music being played is very loud, intense, and quick. I think that when he rips her heart out it makes the audience feel and think that the monster is very powerful, because a normal person would not even have the strength to pierce through someone’s skin, let alone their heart. The conclusion I have come to is that Branagh has used lighting and sound effects as well as good techniques, such as raising and lowering tension to create a great movie of horror and suspense.