October 29, 2015

Startling Symmetry in the First & Final Frames of Famous Horror Films

First and Final Frames Horror Films
If there’s anything that internet supercuts have taught us this past year, it’s that the juxtaposition of the first and final frames of famous films can teach us a great deal about effective ways to bookend a story.

While prolific supercutter Jacob T. Swinney has helmed the two prior first and final frame videos, today’s post features something a bit different. In honor of the scariest holiday of the year, Zach Prewitt at Plot Point Productions, whose supercuts have also been featured on this site several times, put together an new version of First and Final frames, and it features some of the most noteworthy horror film in cinema history. Check it out:

Here are the films listed in order of appearance:

  • Halloween (1978)
  • It Follows (2014)
  • The House of the Devil (2009)
  • Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
  • Starry Eyes (2014)
  • Repulsion (1965)
  • The Pact (2012)
  • Hellraiser (1987)
  • Poltergeist (1982)
  • The Blair Witch Project (1999)
  • [REC] (2007)
  • Fright Night (1985)
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
  • Inside (2007)
  • Lovely Molly (2012)
  • May (2002)
  • The Conjuring (2013)
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  • Bug (2006)
  • The Evil Dead (1981)
  • Open Water (2003)
  • Christine (1983)
  • I Saw The Devil (2010)
  • Unfriended (2014)
  • The Innocents (1961)
  • The Woman In Black (2012)
  • The Wicker Man (1973)
  • Black Sunday (1960)

What’s most interesting about this particular supercut is that horror films — or at least the ones featured in this video — seem to display a great deal of symmetry in their first and final frames. Whether it's through mirroring the same shot, a shot with similar thematic elements, or a similar camera move, a good portion of these films are bookended in some way or another.

It’s hard to say why exactly this convention of bookending is so present in horror films, but my guess is that it's a way to put a bow on top of what was (hopefully) a horrifying journey. It's a method for reminding the audience of where the story began, which, in a way, forces them to relive and reflect on what they have just seen. Of course, this can be and has been done in any number of film genres, but it seems to be particularly effective within the context of horror.

Happy (almost) Halloween, No Film Schoolers!     

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