My favourite genre would have to be horror. Horror films are aimed to make the audience have a sense of fear, panic, and dread. Many films these days are about peoples biggest fears such as Paranormal Activity and Insidious which was to portray the vicious and cruel nature of disturbed entities. Many people fear entities and this film would particularly scare them. Horror films can overlap into different genres creating a sub genre. You can find Comedy Horrors, Zombie Horrors and Supernatural Horrors etc. I specifically like zombie horrors, because I like the whole ‘survive as long as you can in an apocolyptic situation’ type of film. My favourites would be 28 Weeks Later (2007 – Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo), World War Z (2013 – Directed by Mark Forster), 28 Days Later (2002 – Directed by Danny Boyle) and I am Legend (2007 – Directed by Francis Lawrence). My favourite by a long shot is 28 Days Later. I particularly like this film because of where it is set. Since I have been to London fairly often I know the place and its recognisable in the film. This adds to the relatability of the film. I loved the fact they included small things that we’ve all done such as hanging your hand out the window of a car to feel the breeze, again this has added to the relatability of the film. This makes me relate to the story more. The fact the virus is a rage virus instead of a virus that ‘turns you into zombies’ makes it seem so much more real. Something like that is a possibility however not as drastic as they make it in the films. The fact the virus was released because of some animal rights activists breaking into a research lab and released some chimps infected with the rage virus also makes it so much more real. I like the jumpy nature of these sort of films, even though you can kind of expect what’s going to happen I still find it jumpy. The recurring theme of possibility and relatability in this film makes this my favourite zombie horror film.

‘I am Legend’ has very similar qualities that you find in ’28 Days Later’. One scene in particular that I liked was the scene where Robert Neville (played by Will Smith) is out hunting deer with his dog Sam.

What i find so great about this scene is again the relatability, and the use of sound. I really liked the fact Robert Neville was talking to his dog during this scene, lets face we do it and certainly if we were left alone with only your dog you’d do the same thing (relatability). The familiar sounds used add to the quality of this scene, I personally find it quite eerie that all you can hear are birds tweeting and crickets bleating which are sounds that we find quite relaxing and tranquil (other than the car engine in the beginning of the scene – but yet again that’s a relatable sound). This scene still has its jumpy nature because out of nowhere the deer Robert was hunting gets pounced on by a lioness. A bit before this happens the soundtrack goes quieter (adding tension) and then suddenly we are ‘hit in the face’ by a loud sound (adding to the jumpiness of the scene). I also really liked the fact the film included the morals of a person in this scene. The fact he chose not to kill off the lioness which was catching its prey to feed its cub which sets his research into finding a cure back. Even in the worst situations there is still moral – i think that was a nice touch which we don’t necessarily find frequently in many zombie horror films.

Another scene they executed well was the first encounter with the infected after his dog runs off into a dark spacious eerie building.

In this scene they still keep the qualities of companionship with his dog, which again adds to relatability. What I particularly liked about this scene is the lighting and use of sound. You can constantly hear the unsettling breathing of Robert during this scene, you can clearly hear the echo’s of his footsteps and the rustling of the newspapers and clanking when he accidently steps on a wooden block. This makes the scene so much tenser. I really like when he see’s the group of infected huddling together because just before it you hear a sharp unsettling sound followed by another fairly unsettling sound of the infected. What I liked about the lighting in this scene is that you couldn’t make out many details of the building and you only see the infected briefly before it goes pitch black again. For me this makes the scene a whole load jumpier, which is one of the qualities i really like about zombie horrors.

In the vast majority of jumpy scenes in horror movies there will usually be a quiet eerie soundtrack followed by an unsettling sound just before or as something gets in your face or surprises you.

Moving off of zombie horrors and onto a paranormal horror – The Grudge 3 (2009 – Directed by Toby Wilkins, particularly the following scene:

I’ve chosen this scene in particular because it is a bright well light scene which you don’t find many of in horror films. Usually to add tension and eeriness the scene would be dark with only specific parts of the screen light which is what i was talking about with the first encounter with the infected in I Am Legend. However, mainly because the soundtrack to this scene I found was very good.

In this scene we yet again have a quiet soundtrack with an unsettling sound, this time a low drone noise followed by another sharp high pitched noise just before/as you see a glimpse of the grudge. As the grudge starts to pursue the character in this scene there are unsettling, jarring and unpleasant orchestral sounds. Another technique directors use in horror films is the use of reflections which we have an example of in this scene. As Dr.Sullivan is running away you can see the grudge approaching in the reflection on the glass. (0.55s in the above clip). As she continues to run away we start to here symbols clapping together which builds tension in the scene as well as the drones pitch gradually raising as we see the grudge bend backwards and performing some somewhat unnatural body movements and skipping forward. I also liked the fact the screen flashes when the grudge does this, I just think its a nice touch.