In this movie suspense is created by using specific techniques such as motif, as a part of sound. Every time David appears on screen in the scene where something bad might happen, very deep and slow music plays. This gives audience some information about the character and shows his as ‘bad’, creating tension and suspense at the same time.
In the opening where David is having breakfast, Mise en Scene is used to build up tension. He uses every day props such as coffee mug and toaster, camera work is significant because shots are normal and straight, camera in panning and titling slowly until Dave walks and we see dead body, that’s where camera tilts to the side and we see altered reality and that something is nor right. This is a big contrast to what we’ve seen few seconds ago. In the scene where Dave and Michael first go to the basement, as a par of Mise en Scene we see tools that David could use before. The light is very low and it sets the tone. In Hitchcock’s idea that audience should be given certain information. And in this case audience know much more than the character, therefore we feel more involved in the movie, this creates suspense. There’s a fake plateau in the scene as well, because we’re expecting something to happen, when nothing bad happens.
In the scene where dad is being murdered we see that no one is in the room, and non-digetic music plays, which is really deep and serious. Camera work is very important, because it’s tracking, usually behind the character. This means we get Dave’s point of view shot. This again creates suspense as we know something that the character doesn’t. Also, there’s few over the shoulder shots which again suggest that we see the victim in David’s eyes. Through this we know that something’s about to happen.
In the final scenes where a lot of action takes place there’s a loud digetic sound of rain and thunders, this creates tension and builds up suspense as we know something bad will happen, via use of pathetic fallacy and loud sounds. The music plays very important role in the action scenes. It is very tense and low, speeds up when something is about to happen. As a part of Mise en Scene, the lighting is very low therefore creates more tension.
Tips for my own: remember to use a lot of camera work, not simple shots but camera should track, move and pan.
+choose shots visely. (OVS + POV worked really well in the Stepfather in creating suspense) !!!