ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Movies & Movie Reviews

The "Mask of Sanity" and "FlaskBack Sequence" Techniques in Films

Updated on July 8, 2012
Sometimes, sanity is only a mask for something far more sinister.
Sometimes, sanity is only a mask for something far more sinister.

Ever seen a film where there was a central character that you loved; a character that just seemed so likable that you even wish they were real. They were seen as a true hero throughout the film and seemed genuine with the other heroes and to be the voice of reason. Then in one scene, out of nowhere, this same character performs an act of horrific violence against the hero before revealing his or her's true allegiance as a villain. This to me is one of the greatest way of revealing a villain because by the time we see their true face, it's too late, we already like them.

Earlier, I wrote an article on how to make villains likable and I think this is a great method to do so and, at the same time, completely shock the audience; all audience members like a real shock and twist at times in the films they attend. An evil character covers his or her face with a mask of a sanity (a real term used in criminology) before showing the true horror beneath it in an act of supreme betrayal. Countless movies have embraced this method, with horror movies such as Scream, making it one of the main plot points in each installment.

This method also adds a lot of value to the movie itself as many viewers will be enticed to watch it again and look for clues that point to this character's true agenda. Suddenly, unexplained words or actions make sense as they were truly building up and hinting to the ultimate twist of the movie. This is truly a great way to make the movie become valuable to the audience even after they watched it once. It also presents a highly disturbing theme and message; not everyone is truly who they say they are and, sometimes, sanity is only a mask.

Chances are is that most people have seen a film that had a plot point like this and felt just as betrayed by this character as the other heroes in the film dis. This proves that movies that can tell this plot point well can very well get their audience and their emotions involved within their film, which is what every filmmaker really wants at the end of the day for his or her viewers. The amount of things that this one plot twist can accomplish is really amazing and can be all the hype of the movie. One incredible scene can just make the entire film for an audience and this type of plot point can very easily be one of them.

Other methods that can be mixed in with this one could be perhaps the use of flashback sequences. Start the movie off with this character already in there evil status, but then segment some portions of the movie with flashback sequences that explain how the movie led up to the opening moments and have them same character be truly engaging and likable. It would seem impossible to pull off, but it truly can be if handled carefully enough. It also gives the audience a sense of discovery as they learn the full story and fill in the blanks, effectively completing the story in a unique, full circle way.

The idea of watching the protagonists of the film being swayed by a charming character who we know is evil is a very disturbing and engaging one. It makes the movie that much more suspenseful because we as viewers know what is in store for our heroes and yet, they don't, so we are left in suspense and nervousness for them and their eventual fate. Going even a step further above that, we may even still like this "mask of sanity" character in the flashback sequences even when we know what they will become in just a few more scenes.

These two methods, the mask of sanity and flashback sequences, really do a lot to add mystery and intrigue to a movie, pulling audiences in with their emotions. These methods are both generally engaging by themselves, but sometimes, combining them can have even better, ultimate payoff.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)