Shaun of the Dead’ Essay Example
Shaun of the Dead’ Essay Example

Shaun of the Dead’ Essay Example

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  • Pages: 6 (1497 words)
  • Published: December 8, 2017
  • Type: Film Analysis
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The film I have chosen to analyse for this assignment is 'Shaun of the Dead', the 2004 summer blockbuster from Simon Pegg. The film is basically a parody of George A. Romero's cult horror 'Dawn of the Dead', described by its makers as a 'Rom-Zom-Com' which stands for Romantic Zombie Comedy.

The first scene I have chosen to analyse is where Shaun (Simon Pegg) is walking back from the shop with a Cornetto and a can of Diet Coke whilst blissfully unaware that he is surrounded by blood thirsty zombies in a street full of destruction. It is 26 minutes and 5 seconds into the film. I have chosen to look at colour, the camera frame and movements in this shot.Colour stands out in this scene, especially around our leading man.


We see Shaun in the same work clothes as the previous day, his white shirt, black trousers, red tie and red badge. We can see red ink on his shirt from a leaky pen yesterday morning, combine this with the red tie, red badge, the red packaging of a strawberry Cornetto and the clear red 'Coke' sign on the can and it is clear that he is surrounded by the colour.As we know, red is a very powerful colour with several meanings, one could be to emphasis that he is key role in the love interest in the film. It could be there to symbolise passion and love. I feel however that he is portrayed in this way not because of passion or love but blood and death.

The use of the colour red here is to highlight his role as a leader and fighter. It

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is there to symbolise blood as he will always have blood all over him throughout the film. This certainly can lead the genre in two directions; it could draw upon the romantic side of the character and film, but mainly shows intent not to hide blood and guts.In this shot Shaun is in the centre of the screen which is highlighted by the lines in the road.

On either side of him we see female zombies, the one on the right is young (early/mid 20's) and wearing a black trouser suit with a light grey top, the other is a middle aged woman wearing a grey cardigan, grey jogging pants and a black top. Over Shaun's shoulder we see another zombie, this time it's an elderly gentleman wearing a dark green/brown cardigan done up half way, and a grey shirt buttoned to the neck.I feel that these aspects of the still not only add focus on Shaun through colour but also show him being surrounded by zombies and therefore boxing him in through the camera frame. In the frame we see that it is a dark, gloomy morning and we can see that the sky is cloudy and grey which gives the audience a feel of time and space. On the left side of the shot we see shops and destruction from what we can only assume be the walking dead.

On the right hand side we see a quiet residential street full of greenery and red brick houses, almost normal.This can be seen as confusing when trying to create some sort of mood for the scene. Although the road is full of parked cars,

you can't see anyone driving or anyone other than the four characters mentioned in the background. This in some way suggests that it is a quiet Sunday morning on what I imagine is quite a wealthy residential area, or it would be if it was any other Sunday. The fact that there are zombies covered in blood and walking as stereotypes have you believe they walk makes the audience think again and now creates a mood of terror and intrigue.

This builds up both the zombie and the comedy part of the genre in that this is a scene you wouldn't expect to see on your doorstep, both funny and scary.The camera movement is important because it constantly follows Shaun at a medium close up level (elbows up) and just like him, remains oblivious to the shocking events going on. This only builds upon his character as the hero and main star of the show, and it could be said that it is following him as the love interest of the film and almost suggesting that the death and violence in the background is not the main part of the film.Another major aspect of this scene is the fact that it is almost identical to the scene the previous morning.

Shaun makes a similar journey the previous day and the producers have tried to recreate this only changing the effects that the zombies have had. This is to symbolise the character's mundane and uneventful life coming to a head and going through some serious changes.The second scene I have chosen to use takes place 1 hour 6 minutes and 31 seconds into the film. The

still is in the back corridor of the Winchester Tavern, which is the local pub and haven from zombies. We see Shaun going to the fuse box to switch the power on, not for light but for the use of the TV.

Again he's oblivious to what is going on around him.The use of lighting and colour in this still is evident straight away. The audience see Shaun in a darkened room looking intentivly at the fuse box on the wall. Over his shoulder we see a window with the blind fully up, and outside we can see that there is a lot of light. The light outside reveals 10-15 zombies all crammed together at the window looking at Shaun, they all have some sort of red blood splatter over them and they are all wearing dark colours like blue and black. This certainly drives the zombie, or horror part of the genre and could symbolise an impending death.

Shaun is still in his white work shirt from the previous day, and like earlier he is covered in red once again but this time it is blood. Inside the building we see black surrounding Shaun with his white shirt and blood stains shining through. Outside however (through the window), we see a bright light revealing dark and sinister zombies in dark, unnoticeable clothing. The fact that Shaun still has 'red on him', draws together earlier jokes and refreshes our memories of these events. This has been done specifically to drive the humour and comedy of the film.The mise-en-scene has been constructed here to show the bright white shirt of our hero in the darkened room, and

the dark and dingy villains outside in bright light.

The creators clearly wanted to distinguish good end evil in this scene. They have played with the idea of space in making it seem that the room inside with no light is very spacious, and that outside in the light is very confined. In reality these roles are reversed. The fact that there is a good versus bad battle here relates to the romantic side of the film and the audience romantisizes with Shaun as our hero.Essentially in this clip the camera gives us two frames to look at, first the frame of the black room with Shaun and a fuse box being the only things visible. Second, the window frame and the other side, showing us the grave danger that a-waits.

Within Shaun's frame we are led to believe he feels safe and protected although unaware that he is in the dark in more ways than one. The second frame is portrayed as dangerous and violent, we see an angry mob with blood on their hands. The window has a blind attached at the top which I think has been put there to act as a blinker to Shaun so that if he wanted to he could pull down the shutter and all would be forgotten.The idea of two frames and two worlds creates an idea for the audience that this second world can be shut out and can be separated if so wanted. The camera is held at an angle here where we can see clearly what Shaun is playing with on the wall, and see the entire window behind him. The film makers

wanted this highlight Shaun's ignorance which helps to maintain the comedy element of the genre.

The fact that it is dark now drives the issue of time forward as when they arrived at the pub it was still Sunday morning.I feel from the way this and scene 1, have been set up, the creators clearly focussed on comedy. The symbolic codes they used to create the horror element have all come from previous zombie films. The whole film can be seen as a cultural reference to classic horror, although the overwhelming inspiration of it's near name sake, can be seen throughout.

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