MY CHOSEN GENRE
I have chosen to use the horror genre to base my opening titles on, the reason that I have
chosen this particular one is that I feel that I could create he most effect with this genre. Some
of the things that I will be researching further are;
Stock Plots, Situations, Issues and Themes,
Stock Locations and Backdrops,
Stock Props and Signifiers,
Music and Sounds,
• Stock characters are people who are based on a common social stereotype. Stock
characters rely a lot on cultural stereotypes, their personality, manner of speech, and
other characteristics. Stock characters are a key component of genre, giving relationships
and interactions that people familiar with the genre will recognize straight away. Some of
the most commonly known stock characters that appear are, The Jock, The nerd, The
Prankster, The Stoner/Druggie, The Dark Kid and The Slut.
STOCK PLOT, SITUATIONS, ISSUES AND THEMES
• A stock plot is the story line that is stereotypical of that genre, so for Horror it is typical
that one person will be killed which will then cause a panic, most of the characters will
want to find out what is happening and as that happens members of the cast get killed off
one by one. Towards the end of the film there is normally a resolution which helps them
catch the killer and normally leaves one or two members of the group still alive. Some sort
of evil creature/person is nearly always in the films.
• Plots that appear a lot in Horror films are things such as; a evil creature killing lots of
people, the warning being ignored ending up with drastic consequences, someone being
able to see things that others can not, a serial killer stalking then killing victim, deaths of
innocent people and at least one person going mental/insane.
EXAMPLE OF A STOCK PLOT
• Mirrors is an example of stock plots in
Horror films as it follows the basic
story line of a Horror film.
To make money while waiting for reinstatement, ben
takes a job as a night watchman at a department
store gutted by fire. That was a mistake. He is soon
tormented by the same supernatural mirrors that
plagued his predecessor. The images in these
mirrors do not reflect reality as we know it. The
images will stare back at you, but remain in the
mirror when you walk away. The images will even try
to kill you. Soon, Ben Carson finds that the mirrors'
demons follow him everywhere in every reflective
surface. They're willing to harass him and his family
until they get what they want. Ben's job is to find out
exactly what that is
STOCK LOCATIONS AND BACKDROPS
• A stock location is a location that is typically used within the particular genre.
• Typical locations of Horror movies are places such as; cabins in woods, holiday homes,
high schools, churches/graveyards, mental asylums, basements/home of the victims, rural
areas, rundown/ghost towns, motels/hotels and places like the underground/tunnels.
• A lot of the time the backdrops include things like; storms, power cuts, night time and in
STOCK PROPS AND SIGNIFIERS
• Stock props are props that are used with in a particular genre which will help the watcher
recognise what it is straight away.
• Some stock props that are used a lot in Horror are things like; candles, axes, chainsaws,
gravestones, crowbars, light switches, torches and cars. These are used a lot as they
show that it is a horror and some may be used as the weapons that kill the victims. Things
like cars are what they normally try to get away in but they usually end up breaking down,
leaving them stranded.
MUSIC AND SOUNDS
• Film-makers have long relied on disturbing soundtracks to heighten suspense and terror
within the films. The harsh, atonal and unexpected sounds used in horror soundtracks
copy the screams of frightened animals.
• By peppering chillers with these noises, film-makers are tapping into deep, instinctive
fears. These range from the sort of distorted notes that come from a hi-fi cranked up too
• Often violins and hexachords are used to produce a atonal sound which can be
discomforting and make people feel intimidated and scared which is normally the aim of
GENRE CONVENTIONS (SETTING)
• Genre conventions include things like; setting, technical sides of
things, iconography, narrative and themes.
• Setting includes things like where about the film is set, for example In a Horror movie they
normally use places that are isolated; such as alleyways, dark streets and urban
environments. Normally places with a ‘dark’ history, like abandoned houses, hotels and
mental asylums are quite popular with film-makers as it is more likely to create a mood of
fear which is what they will want to create.
GENRE CONVENTIONS (TECHNICAL CODES)
• The camera work in films is very important as it in horror it is very expressive and is often
not natural. Low and High angles can bring fear into the shot. POV shots are quite
important because they enable the audience to see the world from the killer/monster’s
eyes. This normally occurs at the end or in the middle of a typical horror film.
• Handheld shots are used to make it difficult for the audience to figure out what is
happening, a good example of this is Cloverfield as the whole movie is shot with a
handheld camera to help get the feeling of terror and unknown across to the audience.
• Disturbing sounds is a very important part of a horror movie. Diegetic sounds like
footsteps and non diegetic sounds like a heartbeat help crate ambience.
• Editing can help create unsettling tension and some suspense, normally if the editing
hasn’t been paced up in a while then you know that something bad is going to happen.
GENRE CONVENTIONS (ICONOGRAPHY)
• Iconography is the visual style which uses colours, like red and black to help link to blood,
danger and evil. Lighting is a non-naturalistic way of showing expression in film. Low-Key
lighting can help create dark shadows and un-naturalistic shapes in the darkness.
• Props can help identify the horror genre even more, some props can be connected to
certain characters or villains, these props are things like; chainsaws, machetes, knifes
• The iconography of the monsters help to create the most fear, disgust and terror. This is
from monsters such as; Werewolves, Vampires and Mummies.
GENRE CONVENTIONS (NARRATIVE
• Narrative structure is mainly made applicable to the Horror genre however it can either be
left for closure or maybe to leave room for a sequel. There is always a hero, a man or a
‘final girl’ of the film, as this keeps with the typical conventions of the Horror genre.
Normally the hero must go on a mission/quest to kill or solve the problems that occur
during the film.
• Some narratives are quite formulaic and present sub-genres, one of the most commonly
known ones are Slasher films. Most of the time there is a survivor, most likely a female