Analysis Reflection No.2 (Question 1)

Question 1.
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 is a strong contributor to atmosphere. Particularly in the beginning of this film, the first 27 seconds consist of eery sounds of a train coming to a stop or start at a train station played over a black screen. These sounds set the location despite the fact that the audience cannot see anything. These first 27 seconds build suspense as the audience tries to figure out where the sounds are coming from.

We then see a young man wake up on a train, it is quiet and clearly night time, suspense continues to build as we wait for something to happen.

As the young man realises he is not a lone on the train, as there is a man dressed as a clown sits opposite him. The young man confused as to where he is begins to talk to the clown. Long periods of silence play inbetween the two’s very short dialogue. Building the suspense for the viewers. The clown displays a slightly sinister attitude in his responses to the disorientated young male.

The camera shows different sized shots of the two sitting on the train that isn’t moving and serves as the scene for the film. The lights begin to flicker and the clown slowly gets closer to the young man appearing to move in seconds between the flashes of the lights.

The stylistic choice of this film reminds me of The Shining, particulary with the long spaces of silence between characters and the sinisterness of the clown reminds me of Jack Torrance in the film. These two films revolve around the genre’s of mystery, thriller and psychological horror.

Another genre that utilises sound to create tension and uniqe filmic space is that of Drama. Drama tends to build suspense by giving the audience the expectation that something is about to happen and then prolonging that from happening. Another way to create tension is for the characters to maintain eye contact for a longer than usual amount of time.

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