In this essay I am going to consider the effect on the viewer and discuss how the film creates suspense at the beginning of the film Twister. The background was just grey clouds that suddenly got swept away. All the effects are computer generated. Behind a classical song you could hear the sound of gushing wind and thunders. This was done to set the right atmosphere for the film. The title twister is an American saying for a cyclone. Cyclone is a more geographical word that would be used as a title for a documentary. The word twister gives us more of an idea of what the movie is about.
The letters of the title get swept away. This also sets an atmosphere of the film. The camera slowly focuses on the title with a background sound of a low slow sound as it gets closer and closer to the title. This keeps the viewer in suspense as the film starts. The opening shots of the film were the surroundings of the farm. It is all at different times as well. The first shot was in the morning where the sky was all blue, the second shot was a lake with woods in the background, the birds were singing and the frogs were croaking.
This indicated a peaceful countryside. The next shot was of dark clouds and nightfall had begun, you could hear the crickets singing as the storm approached. The last shot was of thunder and howling winds. It sounded like there was no life left on the farm. All the wildlife had disappeared. This gave the viewers an impression that something was going to happen. The farmhouse has trees surrounding it with lighting striking above the house. This makes the house seem sinister.
When the camera shows the viewers, inside the house it changes the viewer’s opinions into thinking that it is not the house that is sinister it’s the movie, because it shows us a young girl sleeping peacefully next to a dog. The dog represents peace and a cozy family. There were pictures on the walls that add that cozy atmosphere of the house. It was a family of three and a dog. The mother and child were asleep upstairs with the dog; the father was drinking tea watching the news. When the warnings came on the T. V. the farmer gets his wife and child. This gives the viewers more information about the film.
The presenter on the news talks about the surrounding states that have been struck by this cyclone. The mood suddenly changes. The dog starts to whine and the mother rushes in to get the little girl out of the house. The mood changes from calm, peaceful and homely to frantic, stressed and hectic. The father shouts orders as the family tries to get out of the house as quickly as possible. “We need to get down to the storeroom NOW! ” This type of atmosphere creates tension amongst its viewers. To give the viewers empathy the mother had flowers on her nightgown and the little girl had teddy bears on it.
The little girl was worried about what was going on, and the mother was saying things like: “come on sweetie” and “Mummy’s got you”. These words were used to pity the viewers. This gives the viewers suspense into getting the family out of the house for safety. The father rushed them to the storeroom. The trees were falling behind them leaving the dog behind. As they were rushing to the storeroom they were passing a toy tractor. This would make the viewers think about the playful child that might not live through the big storm. Just as they left the house the camera focused on the television telling people in that area to find shelter.
As they were running to the storeroom the camera focused on the trees falling down on to cable wires and storage tanks. On the side of the storage tanks they said express oil LTD. This added to more fear to its viewers. This made the film seem more savage. When they were running the mother kept on looking behind her to see if any trees were falling near her. This tells the viewers that the family was running from the fierceness and savageness of the storm. As if some monster was after them and they were running for their lives. To add more tension the chickens were running around helplessly as if they had just had their heads cut off.
To give the viewers more of an idea of how hard the wind was blowing the camera focused on the wind ventilator above the storeroom. In the first scene it focuses onto a farmhouse. . When they were in the storeroom they had left the dog outside. This was done to create some distress to its viewers. The dog’s name was Toby. This is used to create some sympathy over the dog. It would be different if the dog were called Rex because the name isn’t as soft as Toby. Rex represents a fierce character and Toby represents a cute cuddly character. In the store room the family was very tense.
You could see that because the camera focused on each character one by one. First the dog who was barking, then the mother and child who were holding each other with fear. Then the father who was putting all his strength into hold the door closed. The family looked scared and helpless. When they opened the door there was two sides of atmosphere. On one side there was danger with gushing wind and loud thunders. On the other side was safety with a quiet family that was helpless. They were sweating from nervousness. The camera had a close up of the door’s hinges coming loose.
The door was shaking violently and there were loud thunders that sounded like growls. This made it seem as if they were trapped and nowhere to go and the dark side was trying to get in scratching, pulling at the door. The father was holding the door, but the hinges were about to come off. He shouted, “I can’t hold it any more! ” As it got louder and louder as the eye of the storm was getting closer and closer. He said this several times. This was to keep the viewer in suspense because they knew the door could come off at any moment.
As he was saying this, the lighting was giving the room a short burst of light. This film creates a lot of suspense. This is done to keep the viewer interested throughout the whole film. In a review of the film it was described as only one word, “Intense”. The films effects were very unrealistic according to geologists. Unlike some films twister got right to the point. Every cyclone they predicted they were correct. In real life you miss more cyclones than you encounter them. I think the suspense and distress was the key thing in the film and without it, it would be a very successful movie.