10 killers from horror movies For this task I will research 10 different killers from a range of horror movies and make a note about the conventions used to distinguish a villain
Freddy Krueger Body language of character suggests danger as the character has his claws poking out which instantly increases the threat caused by the character Face looks brutally burnt making character look demonic, this creates sense of danger from first glance of looking at the character. This has been done through the use of makeup which subverts characters human qualities to give him this inhumane look. This deformity of the character has been used to perhaps highlight his isolation from society and also hints at a troubled past Facial expressions resembles physical pain seen from appearance of the character. The fact character is looking straight at you with his mouth wide open creates a shocking and uncomfortable effect Claws not only used as a prop in form of a weapon but also is a part of the killer making him look even more inhumane and psychotic thus enhancing the fear created Costume implies little about the character himself creating a sense of the unknown, thus enhancing the fear created by the character
Jason Vorhees Facial expression and identity is hidden behind a mask which creates a sense of the unknown increasing fear levels in the process Again a dangerous weapon is used as a prop to highlight the danger and power this character posses. The fact the knife is dirty further implies of the fact he is a serial killer Use of ripped and ragged costume gives the character a animalistic and uncivilized look immediately distinguishing him from the rest of the characters Only eyes of the character are revealed which are shown focusing on something, perhaps a victim which highlights the intent of the character Character is stood very stoic apart from his weapon which he has held high again reaffirming this element of danger the character creates and also creating a sinister look about the character Backdrop of character is very hazy and so again doesn’t reveal anything about the character. The fact we are unable to make out the setting reaffirms this feeling of fearing the unknown that the character creates
Ghostface (Scream) Face is hidden hiding identity of killer and any facial expressions used. Like with Jason this increases fear levels and plays on themes of fearing the unknown A very dark backdrop is used connoting themes of doom, danger and death Costume like that lighting is very dark, thus making the killer look more threatening due to the sense of doom created by the color black Facial expressions can only be seen from the facial expressions of the mask which resembles a ghost. Fact that it resembles a ghost (the living dead) creates supernatural feel about killer whilst also reaffirming themes of death Again the only prop used is a ordinary everyday object used as a weapon highlighting the danger of this character. This is only enhanced by the fact the knife has blood on it, the blood connoting death and danger.
Samara (The Ring) Body posture is extremely stoic which is commonly seen done by males and not woman, thus making the character look more dangerous as it gives her a almost lifeless look Face is completely hidden by her jet black hair. Again the characters identity being hidden plays on fears of the unknown. Whilst the Jet black hair covering her face Dark setting with spikes on the wall implies of the danger of the character, creating a sinister and dangerous feeling. Luminously lit setting gives supernatural feel to the character presenting as inhumane and psychotic Dress is very ragged and dirty which completely challenges stereo-types of a typical woman. This also implies of the inhumanity of the character making her look more intimidating.
Chucky (Childs Play) Character not only physically deformed by scars which have been presented really graphic by the use of make up, but the character is also in the disguise of a child’s doll which is subverting the innocence of children. The fact it is a actual doll increases the danger threat created from the character. Lighting from the setting is dark and so a setting cannot be distinguished which amplifies threat of character whilst connoting themes of doom Again the prop used is a ordinary house object with the fact it is a knife instead of a gun implying that the character enjoys brutally killing people again painting him as psychotic and sadistic. Facial expression is very sinister and the fact this character is smiling implies that he enjoys the feeling of killing, thus hinting at the psychotic and maniacal nature of the character Body posture resembles the posture of a man, with the fact the character is holding up a knife almost admiring it painting the character as inhumane, supernatural and very sadistic. Costume resembles type of clothes worn by a child which again subverts the innocence of children.
Leatherface (Texas chainsaw massacre) Uses a chainsaw as a prop with chainsaws usually used to cut through hard objects, fact he uses this as a weapon (implied in films name) portrays his as being maniacal and psychotic Face like previous characters has suffered some sort of deformity as a result of characters past making the character look more menacing as a result Setting is of a empty space of field perhaps implying of the isolation felt by the characters victims, thus increasing his threat Facial expression shows character focused on something with s slight grimace on his face, perhaps suggesting that he is doing this out of revenge Body posture reveals physicality of the character, not only is he holding a chainsaw high in the air he also is physically big making him look more threatening as a result Conventions varied as unlike the rest a very bright setting is used. However, fact the character is killing in broad daylight highlights psychotic and uncaring nature of character
Jigsaw (Saw) Like with Chucky (see 5th slide) character is smiling implying that he enjoys seeing people suffer highlighting the psychotic nature of the character. Fact his eyes are red also make him look more sadistic and frightening Use of very dark lighting connotes doom and sense of hopelessness, as a result increasing threat of the character Character resembles a puppet straight away hinting at the inhumanity of the character, with again the idea of innocence being challenged as the threat is coming from s character who is not your stereo-typical image of a serial killer Setting cannot be distinguished, as a result character seems more dangerous as it implies that he is inside his own surroundings which plays on themes of fearing the unknown Colours of the characters costume (red and black) reflects on the sense of danger created by the character with red often symbolising danger and black symbolising death. Fact these colours are part of a suit reaffirms status and authority of the character Make up used hides identity of killer hinting at his isolation from society whilst also making him look more menacing Character is riding on what looks like a bike as a prop which again playing on the idea of innocence being challenged, thus in many ways making the character seem more intimidating
Mike Myers (Halloween) Like with his body language the characters face is emotionless which implies of a inhumane quality about the character and also shows a detachment of all emotions thus increasing the fear created Mask used to hide identity of killer hinting at his isolation from society and also depersonalises character thus detaching all emotions felt by him which makes him look even more psychotic Again weapon used by character is a normal everyday object which suggests the maniacal aspect of the killer. Fact the knife has blood on it which he hasn’t even cleaned off of it implies that he enjoys what he’s doing highlighting psychotic nature of the character Character is stood very stoic which as a result doesn’t reveal anything about his character. However, it implies that the character has no emotions towards killing his victims making him seem more sadistic as he has no moral conscience. Setting is brightly lit which challenges usual conventions. However character is in a private owned property enhancing his danger as he is breaking into a part of society where he is unwelcomed Even though character is wearing a mask, his deformity is still shown through the use of make up which hints at a troubled back story
Tom Hanniger (My Bloody Valentine) Identity hidden by gas mask which increases threat of character as he is in a environment (mine) where he would be able to blend in and use it as a further disguise as everyone is dressed similarly to him Weapon not only hints at the sadistic nature of the character but also hints at his back story as the weapon used is one usually used when working on mines, construction etc. This hints that his back story will effect his actual intentions Darkly lit setting with only light coming from a spark at the top left corner of the image. Whilst the dark setting creates a feeling of doom thus making the character look more threatening, the spark is able to intensify this which increases the danger and threat of this character Sadistic nature of the character is shown by the way he has positioned the weapon, as if in preparation to kill showing the intent of the character, thus making the character look more menacing
Pinhead Characters deformity is so shocking and disturbing you are immediately drawn to it. The physical pain seen from his deformity combined with the fact the character doesn’t acknowledge this aspect of his appearance creates a very sadistic and demonic look about the character Lighting, costume, props and setting are all in black which creates a sense of doom, thus increasing audiences fear of the character he looks more threatening Facial expression of the character is quite menacing reaffirming the fact that the character is evil whilst also increasing audiences fear of him. Costume doesn’t resemble clothes but instead seems as if it is his own skin again highlighting the demonic element of the character which would increase audiences fear of him Fact his hands are up pointing out as if to grab someone increases the threat of the character. The fact he has blood on his hands already only intensifies this as it makes the character look even more psychotic Make up is used to present abnormal colour of the character which makes him look sadistic, inhumane and demonic
Overall… From my research on killers in horror movies I have discovered some commonalities between the different killers of the horror movies I looked at helping me to see the main conventions of a killer in a horror movie which leaves me better prepared for when I have to choose the characteristics of my killer when creating my trailer Some of the commonalities I discovered include:
Usually a troubled back story that defines the killer and hints at what some of his intentions and who some of his target victims are (e.g. Freddie Krueger, Mike Myers, Chucky, Tom Hanniger, Leatherface)
Usually disguised by some sort of mask or deformity which hints at the inhumane quality of the character and highlights their isolation from society (e.g.Freddie Krueger, Jigsaw, Chucky, Samara)
Killers are usually male and so play on stereotypes (Pinhead, Mike Myers, Jason Vorhees etc)
Weapons used are usually normal everyday objects and so highlight sadistic and maniacal aspect of the killers (Ghostface, Mike Myers, Chucky, Leatherface, Jason Vorhees)
Majority of killers are expressionless and stood stoic hinting at a detachment not only from society but from their own emotions (Jason Vorhees, Tom Hanniger, Samara)
Idea of innocence explored and challenged i.e. woman or children being killers (e.g. Samara, Jigsaw and Chucky)
Lighting often darkly lit to emphasize element of doom which amplifies killers dominance (Pinhead, Jigsaw, Chucky, Ghostface)
Execute based on moral judgement i.e. sinners are killed (Jason Vorhees, Jigsaw, Pinhead)