Monday, 13 December 2010


Suspense is the apprehension of what is going to happen. In films, suspense can foreshadow future events, create drama, build tension and it can also leave unanswered questions which will lead the audience to be desperate to know what is going to happen. The 'bomb effect' (Alfred Hitchcock) can create suspense because the audience know more than the characters on screen. Suspense is created to leave the audience 'sitting on the edge of their seat' and in some cases cause them to scream in terror, or their heart rate may increase, and this is called the Visceral Effect, which is the affect that the suspense will have on our physical bodies.

Suspense can also be created through the False Plateau, which lulls the audience into a falso sense of security, for example in the clip of Jaws when the children were caught swimming with sahrk fins on their back, the audience were made to think that everybody was safe however they weren't as the real shark was still roaming around looking for it's prey.


Suspense is used to create drama throughout a film as well as foreshadow future events which will happen further on down the line.
For a thriller opening it helps build up the tension from the start creating an uneasy atmosphere which increases the viewers heart rate using visceral effect which is an affect on the human body. This also could indicate the viewers to scream in terror or shock.

Suspense is used to keep the audience interested and locked into whatever they are watching as it provides a lot of things which go unanswered. this makes the audience desperate to know what is going on.
'The Bomb Theory' is given off using suspense since in some cases the audience may know more that the characters on screen allowing which enables them to be on the edge of their seat.

Suspense can also be created through the false plateau which comes before the real and lulls the audience into a false sense of security. for example, in jaws two children were used to create suspension by having a cardboard fin and swimming through the water making everyone think they were a shark and making the audiences heart race increase for no reason. Then the scene with a real shark attack follows which makes the whole thing even more scarier as the audience had become relaxed and wasn't expecting it. This makes it even more dramatic.


Suspense in media is something that if used correctly keeps us on the edge of our seats. It is a state of uncertainty and anxiety while creating tension in the viewer. It engages the audience and builds up their feelings towards certain actors. It also creates some sort of anticipation and keeps us locked into the action while we feel unable to help the actors with regard to what we see.

Suspense makes me feel conscious to what is around me while thinking what will happen in what i am watching/doing.

It is attractive to an audience because it will mean that they are hooked in what the are watching. You would more likely to see a film containing suspense because it would be more interesting and keep you satisfied for longer. Music and dark settings are the most common use of suspense

Elements in a film which could create suspense include; eerie music, shots of somebody where you cannot see their face, a silent scene and face paced action which builds up tension with the aid of music and pace increasing camera shots / editing.

Another way suspense can be created is through the use of a false plateau, this is where a full peak of suspense is created to the audieance but is in fact a trick and not the real peak of the scene, the real suspending ending action will occour after the false plateau at this point being much more effective at thrilling, shocking and scaring the audiance, the false plateau essentially lulls the audiance into a false sense of security, a good example is in Jaws (1975) where people on a beach beleive a shark is coming but it is infact two children in costume, a few miniutes later the real shark appears and kills a man.