Hey everyone! First post here. For today's post, I am going to be breaking down the rhetorical devices used in the red band trailer for the upcoming horror remake: Evil Dead. Some details on the movie: Evil Dead is a remake of the same-titled 1981 cult-classic. With the same producers, the creators aim to accomplish what they could not back in 1981 due to budget constraints, and deliver a truly horrifying experience unlike the campy, exploitative original.
Right off the bat, the viewer is hit with the good ol' red band warning that this preview is for "Mature Audiences Only." This appeals to the ethos of the audience because being an official statement from the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), it "is a mark of ethos, or credibility" (Lunsford, 26). It also appeals to the ethos of the viewer by warning them about what they are about to see. If their standards are not mature, than they are not the target audience, and may not enjoy what they are about to see. Their emotions need to be ready. Another play at the viewer's ethos is the standard horror movie style of editing. Words appearing in time with the heavy metal guitar chords, and quick cuts to graphic images lend credence to its horror claims.
The ever important pathos plays a major role throughout this whole trailer. From the dark, suspenseful music, to the muted colors reminiscent of death, the viewer is almost forced into being scared and repulsed. According to Lunsford and Ruszkiewicz in their book titled "Everything's an Argument," everyone makes decisions based on their feelings (30). Knowing this, the creators of this trailer are hoping to scare its viewers enough to make them believe Evil Dead will truly be scary. And they succeed. Who wouldn't be terrified seeing a girl with demon eyes licking a box-cutter and unflinchingly slicing her tongue down the middle? Or seeing this same demonic girl singing from under a trap door that "We're gonna get you, not another peep, time to go to sleep?" It screams emotional appeal. Also, the warm (but still dead) reds, yellows, and oranges featured in the trailer evoke aggressiveness, violence, and stimulation (Giannetti, 22). This movie without a doubt is targeting the extreme horror audience.
Seeing as this is my first post, I am going to introduce you to how our rating system here works. It is on a scale of 0-3 movie tickets. If the piece recieves no ticket, then you shouldn't even bother seeing the film. One ticket, go see it possibly. Two tickets, you may even want to see it again. And three tickets means you won't be able to stop seeing it. Based of this trailer, I would have to give it two tickets. It does an amazing job of what it set out to do: scare and disturb its audiences. It employs all kinds of devices like bleak lighting, violent colors, intense music, and crazy gore to attract its target audience. But this is also why it does not recieive three tickets. It is far too narrow of an audience. A majority of viewers cannot sit through something as intense as this movie is making itself out to be, so I sadly have to give it only two.
Have a good one,