What does a Psychological Thriller look like?

What does a Psychological Thriller look like? This genre is so broad that a PT doesn’t immediately look like anything. Take this opening scene from ‘Donnie Darko‘, for instance. Aesthetically, it bears more resemblance to a dark teen movie like ‘Heathers’ or possibly ‘Pump up the Volume’  than another PT such as ‘The Sixth Sense’. It has all the hallmarks of a high school drama: lone outcast isolated in mundane, sleepy suburban setting. However, it goes beyond these initial expectations and develops into a psychologically evolved (veering on sci-f) drama.  The Psychological Thriller is a genre that is able to take any scenario and draw the mystery and danger from it.

 

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Blog Assignment #8- D. Scott

Dwayne Scott

Blog Post #8

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I read reviews on rottentomatoes.com before watching Alfred Hitchcock’s Stranger’s on a Train (1951) with my cinematic poetry class. I could not find a bad review about the movie. I particularly included “bad review” in the search and nothing. Reviewers proclaimed that it was another Hitchcockian hit with Farley Granger and Robert Walker playing a combatant yet dynamic duo. It was mentioned that the plot is very typical, but Hitchcock and his actors did a tremendous job creating motifs of the duality of light and dark in the film. After watching the film, I realized that no one expressed how hilarious the film actually is. The acting felt more like a screenplay than a movie, very staccato-like and highly pronounced. I also laughed at the phoniness in the final fighting scene (Bruno’s face mainly), but I do understand that Hitchcock has a sense of humor and possibly intended for it to seem overly dramatized. Hitchcock really hit home when he summoned the elder gentlemen without dentures to stop the carousel, and when the officer turns down the request of stopping the carousel. I may not be the one for old movies, but overall, I got a kick out of this movie and would recommend others watch it as well.

Blog Assignment #7- D. Scott

Dwayne Scott

Blog Assignment #7

shutter-island-leonardo-dicaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio was phenomenal in the Martin Scorsese film, Shutter Island (2010). Scorsese has included DiCaprio in each of his films since the early 2000’s. Each one of their films earns progressively better ratings. Critics have claimed that DiCaprio’s on-screen emotions lacked trueness, but I completely disagree after watching the Psychological thriller, Shutter Island. Alongside DiCaprio are many other talented actors such as Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, and Max Von Sydow who should be taken into consideration when discussing Leonardo’s performance. Great actors feed off of each other on-set and Leonardo gives much of the credit to these other actors in his interviews. I believe having Leonardo DiCaprio and these other established actors was necessary for producing a movie based on a well-known book such as Shutter Island.

Blog Assignment #5- D. Scott

Dwayne Scott                                                                                                                        4-7-14

Momento: Step Outline (First Hour)

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(Momento is possibly the toughest movie to create a step outside for. It is tough to determine what order the sequence of events are playing in.)

  1. Man killing another man and taking a picture of it (in reverse).
  2. Character Meets a man who gets in the car, his window is broken. They are heading to a rusted up building because he has a lead on it.
  3. The man he is with, teddy’s, picture comes out of main character’s pocket telling him to kill him. Kills man, in regular motion.
  4. Leonard, the main character, has a conversation with a guy at a credit window, telling him to look out for teddy and don’t hold his call for teddy. Until it zips back to room with him explaining how to take care of his short term memory loss.
  5. The name Sammy Jankin is marked into his skin, he places his received a package from Natalie.
  6. He discovers that Teddy is the man who raped and murdered his wife.
  7. It takes us back through the moments leading up to the murder (leonard kill teddy)
  8. Leonard on way to see Naatalie. Brings us back to how he gets the envelope on john G.
  9. Zips back to lunch with teddy, to looking for his key, to lunch with Natalie.
  10. Sammy Jankin was a case where a man lost his memory, Leonard studied this case called anterograde amnesia. Sammy seemed like he remembered Leonard.
  11. Back to Natalie’s bed. She said she is helping him because he helped her. Says he will not remember her next time he sees her. She says she thinks he will and kisses him. He walks out in the morning and teddy jumps on the hood of his car.
  12. On the phone (in present), Leonard talks about how one can learn to conditioning not by memory but by instinct.
  13. Shows when he enters Natalie’s house. Focuses on a picture of a man tied up and bleeding, Dod, who hit her… Natalie lost her husband to a “teddy”, says she’ll help him find john g.
  14. The Sammy study didn’t work. The condition was not physical but psychological.
  15. Leonard didn’t kill Dod, had him tied up and beaten. Teddy shows up and brings him to Natalie’s house.
  16. Leonard is sitting in an apartment and decides to take a shower. Dod walks in, a fight breaks out, Leonard ties Dod up takes his gun and calls teddy.
  17. Study proved you can’t torture a man into remembering.
  18. Dod pulls up to Leonard on the road and starts shooting at him.

Maine’s Suspect (Sustina)- D. Scott

Dwayne Scott                                                (Sustina)                                                          4/1/14

Maine’s Suspect

There stood the usual suspect,

a Latino man with his back

pressed against the glass window of the china shop

on the corner of Gerald & Main

being questioned by two police officers

as he eagerly waved for the bus to stop.

 

– It didn’t. Buses rarely stopped

for anyone. People suspected

that it was due to their skin color. Officers

had to flag down buses to get them to come back

and pick people up. Things were screwed up here in Maine.

-Another cop showed up. Three cops encompassed the china shop

 

inching closer to the young man. People shopping

gravitated to the city’s sidewalk to stop

and enjoy the show. Maine’s main

attraction on a Saturday afternoon: “Suspect

vs The Justified.” The Latino man looked back

through the glass and saw the reflection of an officer’s

 

hand just before it smashed his head through the window. The Officers

stepped back to assess their spectators, all white shoppers,

all quiet. The Latino man’s lacerated face looked back

to see a bus with its doors open, stopped,

and it’s driver signaling to come. He suspected

nothing and bolted for the bus that lit up, “Next stop: Main

 

Street.” Immediately, he began to regret moving to Maine.

he was constantly being treated differently than the other co-workers in the office

and had no clue as to why he raised all of this suspicion.

The Latino man stared out of the window as the bus accelerated past the shops.

The bus kept accelerating, not even stopping

for a red light. The passengers scrambled to the back

 

of the bus. They knew that he’d come back.

The “Transit Bus Slaughterer” had been the news’s main

story for three weeks non-stop

and the Latino man every officer

was after. The bus driver pulled into an old abandoned sweatshop

factory building and suspiciously

 

reached behind the back of his seat, pulling out the same gun that the officers

use, and picking off every shopper on the bus. The maniac

looked at the Latino and said, “Don’t stop anywhere. You’ll be the first one suspected.”

Blog Post #4- D. Scott

Realism, Formalism, and Classicism

tall man

Pascal Laugier, a director in the fantasy/horror genre, produced a movie named The Tall Man in 2012. This movie received harsh ratings. It is currently rated at 48% on the movie review cite rottentomatoes.com. The synopsis: A rural town in Washington is undergoing an era of kidnapping. The parents of this town have come up with a name for the mysterious entity kidnapping their children. They call him The Tall Man. Julia Denning’s, actress Jessica Biel, son gets abducted and she will stop at nothing to retrieve her son.

This film utilizes all three film modes: Realism, Formalism, and Classicism. It opens with a clip of parents being interviewed by a news crew about the abduction of their children. This documentary-like style of opening gives the movie a real feel, as if the viewer has just turned on the local news. This sense of realism is also what essentially hurt the film’s ratings. During the first third of the film, many viewers predicted The Tall Man to be a ghost or a mystical creature, and expected for the movie to follow the Formalistic and bizarre theme seen in many horror films. Laugier actually resigned from being the director of the remake of the 1987 film Hellraiser because his ideals were not commercial enough. The story ends with The Tall Man being a typical human being, supporting the Realism in the story. Despite the harsh reviews, I enjoyed the movie. It had good shots, good audio, convincing special effects, great actors, and a very intricate storyline as do most full feature films with a Classicist theme.

Blog Post #3- D. Scott

The Butterfly Effect- (Prison Scene)

 Props: paper with memories on it

Prison cell brightly lit

nonDiagetic sound of large heavy metal doors scrapping as they close and prison cell door in the background. Violins right before the action scene, turns into upbeat orchestra.

Diagetic sound is very secretive. Filled with questions. “Do you believe in that whole bit the lord works in mysterious ways?” (Evan to Carlos)

Costumes are prison outfits, Sweatpants and tee-shirts. Casualness is exaggerated in psychological thrillers. They are made to persuade the reader that the events unfolding can happen to them or anyone else in this world. Psychological thrillers tend to leave the viewer asking, “What if…”

This scene from the Butterfly Effect carries a numinous tone with its references to stigmata and divinity. The scene inaugurates when Evan Treborn, Ashton Kutcher, inquires the faith of his prison cell mate, Carlos, Kevin Durand. Carlos is baffled by Evan’s curiosity, but submits to his own whims of knowing when Evan insists on showing him something in private. In the well-lit prison cell Evan tells Carlos to watch for any signs of the Lord and begins to read a piece of paper containing his childhood memories. The suspense builds with non-diagetic audio and hazy camera effects until Evan in suspended in a lucid ubiquitous reminiscence of himself in his childhood classroom. He stabs himself in the hands with two sharp objects on his teacher’s desk and immediately wakes up from this memory with two newly formed scars on each palm. Carlos is convinced in Evan’s causality with the Lord, referring to Evan’s new scars as stigmata. Discovering this, Carlos agrees to help this mystical profit (Evan) retrieve his journal from rival gang leaders and escape from prison. The discussed scene is replete with a motif of Faith, something commonplace in many of our lives, which vouches for the practicality of the film and its genre.

This scene is not comprised of commendable acting from neither Kutcher nor Durand. The dialogue is generic and predictable. After Kutcher says “I think Jesus sent me to your cell for a reason.” all successive dialogue becomes negligible, and heed is given to the rising visual conflicts. The scene’s closing is captivating because it climaxes with Evan, Ashton Kutcher, vacillating between a safe-haven and an impending slaughter. This scene is not an archetypical psychological thriller movie extract due to the director aggrandizing action’s role, but it does
embody the wonder factor that a typical psychological thriller possesses.

kevin durand BE

After The Dap (Ghazal)- Dwayne Scott

Dwayne Scott                                                                                                                           3/14/14
Professor Van Jordan: Cinematic Movement
(Ghazal)

After The Dap

 

Rhyming isosceles they point after the dap.
And non-camaraderies conjoin after the dap.

 

From Rastas to swastikas to profits and agnostics,
All watch in aww no laws master the dap.

 

Street fights erupt between young teens and some think
That their friendship’s the shit after the dap.

 

No words spoken still a heart to heart moment-
The pressure of the chests’ connection after the dap.

 

The tan race is a fan base for handshakes.
Paparazzi paid in full capture the dap.

 

Through handshakes a real man detects fake.
You can tell he hates by the way he fastens the dap.

 

Business deals still concealed under the table,
Makes it hard to look a man in his eyes after the dap.

 

Crack sky rockets to push profit to thy pocket-
Government’s fatal exchange after the dap.

 

The misconception: you can snap tension with your tendons,
But you never know a man exact after the dap.

 

A man can judge another man’s clutch and reach a verdict.
No satisfaction means he’s wack after the dap.

 

A dry palm and a ripe clap and a snap
Makes a white kid think he’s black after the dap.

 

Now you’re probably thinking that you know D. Scott,
That’s the aftermath of being black after the dap.

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Blog Post #1- D. Scott

Dwayne Scott                                                                                                                                     2-20-14

The Skeleton Key- Blog 1

 

The Skeleton Key was a very stressful movie for me to watch. It satisfied all of the typical scary movie tactics. Little ditsy white woman hears a noise in the creepiest environment possible and goes towards it. The decisions made in this film were irrational and non-relatable, as are most thrillers. And the actions just lacked common believability. It was just a typical thriller with a minor twist at the end, but the typicality of it throws it in with the rest. Why do all thriller protagonists have to be nosy? With The Skeleton Key, I believe it’s just another case of curiosity killed the cat.

The movie’s main character Caroline Ellis, played by Kate Hudson, is a freaking dweeb. I don’t know how she survived as long as she did. She went poking her head in just about all the wrong parts of her patient’s home. And the crazy thing about it is that, most of it was none of her business. Now, I understand that in order for a movie to be striking and compelling it must create tensions within its viewer to symbolize the power it has over those who watch it; but the only reason I’m feeling conflicted is because I had to sit down and actually finish the movie! If this was not a group assignment I would have tossed the disc once Carline Ellis started snooping around for no cohesive reason. Ellis remained determined to unveil the voodoo vex in her client’s household and took it upon herself to do so. She used the skeleton key given to her by her client’s wife in order to access rooms in the house that the home’s owner clearly didn’t want to be accessed. The incredible part of this movie’s irrationality is that this woman, Caroline Ellis, built up this mass amount of nosiness within days of working in the home. Even after a partially paralyzed and mute old man gripped her arm with extreme force in an attempt to warn her of the dangers, she inexplicably summons up an illogical amount of courage and persists to scavenge alone for answers. This constant snooping undoubtedly pissed off the home’s tenants, who were looking to extract her soul from her body, and only expedited her death. This is a common case of curiosity killed the cat.