Conventions Of Slasher Films


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Conventions Of Slasher Films

  1. 2. The Final Girl <ul><li>The final girl is almost always a virgin, innocent and towards the end she starts building confidence. However in the film ‘my soul to take’ the ‘final girl’ is a boy which breaks the conventions of slasher films. The clothing the final girl wears may not be considered to be sexually attractive and she is unlikely to be blond this is argued by some that it is due to young boys who are one of the target audience of slasher films and so they are able to identify themselves with her. </li></ul>
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  3. 4. The Monster/Killer <ul><li>The monster or killer’s identity is often unknown, this is achieved by a mask or creative lighting and camera techniques. This is to keep the audience on edge because they don’t know who the killer is and so leaves the killer without an identity. It is almost likely to be a man, and their weapon of choice is a knife or chainsaw, sharp claws and anything jiggered and sharp and they tend to prefer hand held weapons. Usually at the end of the movie the killer’s identity is revealed. The reason behind his killings is often a childhood trauma, which explains his choice of victims and it also explains his choice weapon and location. The killer is often made out to be understood by the audience and is pitiable. He is often silent and unstoppable, able to survive stabbings, falls and shootings by his victims. As this sub-genre has developed through the years some would argue that the actual star of the film is the killer and not the Final Girl. </li></ul>
  4. 6. The Location <ul><li>The location is a quiet and a suburban town, this helps to keep the audience with a sense of fear because it is a place that you would consider to be safe in. The location could be apart of the killers identity because it could explain a bad childhood or a significant event which the killer was involved in or which took place in. The location is often low in population and the location is often far from civilization. The killer destroys his victims means of escape i.e. their vehicle which makes their escape nearly impossible and allows the killer to kill his victims freely without interferences. </li></ul>
  5. 8. The Lighting <ul><li>The lighting is used to add tension to the scene, it is mostly dark and it is used to add shadows in order to give the mysterious feeling. The connotations of shadows are mysteries, this is one of the conventions of slasher films and it is one of the important aspect of this genre of film. </li></ul>
  6. 10. German Expressionism <ul><li>German expressionism was a creative movement in Germany. The economic hard times meant that filmmakers found it hard to create movies which could compare with the extravagant Hollywood releases. So German filmmakers used their own creativity to come up with their own style of filming which involved symbolism and the use of Mise en scene to add mood and atmosphere to the film. The use of shadows meant that their films could have deeper meaning. This explains the uses of shadow figures in slasher films; it is now widely used in films today to give the greater meaning and give the audience a sense of fear from the shadowy figures. In horror films today the same technique is used in order to portray mystery and monsters lurking in the dark. This effect is given by using low key lighting, however distortion is also used through the use of make-up, camera angels, costumes and different backgrounds. In the trailer we illustrate this by having the killer walking into a room but we only see him reflected on a television screen. This shot is dark and also shows the slow movement of the killer without reveling his identity. The reason as to why we don’t just have the shadow of the killer is because we wanted to break the convention a little by using reflections instead of shadows and this shows the flexibility of how you can use a technique but changing slightly to fit the modern world and changes in technology. This technique has been illustrated in many famous films since its origins and some of these are; ‘ The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari ’ (1920), ‘ The Golem: How He Came Into the World ’ (1920), Fritz Lang’s ‘ Metropolis ’ (1927) and F.W. Murnau’s ‘ Nosferatu’ and ‘a Symphony of Horror ’ (1922). </li></ul>
  7. 11. Other Conventions <ul><li>The first girl to die gives the film its meaning and sets the audience into the film setting by giving everyone a warning that this is a slasher film and that the killer has come to do their job. This character is often a girl who is sexually active and almost always goes off to have sex but ends up being killed. </li></ul><ul><li>The benefactor is used to give hope to the audience and the characters within the film, the benefactor can be anyone within the film who gives the final girl a little information on what is going on or who the killer is going after next and he/she can even give the final girl/hero a weapon in order to defeat the killer. </li></ul><ul><li>Supplementary characters are anyone who is in the plot but they are not an important character. </li></ul><ul><li>The victims are normally young adolescents there are two theories is terms of the choice of victims. The first is that the young are being punished for indulging in activities such as pre-marital sex or illegal drugs and the second theory is that the activities which are making the victims unaware of their surroundings and so making them easy prey for the killer. </li></ul>