Analysing the Trailer to Shutter Island

The trailer to Shutter Island that I analysed can be found through this link:


To commence, the narrative told in the trailer can be seen to show snippets of Todorov’s theory on Narrative Structure. You have your equilibrium being the detective and his partner investigating their case of the missing patient and interviewing the staff and the other patients on Shutter Island. All seems to be going according to plan and this is the equilibrium. We get our disequilibrium half through the trailer when the investigation seems to have hit a halt because no one seems to want to answer the detective’s questions and it seems as if they are scared and one person that works at Shutter Island even tells the detective to run. As this is a trailer to wet the audience’s appetite no more of the narrative is told apart from showing snippets of the detective’s attempt to solve the problem if you refer to Todorov’s narrative structure again. The narrative told in the trailer works well as it does indeed wet the audiences appetite without telling too much of the story so audiences still pay to watch the movie and buy it on DVD.


In addition to this, the mis en scene works well to convey the story and make it more believable. The locations showed in the trailer shows that it is a mental hospital. There are locations such as a canteen, bedrooms for the prisoners/patients and for the most dangerous patients, prison cell holdings. Further, the costumes also play a vital role, the staff and detective are distinguished by their smart clothing, suits, ties, shirt, dress shoes. This is done to show that they are the stable minded authority figures on the island where as the patients all where white overalls. In some shots in the trailer the detective is seen wearing the white overalls patients do and this would make the audience ask themselves why? Is he trying not to be found by the people on the island? And if so why are the people on Shutter Island searching for him?


Moreover, one last aspect to look at the trailer is its representations. The men in this trailer are being depicted as violent and unstable. There are shots of police officers with guns and the detective at one point searching the island with a rifle and pointing at people for answers. The dangerous prisoners shown in the cells and one that attacks the detective are all men. Could the movie be saying that men are more violent and unstable compared to women?. The women however shown in the movie are depicted all as victims and scared. At one point one of the female staff hands over a booklet to the detective scribbled “RUN” inside it and she looks to be scared and frightened as well. Also the escaped prisoner is a woman and the trailer could be depicting her being missing through despicable acts done by the hospital.


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