Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Dead Of Night Excerpt 'The Ventriloquist'


















The Dead Of Night a brittish  which consisted of several different short horror stories, with a framing story around it, wherin the characters tell tales of the 'Uncanny'.....

One of these stories in particular, and probably the most remembered, was the story of 'The Ventriloquist', which gave way to a new intrepreation of how eerie they really are, now seen time and time again within modern day cinema....

Based in a mental asylum, after being accused of attempting murder, The Ventriloquist tells his story how his dummy was to blame, where we witness the downfall of his success as a performer....as the events unfold in one of his shows, we begin to see a power struggle between both the dummy, and the controller, which quickly switches to a role reversal, the controller, being the controlled during one of his shows, and this can be convyed through his facial features, look look of confusion and shock as his audience play along with what seems to be part of an 'act' as his confidence and nervous laughter portrays his....some what confused and bewildered state...which are key to reading how the dummy is really interacting with the audience....

Later, in his dressing room, there seems to be an eerie atmosphere as The Ventriloquist seems to keep up the conversation with the dummy after the show, as a visitor pops by, he acts very iward and reclusive, and quickly shuns the person out of the door, talking frantically about how he shouldn't listen to what the dummy said....















This again is highlighted before he slips into total hysetria at a bar some time after, when the same visitor bumps inot the Ventriloquist, drunk and down on his luck, witnesses somehow, the dummy, picks a fight (which is actually quite comical) with some ladies, which results in a bust-up, but the most intresting part is the poistioning of the characters, where the Ventriloquist is slopped over the bar drunk, yet the dummy is upright and talking very clearly...and in the remaining scenes, we are shown how the Ventriloquist came to where he was prior to the story, and the events that occured, which leaves very suggestive angles on wether the dummy itself is actually real, for instance, when the dummy, appears in the visitors hotel room, of it's own accord apparently, as well as when the Ventriloquist is locked up, in a cell, there is a surreal moment where he actually has a conversation with it, prior to which to us appears as a monolouge (which the director cleverly avoided previously) beknownst there people are observing him, to which he destroys the dummy, and slips into some sort of vegetable state...

Finally ending with the scene where the visitor who was almost murdered pays him a visit in hospital to try and trigge ra reaction out of the Ventriloquist from his blank state, seems impossible, but suddenly, he reacts, but the way in which he does is throught the voice, and the expression of the dummy itself, which plays on the viewers thoughts, if wether the Ventriloquist was actually destroyed, instead of the dummy, and if it was really 'Posssessd'...

Alongside this, the use of lighting in this black and white shot film, conveys a very dark atmosphere, with characters half immeresed in darkness it really works well at creating tension between the characters..
Again, altough there are some comical scenes throughout, due to it's time period, the esscence, and how effective the story plays with the suggestive, not actually painting a clear, definitive picture, where we can be sure of the outcome,  as well as the 'Uncanny Valley' really appeals to the genre, and really works well in portraying such,

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