Analysing Trailers…’Final Destination 2′

Posted: July 9, 2010 in Media


(Above: a sequel to the original gory horror/thriller film)

Here’s the trailer we analysed (below)….


So clearly a horror through stereotypical conventions we’ve all seen a million times before – innocent kids pretending toy cars are crashing, laughing about something that is dangerous and could kill someone etc usually means something very bad is about to happen. And then this is backed up by various implied death scenes, most of which are gory and horrible, and frequent talk of ‘death’ and ‘fate’ tells us that the film is definetly going to be a horror. The complex plot implied through ‘death’s design’ and the idea that if fate is tampered with it will come to get the characters makes the trailer out to be advertising a type of thriller though I think horror is probably the main genre with perhaps a sub genre of thriller. 


I think straight from the off there is a sense portrayed to us that something bad is going to happen. Very conventionally we see things such as innocent kids bashing cars around playfully, young girls laughing about a guy drink driving, a cop taking his eyes off the road for one second because he has spilt his drink and all kinds of things like this that we, the audience, know are very regular conventions seen within horror films. So when we see the characters begin to be involved in crashes and horrible deaths we aren’t very surprised. But then there is a sense with a flashback that this was a ll a premonition and that it was all in the characters mind, making us wonder whether she will ignore what she saw or act upon it. It is clear she does act upon it as characters who survive talk about ‘death is coming for us’ which gives us the sense that by changing her and other people’s fate and making them live when they should have died, the main character has disturbed the equilibrium and thus we wonder what will happen to the character’s after this. Will death come to get them? Will they die or will the survive? The only way to find out the ending is to watch the actual film.


Basically the biggest USP here is the fact it’s a sequel to the first film named ‘Final Destination’. Any audience member who watched and enjoyed this first film is likely to be intrigued to go and watch as sequel and this is the trailer’s biggest unique selling point.

Target Audience…

Likely to be older teenagers at around 17-18+ as the trailer conveys the film out to be quite horrible or to contain gory scenes of violent deaths through the constant talk of death, fate and montages of shots of characters meeting their deaths or about to (car crashes, hands stuck in blades, things falling on them and crushing them etc). I think this makes the trailer clear that it is aiming at generally older audiences as this doesn’t seem like a sort of film a younger child would watch as it would scare them and could influence their behaviour even. I think both male and female audiences could equally enjoy watching the film as their seems to be a split balance int he protagonists being of both genders so every audience member has a character they can possibly relate to or connect with.


overall the music is very eiree and sinister right from the beginning of the trailer. This tells us that something is wrong and we can predict something bad is going to happen to the characters and disrupt the equilibrium. This gets faster and louder as the trailer itself begins to pick a fast pace and shows that bad things are going to happen within the film (deaths etc). This helps heighten tension and fear in the audience as they wonder what will happen and if these characters will die. As we go into a flashback (or it can argued we were just flashing forward to begin with but whatever) the music gets less tense and slows down back to the pace it was before the equilibrium was ever disturbed. This tells audiences that this was something a character was foreseeing and has a chance to stop the equilibrium being disrupted but will she act upon it or not? And what will the consequences be? overall the music ends quite slowly, leaving us wondering whether the protagonist will be able to stop what she saw and beat fate itself.


I noticed that as always, camerawork was varied at different points in the trailer, but in this trailer a lot of close ups were used- this helps show the emotions of the characters and establish them to us. It also gives the trailer a certain tone and atmosphere which in this case, was mostly terror. Reaction shots were also plentiful, setting plenty of fear into the viewers hearts as they watched character’s fearful reactions to things we had no knowledge of or simply couldn’t see, giving us the idea that the film will be very scary and deaths often gory and disturbing. There was also a very useful technique of crash zoom out of an eye of the protagonist which I liked because it helped portray one of the narrative’s main points- that all the death and destruction they’d just witnessed in the trailer was within this one character’s mind and now we wonder whether she will have the power to stop it, and if she does, what will happen? Will their be consequences for it?


I think this is varied a lot. It begins slowly paced, as it opens up the themes of the film and makes us tense, drawing the audience in and making us wait for something bad to happen. When these bad things actually do happen there is a montage style of clips and it is very fast paced, making us tense and not showing a lot of details – which makes us wonder the eventual fate of the characters. As we realise it was in one character’s mind we get a quite slow pace again as we begin to think about what she’ll do. Will she stop it? Will she ignore it and carry on driving? What will be the outcome of her actions? We get tense and nervous as it ends on a slow pace and we are left not knowing what the main character will do, making us wan to see the film.


Firstly there isn’t a lot of dialogue spoken which I suppose adds tension to what is going to happen to the characters we are introduced to, we do hear the girls in the car light heartedly point out: ‘Is that guy drinking beer? ‘ *laughs* ‘wow..’ – which instantly screams out to us that something bad is going to happen. Obviously, in a horror, you don’t laugh at doing something blatantly dangerous and then not expect to be killed in  he next five minutes…it’s a convention we see in horror films everywhere. ‘Look at me…what did you see?’ ‘Oh my God…there’s gonna be a huge accident…everybody’s gonna die…’ – This tells us of the protagonists premonition and makes us wonder whether what she was true and if it was, if she’ll be able to stop it? But will there be consequences if she does? Her scared and desperate tone make the audience in turn feel frightened and makes it clear the film is going to scare us. Dialogue such as: ‘Death’s design’, ‘death could be coming for us’ and‘it’s not over yet’ all give us indications that we are not fully aware of what is going on within the film. We have only been given a taste of the narrative and we do not yet know what the characters have really let themselves in for. Again, all the talk of death connotes that the film will be a horror as horrors almost always deal with death in some way or another.

Voice Over…

Nope. Don’t think there was one.

Special Effects…

Obviously used a lot for the death scenes such as fires/explosions, car crashes etc. that the trailer shows many snippets of. This helps portray the fact that the film will include a lot of special effects overall and may rely on this more than narrative, acting or other things. It is generally down to audience opinion when it comes to special effects and what they denote. Some may feel it denotes the film will be big budget and better quality while others may feel it is merely ‘showing off’ and doesn’t necessarily convey that the film will be quality. I think it certainly shows the film will be more of a horror than a thriller as thrillers don’t really tend to need special effects and this is left to more violent and bloodthirsty genres such as the horror film trailer we see here.

credits and Intertitles…

I think the credits and intertitles were very good in this trailer for making the audience tense and wondering what the film is going to be out/what the outcome will be. For example: ‘For every action…there is a reaction’ – white on a blue/black background it stands out and also connotes sinister aspects to the film as well as innocence in the characters themselves. It tells us the film will revolve around these certain sort of themes (action=reaction) and we wonder how this will fit in, what action will occur and what the reactions will be etc .For every cause…there is an effect’ – similar to before, it heightens our tension as we know something is going to happen and an aftermath will be as sure as anything. ‘For every beginning…there is an end’ – this reflects narrative. It makes us wonder whether the film itself will keep to these usual guidelines and perhaps escape the connotations of death this title has. ‘Because once fate….is set in motion’ – tells the audience themes of the film- fate being one of the biggest which ultimately connotes death and destruction. ‘It cannot be stopped…’ – an unstoppable force, it makes the audience tense in fear and we wonder what will happen to the protagonists. ‘Or can it?’ – this changes the viewers opinion and directly makes them think. It really tells the narrative of the film- can fate be changed? Will it be changed in the film? What will happen to the character’s if their original fate is changed? Will something bad happen? And we want to know the answers…and of course, the title of the film is left until the very end: ‘Final Destination 2’ leaving the audience eagerly waiting until the very end to discover what the name of the film is, which is of course, one of the most important things about it in some ways.


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