In the film Clown Train how does sound contribute to the atmosphere of this film? Describe what you heard? Can you make reference to another genre film and how they utilise sound to create tension and a unique filmic space?
In the film Clown Train, sound generates the tense, overwrought and edgy atmosphere from the very beginning. It generates a sense of fear within the audience and allows the film to have more depth and integrity. The use of sound drives the audience to know more, they want to know, who is on the train? Why there is a clown? And what is going to happen to the guy? Initially sound is used to set the scene, it helps the audience understand the setting and sets the overall tone of the film.
The first sound is of a train’s breaks screeching on the tracks, what is a common noise for everyday commuters, however the eerie presence of that noise singled out sets a scary tone. Additionally there are noise and echoes of other trains moving about in the underground tunnels intertwined with the noise of the engines as the air breaks slowly come on and off. These noises all come to a halt before the first image comes up to enhance the sense of tension.
All that is left is the slight buzz of the train still running which allows the dialogue to develop the storyline. The 10-15 seconds of silence continues to develop the tension between the two people on the train and evokes a sense of fear within the audience which is followed by a single beat of a drum. The clear crisp question of the first character breaks the silence and draws the attention of the audience closer. The frequent zips that accompany the short snaps of darkness where finally the sound builds and then cuts out and the audience is snapped back to reality by the bold laugh of the clown.