The boy then runs and hides under his covers. The director had brought up another common feeling in a young child’s life- if the child cannot see the source of the horror; the horror cannot see the child. The child then calms himself showing a sense of relaxation and belief. The sound effects also become light but as the boy begins to drift asleep the noises begin to change – the sound effects become louder making the audience feel that this is intentional and a real, intense and dramatic scene is about to occur. The director brings in another distraction – the window opens.
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As this happens, the young child shots up, sitting upright and tense; the director has created the feeling that something foreboding is present or about to enter. The sheets of the bed then begin to shake, giving yet another obstruction. The young child reaches under the bed to examine what is beneath it. The camera techniques which the director uses; such as close-ups and low angle shots, giving the audience the feeling of relief. The, now pleased, boy returns to his bed relieved and thankful. But this is all about to change!
The director then cuts to the next scene – where we first see the Sandman. The Sandman slams the large, oak door – giving the impression that he intentionally wants the child to feel threatened and know that he is there. The director has now created dramatic irony – the audience know that the Sandman is present, unlike the young boy – who, at this moment, again awakes in shock. The Sandman begins to ascend the stairs. The director has made the Sandman be so vivid to make the audience believe that the Sandman is more of a threat to the young boy than the stairs.
The director conveys this by making the Sandman bright and stand out, giving the feeling that the stairs are less threatening that the Sandman. The sandman comes to a creaky stair and he, again, intentionally, makes it creak so the young child can hear him coming. Again, the director cuts the scene – going back to the young boy. At this stage, the child seems both petrified and daring – we can tell this because the young boy has got out of bed, but this was a mistake. The child gets out of his bed and knocks over the candle, which his mother gave him, which then smashes.
As the boy does this the director uses a close-up of the Sandman’s face; by doing this the director has created a scene of which has a great amount of suspense, tension and drama. The camera, again using the cutting techniques, goes to the boy – showing him run back to his bed and begin to quiver. By doing this, the director has created further tension. Furthermore, fear has been put into the audience, making them feel the anguish of what the young boy is feeling. As the boy shakes in his bed, we see the Sandman’s long spindly fingers clutch the door handle which leads to the boy’s room and begin to turn it.
Apprehension is then created by the camera focusing on the door handle but as the door is opened it is the mother who pulls back her son’s covers, the Sandman is out of sight – making him seem as if he is just in the child’s imagination. It is here that we see the mother comforting her son – making him feel secure within himself. I believe, the director does this to make the audience feel that the son is now comforted and also that he is calmed down because the mother has taken some of her son’s insecurities away – as a mother should do in a loving and caring relationship.
This shows that the mother and the son have a deeper relationship than first thought. The child falls asleep and the mother removes herself from the boy’s room. The director has now created a scene that makes the audience feel comfortable and relieved with the situation. The mis en scene of the following scene, however, is quite different. The eerie image of the Sandman reappears… leaving the audience to feel helpless as the Sandman begins to draw closer to the boy. At this stage the director uses a close-up to show the mischievous look which appears on the Sandman’s face – which resemble the moon when it is moved sideways.
The director speeds up the scene y creating a sense of urgency – using, both, camera techniques and sound effects. The Sandman begins to jump over and around the boy; trying to get his attention. The boy begins to move around and fidget… now is when the Sandman gets ready to attack. A close-up is used, by the director, showing the Sandman’s bony hands begin to fill with a glittery substance, which I believe to be sand. The boy begins to wake up and just as he is about to open his eyes, the Sandman throws the sand into the eyes of the boy.
The audience, now, feel very shocked by what they just saw and a feeling that there is worse to come. The director then uses shadows and certain colours to show what is happening to the stunned boy. The director uses black and red flashes to show what is happening – black to make the scene seem sinister and red to give the sense of blood or danger. The shadows give the audience a more intense interpretation of what is going on. The shadows reveal the Sandman scratching at the boy, but it is not seen what ha actually been done until the Sandman exits.
The Sandman exits in a peculiar way – flying out the window like a bird of prey. It is at this moment that there is a close up of the boy. This shot leaves the audience feeling fearful, as the boy has been left with no eyes. This creates the audience to believe that it was the scratching of the Sandman what they saw in the previous scene which has left the boy disfigured. The Sandman has now returned to his home and the director uses another close-up to show what is in the hands of the Sandman… the young boy’s eyes.
From this we get the sense that there is a reason as to why the Sandman plucked the eyes from an innocent child. The reason is then revealed- to feed the Sandman’s offspring. This brings the audience to believe that the Sandman is not as malicious first thought – he is only providing for his family. By doing this the director has caused us, as an audience, to think about whom is most caring and considerate out of the Sandman and the child’s mother. I believe the answer is the Sandman – as it is he who would do anything to protect and fend for family.
In conclusion, I believe that, ‘the Sandman’ is a short, horror film, which shows just how much insecurities there are in a child’s life and how far a parent would go, be it mother or father, to protect and fend for their offspring. ‘The Sandman’ is a film which would leave most of the audience feeling both insecure, themselves, and also more weary about the insecurities of a young child. It is the director use of the fascinating camera techniques, sound effects and also colours which have given this film the effectiveness, which it has. Leaving the audience feeling astounded that so much horror and fear could come from a cartoon.