Saddleback College Tell No-One and Hitchcock Discussion

Question Description

Need help with my Film question – I’m studying for my class.


It is almost impossible to watch a movie without seeing an influence from Hitchcock. Perhaps the most enduring will be his formulation of Surprise vs. Suspense where he gives the audience information that the characters on screen do not have. This has two effects: First, it creates a sense of anxiety in the viewer as they literally want to shout at the characters “Hurry up! The bad guys are coming” and this makes the picture “move”. The Second is that it creates an emotional bond between the audience and the character that is unknowingly threatened because the viewer, you, automatically empathize with the unwitting victim-to-be. It is very effective.

Typically, these suspense sequences are done by intercutting from one set of action to another, showing the danger closing in on the victim without the victim’s knowledge. Here are a couple of examples:

The Birds:…Links to an external site.

Here, WE see the birds flying around while the victim-to-be sits and smokes a cigarette but by the time she sees it, thousands have amassed. This is followed by the trick photography of the birds attacking (I know, pretty lame by our CG-age standards but cutting edge for the times – I have always wished Hitchcock could be making films with today’s technology).

Now see a modern version with Pan’s Labyrinth: Pan’s Labyrinth clip (Links to an external site.) Pan's Labyrinth clip
We see our hero eating grapes while unknowingly the monster comes to life, leading to a race against time and safety.

In this thread, cite a modern movie that uses the Hitchcock approach to suspense and link a clip so we can see the sequence ourselves. Please remember ONE thread per movie title. Next, respond to ONE thread about a different movie started by another student that shows a new suspense sequence in that film that follows the Hitchcock formula

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