I am the biggest baby when it comes to scary movies. 10 minutes in I was already regretting my decision but I decided I need to get all my work in by Friday this week for ds106. So I sucked it up and went ahead. What initially struck me was the lighting. When the conversations were held in the car the faces almost appeared lit from below, casting the rest of the scene into darkness.
Additionally, the tone of the film was set early- a tone of hopelessness. Right off the bat you have some instinct that whatever’s about to happen is not good. I expected the men to be murdered in the first few minutes of the film. Yet, instead he tortures them, plays games with them, makes them fell hopeless because he established complete control. As the film developed, however, it really turned into more of a mystery like Nancy Drew and I started to enjoy it much more. I found it interesting the contrast between the car of Emmett Myers, Roy Collins, and Gilbert Bowen and the detectives on the case. The majority of the car scenes are shot at night or have dim lighting, with only a couple of exceptions. The detectives, however, are always in the light- they have hope that the Collins and Bowen will be found. Yet, for Collins in Bowen, they’re left in the dark with little hope.
Yet, what was most interesting was seeing the tables turn at the end. Emmett Myers lost his gun the only thing of value to him (a phallic symbol, funny enough). And once that was lost, he turned to be the one who was truly hopeless and tossed into shadow.
I think this movie overall really captured the tone of noir. However, I personally felt it dragged on and wish that Emmett Myer’s was a developed into a fuller character. There were some other small stylistic things that matched up with noir but above all it was all about that tone.