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Codes and conventions of horror websites


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A presentation for lower school students to be used as an introduction to codes and conventions

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Codes and conventions of horror websites

  1. 1. Mr Wallis horror
  2. 2. • 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 website • Some – to evaluate the codes and conventions in your mock up Objectives
  3. 3. Today, we are interested in one aspect in relation to conventions: 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 promoting. Conventions
  4. 4. • Dark colours – black, red, grey etc. • Weapons – chainsaws, knives etc. • Setting – castles, abandoned houses etc. • Specific character types – damsel in distress, psychopath etc. • 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
  5. 5. Are you able to identify the film genre of the following websites and who they are targeting?
  6. 6. Identify the subgenre of the following landing pages of these official horror film websites. Chosen subgenres: Psychological horror Vampire Found footage Supernatural horror Zombie Fantasy horror
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  13. 13. Create a landing page in relation to the imaginary film that you will be given. Think about: Genre Colour Choice of font Layout Tagline? 5 minutes Task 1
  14. 14. Two areas: • 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) Codes
  15. 15. Dark Shadows – technical codes Clear navigation buttons Star appeal Links to social media Purchasing information Other codes: links to games, company information, title of film Audio/Visual links
  16. 16. Dark Shadows – symbolic codes Serif font suggests historical aspect 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 possible anger The pointed clothing could suggest fangs Pale skin and direct mode of address strengthens the genre
  17. 17. Interactive element Personalisation helps to create engagement and make the audience feel part of the film Further symbolic codes being deployed
  18. 18. 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 the film 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 speech bubbles.
  19. 19. Ambiguous codes Pop up boxes connote a puzzle/enigma Traditional navigation buttons are mixed with ‘invisible’ links The dark colours signify horror, yet the random objects indicate mystery Institutional information Audio/visual elements
  20. 20. 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
  21. 21. Fantasy horror Symbolic codes of romance, lust, mystery, dark arts, blood, revenge.
  22. 22. Found footage Follows a style throughout. Interactive and informative. Clear navigation. Cast Synopsis Game Downloads
  23. 23. In pairs (in your group) you are to complete other pages for your horror film website. 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: • Creativity • Genre conventions • Teamwork and communication skills • Use of media terminology Task 2 15 minutes
  24. 24. • What is a code? • Give three conventions of a horror website • What are the buttons at the top of a website called? • What are connotations? • Give three connotations of the colour black Plenary