Monday, 11 January 2016

American Psycho Opening Sequence

The sequence begins with a plain white screen and black text appears in capital letters, informing us of the production company.  It does not begin with a scene from the film like many title sequences usually do.  This does not give much away and therefore creates suspense, fitting to the thriller genre of the film.

The text fades away and a red droplet falls in time with music.  You immediately think the droplets are blood, connoting death and violence, relating to the plot.  The plain white background allows the audience to focus on the credits and droplets of blood as the colours contrast against each other.As more important credits are shown, the pace of the music quickens and the drops keep in time with it, so more than one appears on the screen.  This faster pace builds tension for the audience, possibly hinting at a chaotic plot or character.

Two droplets then splatter onto the white background, and the title of the film appears in the same font, with the second word in bold.  This again hints at the plot and genre of the film.The red droplets change to a red substance running, still resembling blood and adding to the tense atmosphere created by the faster music.  This then cuts to the substance being drawn over a white surface, seeming to go against the idea that it is blood.  However, the audience is still unsure what it is, therefore keeping the suspense.

A hand holding a large knife is lifted swiftly upwards on the screen as the name 'Christian Bale' appears, the star of the film.  This suggests he is the antagonist and murderer.  The knife is then slammed down to cut meat that looks like flesh, and a loud thud is heard which contrasts against the orchestral music and startles the audience.  Again, this feeds into the idea of the thriller genre and foreshadows the audience will experience more shocks.What seemed like blood and flesh now changes to show food, like raspberries.  This makes the audience backtrack and feel like they have let their imaginations go wild, linking to the ambiguous ending of the film.

I find this a very effective title sequence as its simplicity makes it almost unnerving and the juice looking like blood really plays with the audience’s minds and manipulates the whole tone of the sequence. You could argue that its showing that the main character sees blood and violence in even the most normal of things and the director is testing the fact that maybe everyone does by fooling the audience.

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