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Horror genre research

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  • 1. Chloe Sorley GENRE RESEARCH
  • 2. In horror movies, it is often the case that there is a mixed gender group of around 5 people. This group is commonly made up of two couples and the friend, often in teen horrors. The women in horrors are often slim, with long hair who are sexualized and showing nudity and are quickly made a victim, or there is often the ‘final girl’ as in Evil Dead and Creep. Men are often showed to be courageous and naive but its is usually the most confident male to die first, leaving the rest of the group to panic. CHARACTERS IN HORROR In the 2013 Evil Dead the characters consist of 5 friends, two couples and the little sister of David. Sexualized women in horrors are often the desire of the killer and are quickly made a victim as the group are attacked. In Shrooms the most confident and cocky character is killed first, leaving the others to dismiss his disappearance as him playing a joke on them.
  • 3. Horror films usually set their location in remote places, where any chance for help is far away. It is unusual for horrors to be set in the daytime in cities, unless it is apocalyptic films. Another reoccurring location for horror films are abandoned buildings, particularly hospitals. LOCATION IN HORROR Both, Cabin in the Woods and Evil Dead are set deep in the woodlands, this makes the film more prone to disruption for characters as there is no one around to witness and there is no landline to call for help. Grave encounters is a ‘paranormal’ horror similar to paranormal activity. This film is set in an abandoned hospital over night.
  • 4. There are various types of themes throughout the horror genre, lots of which consist of a masked killer. Other films often include a monstrous other and a common theme of horror is a paranormal threat, apocalyptic films are also reoccurring. THEMES IN HORROR Films that feature a paranormal threat; • Paranormal Activity • Paranormal Entity • The Conjuring • Insidious • The Last Exorcism • The Exorcist • The Haunting in Connecticut • The Woman in Black Films that feature a masked killer; • Halloween • Scream • Catacombs • The Strangers • Friday the 13th • Texas Chainsaw Massacre • The Hills Run Red • My Bloody Valentine Films that feature a monstrous other; • The Hills Have Eyes • Wrong turn • The Descent • Silent Hill • 30 Days Of Night • Quarantine • 28 Days Later • The Mist • Jeepers Creepers Films surrounding apocalyptic themes; • 28 Days Later • 28 Weeks Later • World War Z • Dawn of the Dead • Zombieland • Carriers • Pontypool • Night of the living Dead
  • 5. As I have already discussed masks in horrors which would be the most vital prop for many films it is also common in many horror films for the antagonist to be armed with a weapon, this could be a knife, in slasher films such as Scream, something more brutal, such as the pick axe in My Bloody Valentine, or they could use there own hands, (or mouth in the case of zombie/vampire/cannibal films). It is also usually the antagonist will have a more powerful weapon than the protagonist, as this puts up more of a fight and therefore produces more tension in the audience as they watch the protagonists fate. PROPS IN HORROR For antagonist Jason, he uses his very famous props of a hockey mask and machete. Leaving his victims the only choice to outrun him. Here in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Leatherface’s most famous props are his skin mask and chainsaw Freddy Krueger is recognized by his hat, stripy jumper and his weapon of destruction is the blades that come from his hands. Slasher killer scream is most commonly known for his mask and blooded knife.
  • 6. For many horror films, the issues that surround the film are often ignored due to the cover of the horror. For example, British horror film Eden Lake surrounds political issues of the division of social class. This is seen as a ‘hoody horror’ as the antagonists of the film are teenagers from lower class families and the protagonists are a couple from middle class. ISSUES IN HORROR In Eden Lake the characters to the left are very disrespectful and rude, and they take an immediate disliking to Jenny and Steve because they are of a higher class and because Brett thinks they think they’re better than them. The characters are presented very differently, from the teenagers in hoodies and tracksuits carrying knives, whereas Jenny, a nursery teacher and Steve are shown to be more caring and yet still be the victim. It also shows that there is evil in all of us as Jenny kills two of the teenagers.
  • 7. It is quite common in horror films for there to be an inequality when it comes to gender, as often females are shown to be the damsel in distress that needs to be saved. However, there is also often a ‘final girl’ that empowers the women in films, this is evident in the British horror, ‘The Descent’ and in the remake of the ‘Evil Dead’ however the brother of the final girl sacrifices himself for the survival of his sister. It is more than often the case that the antagonist is a male stalking his protagonist victim, who is likely to be a girl, this is shown in Halloween. GENDER DIVISION IN HORROR
  • 8. There is a number of generic conventions in horrors concerning the mise-en-scene, characters, narrative, location and props. Commonly used in horror films; GENERIC CONVENTIONS IN HORROR Location; • Isolated, remote, to make the characters feel helpless when they are in distress and not able to call for help. Mise-en-scene; • Often dark and dirty • Pathetic Fallacy is commonly used, thunderstorms/lightening/heavy rain • Props such as weapons, masks, artefacts • Colour use: reds/blacks connoting blood, danger, an unknowingness and death. Characters; • A dumb blonde, often sexualised and screaming, is quickly killed by the antagonist • A confident and cocky male, usually naive and quick to find out, often dies first leaving the others to panic. • A girl/boy not in a relationship, this person will often question and moan at the group for being silly, it is usually this character to survive the film.
  • 9. As a film makers response to horror films, as well as the characters and plot, the camera work is just as important.. CAMERA WORK IN HORROR Cinematography; • It is almost vital for the shots to be dark, this adds to the tension as darkness and black is often connoted with the unknown and death. • Handheld cameras are often used in horrors, such as the Blair Witch Project, this is used to make the experience of the film more real for the viewer and it also disorientates the viewer, this is also the same for POV shots. Editing; • Fast pace editing is important to build the tension and terror in an audience as this can disorientate the viewer. Sound; • Sound is incredibly important when creating suspension in horrors, this allows for the jumpy horrors to be at there best for the audience. Commonly used sounds in horrors are creaky doors and loud footsteps, also really effective sounds such as a childs laughter or a child singing a lullaby and then going silent can keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

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