Season 1: Episode 9 – Repairs
Being quite the big Joss Whedon fan, and an even bigger Marvel Universe one, it may, and may not surprise many that I thoroughly enjoy Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. For me it’s a weekly intake of Marvel fun, which tries not to take itself too seriously.
That being said, its technical treatment certainly is taken seriously. This particular episode, Repairs, plays great technical homage to some of the best-known codes and conventions of the horror genre. As soon as the plot takes its turn in the direction of horror, so does everything else.
As seen in this shot, replacing cutting with a kinetic handheld shot adds tension within the frame. The characters surroundings are revealed to us, but through this shot we anticipate a reveal much like in most horror films. And as to be aspected, from the darkness seen earlier in this continuing shot, the antagonist suddenly appears.
|Full 360 turn and antagonist appears.|
|Over the shoulder follows Agent Ward.|
But there is also the tip of the hat to the ominous camera angles, which are unusual, but common in adding mystery and tension into an unfolding scene.
|Unnatural camera angle.|
|Adding an uncomfortable claustrophobic feel.|
But most obvious to most will be the use of lighting. Low key lighting of the characters, silhouetting, and dark corners within the frame, adding mystery and insecurity. After all, we all know it’s the shadows in which horror lurks.
Leo Fitz in a classic homage to the slasher movie. A classic horror scene, which can be found in almost every slasher. Creeping into the darkness, complete lack of set lighting giving ample opportunity for something to jump out of the darkness.
|Homage to the Slasher Movie.|
|Heavy shadows make the shot ominous.|
|Melinda May, alone in shot.|
|Flickering light reveals antagonist lurking.|
|Flickering light allows antagonist to move rapidly in shot.|
All in all, I found this episode to be great. It made me appreciate how certain genres have impacted the industry, how filmmakers know and respect these, and evidently show their respect towards them, with tips of that here and there, to full technical approaches.