Alfred Hitchcock's Stranger on a Train is a spellbinding movie that takes a hold of one's mind with utter suspense and uncertainty. Even though there are several scenes that are suspenseful and cause one to suffer, the scene that took my interest was the murder scene of Miriam. Hitchcock provides one to suffer by introducing helpless and odd characters, eerie and strange situations, and finally intriguing and unusual camera angels. The actual complexity and strangeness of the characters in the movie are a great reason and cause as to how Hitchcock makes his audience suffer.
The scene of the murder of Miriam all began with a misunderstanding between Bruno and Guy. In his bizarreness, Bruno believes that Guy has agreed to the arrangement to exchange murders. Bruno plans to kill Miriam, the over friendly and selfish wife of Guy. Bruno stalks her and her two boyfriends at the local fair. In Miriam's odd state of mind, she thinks of Bruno as interesting and intriguing, perhaps attractive.
She continues to eye him as he follows her into the tunnel of love. These two characters put together along with the two nonchalant boyfriends that haven't got a clue provides for a very interesting scene. These behaviors of the characters provide the audience with stress and tension, for they feel the vibe of weirdness that overtakes the scene. Another aspect made to make the audience suffer is the actual surroundings. Fairs and / or carnivals are always strange and odd to begin with. This bizarre atmosphere combined with the darkness of the night, the laughter that surrounds the scene and a moat / creek that leads to the scary island sets up for anxiety and suspense.
The weird scenery along with Bruno and Miriam being as psycho as they can be, results in suffering. The final aspect that concludes as to how Hitchcock makes a wonderful and amazingly suspenseful scene is through simple camera angles. Hitchcock's camera emphasizes the abnormal and even funny images of Bruno traveling by himself into the Tunnel of Love. Miriam gets away from her men and wanders around searching for Bruno. When they finally run into each other, the camera takes a close up of both Bruno and Miriam with his hands fixed around her throat. Her glasses fall off and the camera closes in on the strange looking and ugly glasses of Miriam's.
Bruno is shown strangling her with minimal struggle reflected in the lenses. There is not a clear view of what is happening as Bruno actually kills Miriam. The view of the glasses is distorted and provides an odd and almost eerie perspective. The helplessness of the situation is shown by the distorted camera angle and by not showing any other view of the murder. Alfred Hitchcock is an amazing director and movie-maker. In Strangers on a Train he reveals that he can make his audience suffer by introducing helpless and odd characters, eerie and strange situations, and intriguing and unusual camera angels.
All of these points are important to acknowledge and understand how an ingenious director goes about making people suffer in his movies.