There is also a man in the carriage with a strange mask on. The mask is made up of coins. In the past people used to put coins on the eyes of dead people to keep out spirits this conveys the idea that the people know something is un-natural about the area. The lady hands something to Jonathan. An insert shot shows what the lady handed to Jonathan. A crucifix, to protect from evil spirits, then we see a reaction shot where Jonathan looks confused. Then we hear a foreign voice say something that we don’t understand, a subtitle on the bottom of the screen says, “For the dead travel fast” This means that although Jonathan isn’t dead, he has travelled fast like a dead person would.
The director had the lady say this to create the impression that Jonathan is in some sort of danger. Then the masked man slams the door shut and the driver makes a noise urging the horses to move. A long shot/ straight angle shot of Jonathan makes him seem small against the surroundings and very vulnerable. A long shot/ high angle shot of a wooden post, marks his journey. We hear wind in the background followed by a clash of thunder.
Then we see Jonathan looking at the sky or the post, we can’t tell which one. We hear a screeching noise which gets louder until we hear a crash of thunder and lightning lights up the face of the creature on the post, which I think is a bat that could be connected with Dracula but others say it is a wolf. The ‘creature’ on the post could be warning people to stay away. That entire scene creates tension; again leading us to believe Jonathan is in danger. A wolf jumps from the middle of the screen toward the left of the screen. The close up/straight angle shot of the wolf makes it seem very dangerous.
The main light is from the wolf’s eyes and again it is an eerie blue light reminiscent of lights earlier in the scene. We can hear the wolves howling and growling at Jonathan. The growling becomes more constant. Then a coach comes towards him and it shocks him, but you don’t hear it until the last second. The carriage looks like a funeral cart and is being pulled by four jet-black horses that appear to be floating. There is a mysterious figure driving the carriage. Under the coach we can see swirling mists that gives us the impression that the horse and carriage is un-natural.
Then we see a medium shot/ straight angle shot of the driver. He is wearing a cape with a large collar. His coat overlaps like armour or scales giving the audience the impression that the driver may not be human. A hand reaches out for Jonathan and the camera moves and focuses in on Jonathan. The only light is from an oil lamp in the carriage. The hand reaches out for Jonathan. It is very long and unlike anything human. While the hand is reaching out for Jonathan, he looks very stunned and stands motionless. The hand rests on his shoulder and grabs him.
Instead of guiding Jonathan into the carriage, it appears that the driver just picks Jonathan up and puts him in the carriage. The door shuts itself, which is weird. The next shot is a reaction shot. Jonathan looks pale and the only source of light is from Jonathan’s face. We hear a crack of a whip and the horses neigh. The driver is wearing a helmet that is shaped like a bird or it may not be a helmet. Jonathan then looks up at the driver and says “Driver, is the castle far? ” Jonathan gets no reply from the driver. Instead the driver replies with a grunt.
Making the audience think that the driver is not human. The director chose to do this to show that no human would go there. The driver is shrouded by mist so we can’t really tell, what he is. Then we go back to a close up shot of Jonathan looking down at a precipitous mountainside. On the mountainside, rocks and stones are falling down and the wheels of the carriage are extremely close to the side of the cliff. The director chose to do this to show the instability of the cliff face. During the scene, we can still hear the horses moving and rattling and the neigh of the horses.
Then we see a close up of Jonathan back in the carriage where he looks concerned. We then see a large castle, which looks like someone sitting on a throne, watching over the landscape. The director chose to do this to show Dracula has some power. We can see the horses approaching the castle. The next scene is where the horses are just arriving at the castle. Blue rings rise from the ground as the horses enter the castle grounds. The rings look and sound like a rush of gas or electricity. We see a shot through the rings, of the horse and carriage.
We get the impression that Dracula is strange because he has strange things about him: The eerie blue light, the eye watching Jonathan and the castle shaped like somebody sitting watching over the landscape. Then we see a close up of Jonathan looking at the rings with a look of curiosity on his face. Then we can hear the mechanism of the gates as they start to close. The gates appear to look like claws, closing and trapping Jonathan in. Then there is a clash as the gates go together, followed by a period of silence in which the audience is left to ponder what could be in store for Jonathan.
In this assignment I looked at Jonathan Harker’s journey to Dracula’s castle. I looked at how Coppala created a sense of danger around Jonathan by using camera angles, background music and special effects. The director uses lighting, wolves and an orange sky to make the audience think Jonathan is in danger, and an eye, which seems to be watching Jonathan on numerous occasions throughout the clip. The eye in the peacock’s feather, the eye on the map and the eye when he’s on the train are just a few of the incidents, which create a sense of danger.
I think that Coppala does a good job in creating the sense of danger because the audience still thinks something is not right about Jonathan’s journey. At the end of the clip Coppala uses the claw shaped gates to give us the impression that Jonathan is trapped which I think is very effective.