Some of the the most beautiful and creepy sets ever. The beauty and creepiness are complimentary. Red everywhere. Not as ominous as I was hoping. The story does draw you in.
The music or ambient sound is terrifying.
It is patient to the point of losing suspense at times.
Beautiful AND effective use of shadow. Some truly creepy images: girl running through woods, girl’s exposed heart stabbed, girl’s head falls through skylight, girl’s body killed by falling skylight, the silhouettes washed in red, the temporary dormitory, some of the rooms in the building, the looks some of the characters give when frightened, confused, suspicious, alarmed.
The building is much (most?) of the effect. The shape, color, texture, ornateness, expensive wallpaper
Creepy characters: butler with false teeth, heavy-set maid, little boy in school-boy attire, blind pianist, strict teacher, overly-elegant headmistress,
Dog yelps as classical music begins; can you tell which is the dog and which is high strings?
There are these side stories, ie: the blind man’s dog and the argument and scene.
Some of the suspense didn’t make sense, for example the dollies through the building. They were kind of suspenseful by nature or by music or color or backgroudn sound, but they didn’t do anything. They didn’t move the story at all. They seemed like filler. The various shots of the girls in the dark pool.
Why is the blind guy out after dark? Where is he going? Why did the girl lead him from the bar?
Wow! The scene in the square! That was a good surprise; and certainly creepy.
A decent story… in a fabulous setting. Everything about the building is perfect: the stair rails, the balcony rails, the pattern on the bottom of the pool, the stained glass windows
beautiful, effective (eerie, suspenseful) long take in room.
Great: the girl is sneaking along the wall upstairs, next shot, a shadow–along the wall–enters the frame. Is it her? Is it the person after her? Oh, it is her.
Can light be ominous? When it is red, when it slowly appears, when a character steps into green (unusual) light, when there are patterns of shadows on the wall.
great shot: knife through jam wiggles against latch. (remember Cronenberg favors character locking door and pressing back against it as person or mob pounds on other side. the futility of it; the false security.
Whoa! The room filled with wire! You want her to make it out, but you also want her to stop screaming, but that’s probably what a person would do. You would not expect anything like that to happen in real life.
Next day, as the three older women descend the stairs, you suspect, for the first time, the old maid.
NOTE: the LS of a person working signals the audience that someone will come up behind the person.
bat flies in! bat on floor! Shock and disturb.
Horror films are kind of detective films. Who did it? What will happen? Put the clues together.
In the end, the building and the sets were most of the effect. The story unfolded so slowly. There was a lot of dread, but many of the build-ups did not lead to anything