Analysis : Rear Window

Another murder mystery film I watched (which is also directed by Hitchcock) is the 1954 film: ‘Rear Window’. Hitchcock tells the story of a wheelchair bound, magazine photographer watches the people who live in his apartment block from his rear window. He soon realises that a murder may have taken place in one of the apartments opposite him. The director uses lots of techniques to draw the audience in and put them on the edge of their seats; as well as creating the alluring suspense found in the murder mystery genre.

  • The only setting seen throughout the film is in the protagonist’s apartment. Like ‘Psycho’, the camera being incredibly close to the characters creates a feeling like you are actually there with them. The setting of only seeing through the apartment windows also makes you feel like a voyeur and you are engaged in these people’s personal lives. Reaction shots and extreme close ups of the protagonist also made you feel like you were close to him.
  • Lighting is also used to create a mysterious effect. The main character usually watches his neighbours at night and the only light coming into the room is with from the moonlight or, from the apartments opposite. The characters face is dimly lit and this also creates an eery feeling.
  • The only sound heard (this is the case for 99% of the film) is the diegetic sound of the outside world or from the protagonist. This makes the film look a lot more realistic and it seems like the audience is engaged in a real life situation. The use of diegetic sound will be used a lot in my film opening as it creates a wonderful effect and it also fits to the genre expectations.

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