The opening techniques for both of the films were completely different to each other. In “The Others”, the beginning scene is very tense, where as in “The Sixth Sense”, is light/happy and romantic, with two lovely couples celebrating.
The producers use various methods to introduce the audience to the emotions of fear, suspense and hope. For example in “The Sixth Sense” music is very eerie, which therefore indicates to the audience that something ominous will happen. The music is played using a violin, which gave an appropriate sound that created a haunting eerie effect. In addition to this, dynamics and metallic sounds are used, sounding like It’s coming from a tambourine, which conjure coldness and iciness. The diversity of dynamics including the loudness and softness brought a sense of confusion and panic. Also dynamics along with a pitch-black screen, in “The Sixth Sense” complimented each other to induce fear. Similarly with “The Others”, eerie music is played using a violin and having dynamics at certain points, however no tambourines were present.
Camera work is quite important in bringing across the message the director is communicating. For example like in “the Sixth Sense”, Vincent Gray (Donnie Wahlberg), one of Crowe’s few failures, revealed gradually, firstly at the feet, slowly creeping up to the knees, then up the legs and to the waste, then the chest and towards the neck and finally his face! This is an excellent technique to use as I mention above it creates suspense and keeps the audience watching. This kind of illusion puts the audience in a state of uncertainty as to what is real or not. In “The Others”, at the very beginning when Nicole Kidman screams the camera appears to show her upright, but in reality she appeared to be lying on a bed, as the camera revealed in the following scene. This is a good way to twist the audience.
Setting is an important factor that can be very effective depending on how it is presented. Both films used a house as the opening location. However both houses weren’t the same inside. In “The Others”, the house was dark because Anne and Nicholas, the children were so allergic to the sunlight that they might die if exposed to it. So this added to the setting, making it gloomy and sad. Where as in “The Sixth Sense”, in the opening romantic scene, the house was lit in candles, which again enhanced the romantic scene a bit more, apart from the lovely couple together.
Character development is also another important factor that can be very effective depending on how it develops. For example in “The Sixth Sense”, Vincent Gray, the intruder, appears to be crying, and saying how bad he feels, and the mood is sad, and then in the wink of an eye, the mood changes to a violent tense one, and he shoots Bruce Willis and himself. This makes the audience think that if things appear a certain way doesn’t necessarily mean it’s so. However in “the Others”, character development I think, isn’t that effective, as the character was the same dominant way throughout the opening.
After analyzing both of the films, In my opinion, “The sixth Sense” has the most effective opening. I say this because at the beginning, instead of giving away the story, the audience is given a romantic and lighthearted scene, which is then dramatically shattered by a tragic one. This sets the tone for continual manipulation of the audience” emotion by the director.