How does the opening sequence of The X Files: Squeeze attract the
In the episode of The X Files: Squeeze, a mutant serial
killer, Eugene Tooms, enters victim’s homes and workplaces and murders them by
removing their liver and feeds off them. At the crime scene, very little
evidence is left behind, including his entry, making it more difficult for
Detective Scully and Detective Mulder to solve the case.
In everyone episode
it starts off in a similar fashion, therefore the audience have an expectation
of something bad happening in the opening scene, such as a murder. The use of
conventions of horror and thriller genres builds up the viewers’ anticipation.
Although every episode has a murder or abduction in the first sequence, the
face of the criminal is not shown to the audience; it keeps the viewers in
The opening shot is an establishing shot of Baltimore as the
sun is starting to set and it is getting dark, implying a murder or attack is
going to occur. The high shot over the city indicates that anyone below could
be a victim. There’s a dissolve between the shot of the view of the city and an
overlook view of the road outside of the hotel, the camera then moves down to a
lower angle and closes in on the man leaving the building. At this point, the
camera angle is still high of the man, symbolising his vulnerability and
singling him out as the killer’s next victim.
As the man is walking
to his car, there are a series of edits between the man and the drain, indicating
that there is something in the drain watching him. Each shot of the drain, the
drain zooms closer until the viewer can see a pair of eyes appearing in the
drain; the eyes are yellow which links to the liver as liver disease can cause
eyes to turn yellow, as well as the skin. In the same sequence, an image of the
man is slowed down and de-saturated, showing he is the target and that the
thing in the gutter is a danger to him. In addition to the image being slowed
down and de-saturated, the colour of the man’s skin turns a slight yellow
colour, a reference to liver disease and the mutant feeding off human liver.
Pleasant diagetic sound is used at the start, but then there
is a pulsating crescendo drowns out the diagetic sound. When the camera zooms
in on the eyes, there’s the sound of rapidly plucked strings which represents
the killer and is later played when the killer is present, this builds up
excitement for the viewers because they expect the killer to strike.
The feeling that the man is the victim is maintained when he
enters the building by the high angle camera shot as if he is being watched and
it is late at night which is when stereo-typically the attacks happen. As well
as this, the man is alone and there is no security guard therefore there are no
form of protection and no one to provide help. Framing the man in mid-shot as
he walks through the building means that the audience are unable to see what is
behind or around him, it is used to keep the viewers in suspense. The camera
then tracks the man from behind, suggesting something is following him. The
shot of the elevator shaft has an important significance before the mutant
kills as the red light has connotations of blood and violence and when the man
leaves the elevator, the strings are shown moving and the sound motif that
represents the killer is played, indicating that he is coming. There is a jump
cut to the man’s office as the director doesn’t want to show the killer.
The mise-en-scene in the office suggests the man is very
busy by all of the papers and books scattered on his desk, also suggesting he
is important in his job, and that he is family orientated by the family photos.
The room around him is dark however he is in the light to show he is the
predator’s next victim. He undoes his tie to show he has had a hard day, making
the audience have sympathy for the man. When the man phones home, there is no
answer but he leaves a voicemail saying he is going to be staying until late,
meaning the killer has more time to murder, leaving the audience wondering when
the killer is going to strike. The significance of his wife not answering the
phone is that the man is completely alone and is isolated from anyone else.
Tension is built up by using editing as when the man goes to
make a cup of coffee, there is a cut to the vent and the audience can hear
breathing, indicating that the mutant is hiding in the vent. The screws undo
and there is a cut back to the man so that the audience don’t see the killer. The
camera cuts to a close up of the killer’s hand and the sound motif is played,
it then cuts back to behind the man as he is walking back to his office. At
this stage, the viewers can’t see anything around him or where the killer is
hiding, keeping them in suspense and a crescendo of non diagetic sound is used
for anticipation. The attack is filmed so that the audience don’t see who the
killer is so that it keeps them in suspense throughout the episode, unless it
would defeat the point of the series and it also does not show how the man was
After the killing, the camera pans and we see a reflection
of the man covered in blood and yellow. There’s blood on the desk and blood
dripping onto the floor and splats on the paper, along with a photo of a young
girl, possibly his daughter, lying on the desk and a globe that was on the desk
when the viewers saw it earlier, is no longer there but is seen later on in the
episode at the killer’s hideout. The camera zooms in on the vent closing with
the sound motif and breathing from the mutant, as well as eerie sounds.
The Wilhelm Scream is a character scream used in films and television shows. It was first used in 1951 in the film 'Distant Drums', and since then has been used in over 200 movies. The scream is voiced by actor and singer Sheb Wooley and the sound earned its name after Private Wilhelm, a character in the film 'The Charge at Feather River' in 1953.
Without editing, everything you watched would be boring, repetitive, and way, way too long.
Editing helps construct a narrative.
We are so used to editing, we barely recognise it.
Editing is 'invisible'.
Editing can be used to condense long, boring activities into quick bursts of visual information.
Simplest edit is a cut- the editor puts films together and the best bits of all of the footage shot is spliced one after the other. They would cut the actual film and get rid of all the useless stuff.
In the assassination scene in North By Northwest, between Roger Thornhill entering the United Nations Building and him running out, there are 26 cuts. They are most frequent during the conversation so that you see the reaction on both people's faces.
The pace of editing can be used to create excitement and tension. For example, in the shower scene in Psycho, when the she is attacked, the jump cuts are a lot quicker..When Marion is dying, the pace slows down as if her life is leaving her. A graphic match is used when the plug hole fades into an eye.
Dissolve: One scene dissolves to another, overlapping for a moment.
Fade in/Fade out: Fades out to black completely, then another scene fades in.
Wipes: One scene wipes across the screen, revealing or replacing the next one. They can go in any direction.
Iris: Next scene replaces the last by appearing from the centre like the iris of an eye.
Jump Cuts: Two scenes that feature a common element right after one another, so something stays the same but the rest changes. This is used for disorienting or comedy effect.
The movie trailer for Sinister uses transitions such as fade to black, fade up and jump cuts. The pace is very quick to create the excitement as the trailer goes on to make people want to pay to see the film.