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'Night Night Nancy' Textual Analysis

Camera Angles and Movements


The genre of the film is established through the use of camera angles and movements. The utilisation of tracking shots throughout the film contribute to the atmosphere of the film, and make the audience believe something will appear in front of or behind Nancy in a place she won't be able to see. These shots also put us into Nancy's position, giving us the same viewpoint as Nancy has - contributing to the increase in the tension and atmosphere of the film. These shots also give the audience the impression that someone is following Nancy, and makes them feel uncomfortable and uneasy - these are key factors that an audience look for in a horror film, as they want to be scared for their own entertainment. 

A low angle shot is used to show the intruder entering Nancy's bedroom, inferring that she is superior to Nancy and has more power than the audience, leading to us looking up at her. This is enhanced by the use of a knife and a mask as a prop, making the intruder a threat and danger to Nancy and therefore putting her in the position of power within this scenario. This exaggerates the theme of horror by making Nancy appear weak and vulnerable, making the audience feel sympathetic and worried about her.

Throughout the film, a synchronous, non-diegetic soundtrack is used to contribute to the building tension and atmosphere of the music. The sound synchronises with the visuals, so that when Nancy is walking around her house searching for the intruder, an intense sound is used to signify that Nancy is in danger, and that something very creepy and mysterious is happening in the house - which makes the audience feel very uneasy and uncomfortable. This sound then stops for the brief moment that Nancy believes she is safe, giving the audience a sense of relief. The music then starts up again as the intruder is revealed to the audience, increasing their discomfort and fear within this scene. The music also implies that something bad will happen to Nancy in the following sequence, adding a sense of foreboding for the audience.

The use of non-diegetic sound effects such as the heavy, croaky breathing of the intruder and a grumbling noise makes the intruder appear to be inhuman and therefore exaggerates the idea that she is more powerful than Nancy and can easily cause her harm or damage. The sound effects are also very mysterious and monstrous, taking the audience back to their childhood and reminding them of the fears they may have had of some sort of monster invading their bedroom or house. This adds to the intensity of the film as the audience and Nancy are made aware of the intruders location due to these sounds, increasing the anxiety of the audience as they want her to escape and make it out of the house alive.

Continuous editing is used for the film to create a sense of realism. When this is combined with the everyday location that the film is set in, this creates a sense of reliability for the audience, allowing them to feel a connection to Nancy and therefore feel more invested in her story and what is going to happen to her. This establishes a fear for Nancy's fate and creates a much more personal connection between the audience and Nancy's character. 

The fast pace of the editing generates a feeling of uncertainty and creates a sense of adrenaline - mirroring the heart rate of Nancy and the audience as she desperately tries to escape from the intruder. This significantly increases the tension and drama of the film, by making the audience feel that there is a danger or risk within the film. The pace also mirrors Nancy's desperation as she races through her house seeking a place to hide from the intruder. This creates sympathy from the audience as they feel Nancy's desperation to escape.


The film utilisies iconography to establish it's genre. The use of a scary 'monstrous' mask and a knife, combined with the blood splattered clothes that the intruder wears each have connotations of danger. The knife especially is a traditional horror prop, with connotations of pain and death - this makes the audience feel uneasy, as commonly in horror films, those who are killed with a knife die a very gruesome and painful death. The mask represents the fear of the unknown, as we are unable to see the intruders face, which emphasises the audience's fear as they are unaware of what is going to happen in the course of the film - but have a suspicion that it will end badly for Nancy. The blood splatter further confirms the audience's suspicion that the intruder is evil, and offers a sense of foreboding at the idea that we are unsure of who has been killed - and fear at the possibility that Nancy may face the same fate, and suggests that her fate is incredibly gory and graphic - which is a traditional feature of the horror genre.

The film uses low key lighting to generate a feeling of uncertainty and uneasiness throughout its narrative. The limited lighting has connotations of secrets and danger, once again emphasising the fear of the unknown and increasing the audience's anxiety as they fear that something will suddenly appear to make them jump. The low lighting would also frustrate the audience as they are unable to see what is going on in the scene - further increasing the tension and atmosphere created in the film.


By Annabelle Argent