• All – understand the differences between codes and
conventions used in websites
• All – understand media terminology
• Some – understand the connotations of codes
• All – to create a mock up of a fictional horror film
• Some – to evaluate the codes and conventions in your
Today, we are interested in one aspect in relation to
What the audience expects to see on a website
for a horror film. These are genre conventions
which help us to know what kind of film it is
• Dark colours – black, red, grey etc.
• Weapons – chainsaws, knives etc.
• Setting – castles, abandoned houses etc.
• Specific character types – damsel in distress,
• Music – dramatic, tension building, eerie etc.
• Lighting – use of shadows through low key lighting,
under lit etc.
• Costumes - masks, dark clothes etc.
Common horror conventions
Are you able to identify the film
genre of the following websites
and who they are targeting?
Identify the subgenre of the following landing pages of
these official horror film websites.
Psychological horror Vampire Found footage
Supernatural horror Zombie Fantasy horror
Create a landing page in relation to the imaginary film that you will
Choice of font
• Technical – the ways in which the technical aspects of a
website help tell the story (denotations)
• Symbolic – the ‘hidden’ meanings behind the website
e.g. colours, lighting, images (connotations)
Dark Shadows – technical codes
Clear navigation buttons
Links to social media
Other codes: links to games, company
information, title of film
Dark Shadows – symbolic codes
Serif font suggests
Interactive games suggest young target audience
Setting helps position it as
a vampire movie
Cold blues have
connotations of death
Red has connotations of a
thirst for blood and
The pointed clothing
could suggest fangs
Pale skin and direct
mode of address
strengthens the genre
Personalisation helps to create
engagement and make the
audience feel part of the film
Further symbolic codes being
Interactive codes and conventions
Links to games, quizzes, videos, and social media
These are codes to attract
the target audience and to
increase the marketing of
Throughout the site, the red
helps to connote the genre
of the film.The posture of
the main character
reinforces the comedy
aspect of the film, as do the
Pop up boxes connote a
are mixed with
The dark colours signify horror,
yet the random objects indicate
Supernatural horror Multitude of female characters playing
“damsels in distress” (convention of horror)
Angle of the gallery has connotations of
impending death and that there are several
dramatic events in the film
Colour scheme follows
conventions, whilst there are
symbolic codes associated with
death and horror
Symbolic codes of romance, lust,
mystery, dark arts, blood, revenge.
Follows a style
In pairs (in your group) you are to complete other pages for your horror film
It needs to appeal to your target audience and demonstrate understanding
of the codes and conventions of horror film websites.
Fill in the sheet explaining the connotations of the codes and conventions
used in your website.
What I am looking for:
• Genre conventions
• Teamwork and communication skills
• Use of media terminology
• What is a code?
• Give three conventions of a horror website
• What are the buttons at the top of a website
• What are connotations?
• Give three connotations of the colour black