Quiz 1• What is the male gaze?• How was the male gaze used in Dracula?• How are we first introduced to Lucy Holmwood and what does this signify about her role in the film?• When we next see Lucy she is lying in bed, unwell and weak due to the fact that she has become one of Dracula’s victims. How does the mise-en-scene and her performance construct her as weak and childlike?• What iconic prop does Lucy remove from her neck? And how does this signal deviant behaviour?
Quiz 1• ‘In Dracula, both heroines enjoy the vampire’s unconventional style of coitus. They are transformed by his unratified penetration, which destroys them as moral beings’ - What does this sentence mean? - How is represented when Dracula visits Lucy?• How are the audience encouraged to view Mina through the eyes of a male spectator?• To what extent can the Vampire Bride be seen as a strong female character?• Dracula is characterised as a sexual predator that preys on women and will kill any man who gets in his way. How is this represented in the film? (reference the micro features)
HORROR NARRATIVESNarrative conventions are important for defining genre.
HORROR NARRATIVES• When we think of horror narratives, we are really considering the devices that are used to communicate a story to you. In the exam you may come across questions like…
HORROR NARRATIVES• How far are the storytelling methods used in the films you have studied for this topic typical of their genre?• To what extent are the narratives of the films you have studied for this topic typical of their genre?• How are narrative devices used to increase the impact of horror in the films you have studies for this topic?• What are some of the narrative features that are distinctive in the films you have studied?• How far are the narratives of the genre films you have studied for this topic predictable?
HORROR NARRATIVES• The assumption is that the WAY a horror film is told is going to be the very similar across all horror films, thats what makes it recognisable to the audience. For the most part these questions want you to: 1. Make known that you are aware of the narrative features of the horror genre and how they are used in the films to communicate their stories 2. Discuss how this is done in a similar/typical way across all films 3. Consider how the films manage to break the ‘genre mould’ and not be typical
HORROR NARRATIVES• Aims (for the next few weeks):• To discuss and understand the storytelling methods used in Dracula, The Descent and Creep (we will return to Eden Lake)• To do this we need to consider the use of:• Narrative Structures• Narrative Theory• Narrative Themes• Use of characters• Use of settings• Micro features (typical visual and sound techniques)• And how they are used to draw the audience into the diegesis of the film.
HORROR NARRATIVE STRUCTURES A narrative convention of any genre is its predictable set of plot events• Read the narrative hand out• What could we say is similar about these films in terms of plot events?• Work in your study groups and write each film out in 3 acts, and then 4, explaining how each act is similar/ dissimilar• Taking evidence from these film can it be said that horror genre narratives are typical?
Typical 3 Act Structure (Horror) Choose the 3 key scenes that could exemplify these 3 stages• As sited in Film a Critical Introduction for each film• The first act in a horror film focuses on central characters beginning a venture into a strange and ultimately threatening setting.• Stumbling into a forbidding, and often forbidden, setting unleashes a wave of violence that leaves many (if not most) of the protagonists dead. As those who survive the initial onslaught begin to fight back, fear and fatigue provoke dissention within the group, putting them at greater risk. Those who have come in contact with the monster may try to warn the larger community, or they go to the authorities to muster up support, only to be met with disbelief and derision.• The climax of the film generally involves a dramatic, sometimes apocalyptic, showdown between the main characters and the monster, with varying results. In contemporary horror films the resolution of the plot leaves open the possibility of the monster’s
NOEL CARROLL• Noel Carroll, in his essay The Philosophy of Horror, maps out the traditional narrative structure of the horror film in three stages.• The first he names the ‘Onset phase’ where a disorder is created, generally in the form of a monster.• The second Carroll calls the ‘Discovery phase’, where the characters of the story discover that the disorder has occurred.• The third phase he calls the ‘Disruption phase’, where the characters destroy the source of the disorder and restore normality.• This similar to what Todorov stated, he argued that the basis of conventional narrative structure consists of an initial situation (situation 1); a problem which disrupts this situation; a resolution of the problem which allows the reinstatement of the initial situation, perhaps with slight changes (situation2).
Dracula is wreaking Is there an ‘Onset Phase’? The Craig kills one of the workers Onset havoc in the area in female spelunkers entered into the ‘monsters’ territory in the sewer pipe which he lives - Phase going out a killing people Van Helsing sends When they realise that they Craig kills the man trying toDiscovery Harker to dispose of were in the Crawlers feeding den. The POV through the attack Kate She is now witness to his actions she also knows Dracula and Dracula Phase kills Harker. Van camcorder is used for this then we see on of the Crawlers. when the controller is killed then Mandy Helsing realises the reason for Lucy’s illness. Van Helsing and The women fight for their lives Kate tries to escape withDisruption Holmwood work against the Crawlers, only living Sarah – but is order Jimmy but he dies. Then Kate Fights on with George. Kate together to kill Phase Dracula. Van Helsing is restored? And if so who’s order? (Ideological messages?) finally kills Craig – but who’s order is restored? (Ideological messages?) successful during a climatic battle
Why is narrative structure important in genre films?• Narrative structure provides a formula or template in film production• It works as a ‘contract’ – the implicit agreement between a film and it’s audience that governs the way fans enjoy it• Without a typical narrative structure genre films would not be recognisable to audiences and conversely films would not be able to break with predictability Use Dracula, The Descent and Creep to exemplify these points.
Meeting Objectives of the lesson• You should now be able to:• Discuss how narrative structure can be used as a storytelling method• Discuss the ways in which horror films have typical narrative structures• Argue if narrative structure can be used as a device to create impact in a horror film• Consider if the narrative structures of the films we have studied are distinctive or predictable