Saddleback College Tell No-One and Hitchcock Discussion


is almost impossible to watch a movie without seeing an influence from
Hitchcock. Perhaps the most enduring will be his formulation of
Surprise vs. Suspense where he gives the audience information that the
characters on screen do not have. This has two effects: First, it
creates a sense of anxiety in the viewer as they literally want to shout
at the characters “Hurry up! The bad guys are coming” and this makes
the picture “move”. The Second is that it creates an emotional bond
between the audience and the character that is unknowingly threatened
because the viewer, you, automatically empathize with the unwitting
victim-to-be. It is very effective.

these suspense sequences are done by intercutting from one set of
action to another, showing the danger closing in on the victim without
the victim’s knowledge. Here are a couple of examples:

The Birds:…Links to an external site.

WE see the birds flying around while the victim-to-be sits and smokes a
cigarette but by the time she sees it, thousands have amassed. This is
followed by the trick photography of the birds attacking (I know,
pretty lame by our CG-age standards but cutting edge for the times – I
have always wished Hitchcock could be making films with today’s

Now see a modern version with Pan’s Labyrinth: Pan’s Labyrinth clip (Links to an external site.)
Pan's Labyrinth clip

We see our hero eating grapes while unknowingly the monster comes to life, leading to a race against time and safety.

this thread, cite a modern movie that uses the Hitchcock approach to
suspense and link a clip so we can see the sequence ourselves. Please
remember ONE thread per movie title. Next, respond to ONE thread about a
different movie started by another student that shows a new suspense
sequence in that film that follows the Hitchcock formula.


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