TreatmentDarkness falls on a dance studio. Five friends and teenagers, dancers: Buffy, Kirby, Tatum Ninaand her boyfriend Thomas, come to the end of their rehearsal and prepare to leave. One of themdecides to stay behind to perfect her pirouettes. As the friends leave, and the door begins toclose, Buffy will soon realize that she’s not alone. Whilst practicing her routine, she looks intothe mirror and screams as she thinks she has seen someone. In a state of frenzy, she turns aroundto find no one behind her. Paranoid and frightened, she believes the hallucination was due to lackof sleep and stress. She is unsettled therefore decides to leave. She picks up her belongings andmakes her way to the exit when the lights go out. Overpowered by darkness, she calls out to seewho’s there. The lights begin to flicker and she sees a masked figure running towards her.Oblivious to the brutal murder of her friend, Kirby is on her way home and takes her usual routethrough the park. Listening to the music from her iPod, she is unaware of the presence of themasked villain coming towards her. She bumps into him and briefly apologizes but dismisses itand continues walking. Recalling the brief encounter, she stops to think about the strangeappearance of the person. She turns around to reassure herself that she was worrying overnothing and finds the masked person standing facing her ready to attack with a deadly knife. In astate of fear, she screams and begins to run. Unable to hear his footsteps behind her, she turnsaround hoping that she has lost him and falls in the process. Vulnerable and frightened, she looksup and sees him standing over her.The next day, Nina is flicking through the channels when she comes across the breaking news ofthe death of her friends. The reporter emphasizes the similarity of the previous years events onthe same date where the victim was from the same college. Whilst watching the LIVE broadcast,she notices a masked figure lingering in the far distance. She pauses the screen and edges closerto examine further. Certain that the masked person is truly there, she gasps and has a flashbackof her involvement in last years accidental killing. Fearing Tatum’s safety, she calls to informher, Tatum doesn’t pick up as she’s having a bath, so she leaves a panicked voicemail orderingher to keep safe. The masked villain answers the call and say’s “It’s all your fault” and thenhangs up. Upstairs, an oblivious Tatum is having a bath, unaware that the masked villain hasentered her bathroom. The cheerful song juxtaposes the brutal intentions of the villain. Whilelaying there with her eyes closed, the villain is shown entering the bathroom. Whilst washingher hair, she dips her head under the water and then rubs her eyes to clear her vision. At openingher eyes, she sees the masked villain standing over her; who blocks her scream by drowning her.Nina arrives at Tatum’s house to see that the front door is open. She rushes yelling Tatum’sname through the house, finally finding Tatum’s body in the bathroom. Crying and terrified, shecollapses onto the ground and begins wailing in utter disbelief. She calls Thomas and explainswhat she has seen and he replies he will be there shortly; suddenly she hears the front door slamshut. Is Nina destined to have the same fate as her friends? Treatment AnalysisConventions: • Teenagers are popular in horror films as they serve to make the film realistic and engaging for the horror audiences who are predominately young people. The
immaturity and extremity of emotions portrayed are convincing thus providing platforms for postmodern films such as ‘Attack the Block’ to be made. Plot lines have always focused on young people with famous slasher films such as Scream, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween being prime examples. Taking this into consideration, our group decided to revolve our trailer around five teenagers: Nina, Tatum, Buffy Kirby and Thomas. • Screaming is an expression of shock and fear hence we have incorporated this into our trailer. Screaming is a depiction of the horror that the character is experiencing and this is dispersed through to the audience who are shown a vulnerable and helpless victim. • Knives are a good horror weapon as they allow intimate contact and cause a slow and painful death. The majority of our respondents thought that knives were most effective horror weapons consequently our group decided to use them in our trailer. According to Freud’s sadism theory, the knife serves as a misogynistic tool when being used against women and this fits our trailer which has mainly female characters. • Blood is a vital in slasher films to illustrate the extent of the villain’s ruthless quest to inflict pain onto his/her weak victims. By depicting bloodshed and gore, the slasher film subgenre achieves its purpose of representing a dramatic and extreme bloodbath playing on the fears of audiences. • Masked figure conform to the Structuralist prop paradigms and not knowing the identity of the person behind the mask unsettles the audience. The mask allows the audience to undertake a journey to find out who is behind the mask and this adds mystery conforms to Barthes pleasure of text theory. Our group decided to use the mask paradigm due to its popularity after films like Scream, Friday the 13th and Halloween. • Chase scenes add a thrill and excitement which heightens the experience of a watching a horror film. Used in probably all horror films, they serve to build up tension and bring the masochistic viewers to the edge of their seats not knowing whether the victim, usually Clover’s ‘Final Girl’, will triumph or concede defeat to the villain, usually the sadistic voyeur. Our reason for including a chase sequence was to highlight the power difference between the villain and the victim- who despite running as fast as she can, will ultimately be caught by the villain.• Bathroom scenes or scenes where the victim physically lays exposed to the sadistic voyeurs is something which our group found effective after seeing the classic bathroom scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’. The idea of subverting an everyday activity of a tranquil and peaceful bath into a horrific and fatal experience highlights the merciless nature of our victim accurately thus we decided to include this in our trailer.• Darkness is imperative in horror films to create fear of the unknown and startle the audiences when the unexpected happens. Accordingly, all of our scenes are set in
darkness to highlight the metaphorical darkness the characters have been plunged into. • “Names are boundary markers of individual identity” as critic Parker has said emphasizing the significance of the names of characters. As a result of this, our group decided to name our characters based on the denotation of the specific names. o The name Nina was our first choice for our final girl but as horror film protagonists usually have an asexual name, we decided to change it to --------- Clover’s ‘Final Girl’ theory argued that asexual names were used due to the masculine personality trait adopted by the girl in her final confrontation with the villain. o The name Tatum was chosen to represent a promiscuous girl who is always prevalent in horror films. This character always dies due to her engagement in sexual activities as Clover suggests which is why our group decided to show her death in the bath scene where she lays physically exposed. o Kirby is short for Kimberly and the nick name reduces her significance highlighting that she is one of the less important characters who dies early on in the trailer. o Buffy’s name suggests the stereotypical blonde girl who is first to confront the villain. Conforming to the typical representation of blondes in horror films, due to her own mistake, she decides to remain in the dance studio alone and creates the perfect scenario for the villain to enter and commit his first killing. o The boyfriend character is seen in most horror films either protecting the final girl and dying nobly during the course; or assisting the villain in his quest to avenge the final girl. Thomas is a popular everyday name and is relatable to audiences.We looked at Propp’s character types and used them to create the characters in our trailer. Forour first scene, we will establish these character types through the costumes of each of thecharacters. Each character will be dressed in a white t-shirt and black leggings to create a senseof equal danger that is waiting for them. Additionally, these costumes are effective in conveyingthe characters as dancers. • -------- will be dressed in a baggy white t-shirt, to form a basis for her being Clover’s asexual, masculine ‘final girl. The white colour connotation serves to highlight her virginity, a convention of horror films as the final girl usually does not engage in sexual activities. • Tatum’s costume will be a low cut skin tight t-shirt to convey her as a promiscuous and sexually active teenager. She contrasts with -----, her sister and is punished for this by dying before the final confrontation between the villain and ----- • Kirby will be wearing a long sleeved white t-shirt with three quarter length leggings and
glasses. This separates her from the other characters and establishes her as the ‘geek’ of the group who gets teased for her unusual characteristics.• Buffy’s costume will be a short sleeved, medium sized t-shirt. This practical costume for dancing conveys Buffy’s passion for dancing alas her decision to rehearse longer than the rest leads to fatal consequences.