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Vehicles of Suspense

             Vehicles of Suspense.
             The classic plot of good verse evil is used once again in Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train. Guy Haines plays the part of the innocent protagonist who is suspected of a crime, the murder of his wife Miriam, when the real culprit is the antagonist Bruno Antony, a man that Guy met on a train. Hitchcock uses many filming techniques throughout the movie to make the scenes more suspenseful and cause tension.
             A major example of a mood altering filming technique is the scene in which Miriam is murdered. The scene takes place in the dark of night on a small island. The darkness of the scene already causes suspense, but it is the way the murder is shot that really causes your feeling and mood to change. As Bruno wraps his hands around Miriam's neck and begins to strangle her, her glasses fall to the ground and the glass is partially broken. The murder is then filmed as though you are looking through Miriam's glasses. The scene becomes distorted and almost blurry. The face of the murderer, Bruno, is blacked out. The viewer can see what is happening, but it is not completely clear. You watch as Bruno finishes the strangling, and then Miriam falls slowly to the ground with the glasses facing her. The distortion of the scene leaves you feeling confused and disoriented.
             Another example of a suspense building technique is used in the scene of Guy's tennis match. The scene is right after Bruno has decided to plant Guy's lighter at the scene of the murder so that Guy will be accused of the crime. Guy knows he must get to the amusement park to stop Bruno. The film is quick cuts back and forth between what Guy is doing and what Bruno is doing. Guy plays his tennis match aggressively trying to win in the first three sets. Every time he seems to be doing well his opponent catches up making the viewer more and more nervous, knowing that Bruno is almost to his destination.

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