Media Conventions

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Media Conventions

  1. 1. Genre Conventions Horror By George Ring
  2. 2. Location Setting for a horror film is key. If the setting is good, it can present an amount of fear among the audience unlike any other, without displaying anything else. They are usually in an isolated place such as small communities, dark streets or run down places. Large cities, forests, countryside or anywhere which shows isolation among the characters in the film. This presents them as being alone and amounts to the fear. They are also often places with history, for example, an asylum, an abandoned house or old hotels. This is key for establishing the genre among the audience as it allows them to see where the film is going to take place. Insidious Evil Dead (2013) - Setting
  3. 3. Sound Throughout horror films, Sound is key in enhancing shots and ensuring the audience are feared. The use of non-diegetic music can create atmosphere, while having none at all can make the audience feel isolated. Using Foley Sounds help exaggerate a point and build suspense. For example, they can be foot steps and creaking floorboards. The everyday sounds allow the audience to relate, ensuring they watch the film. Diegetic sounds can be enhanced to allow tension to build while fast and loud non-diegetic can make the audience jump or feel scared. One of the most notable use of sound in horror was during the Psycho shower scene, it is now thought to be one of the most stunning and horrifying scene of all time.
  4. 4. Props Many props and the iconography depend on the context of the horror film. Many props the audience associate with horror films consist of:  Religious Symbols – crucifixes, bibles etc. are great for some horror films as they symbolise the opposite to the devil. These are used to show a defense from god.  Weaponry – are usually the way of the characters being killed, they can include; guns, knifes and blunt objects to show pain.  Masks – to hide the identity of the killer.  Iconography could also include forensics uniforms, police cars, blood, devils, ghosts and paranormal activity. Evil Dead – props where good is shown in a bad way. Texas Chainsaw Massacre – a mask is used to hide the identity.
  5. 5. Costumes In horror movies, we would expect to find the costumes of the villain covered up. If the antagonist is covered in a uniform, it hides his identity while also gives enigma codes to the audience. For example, the Doctor in the Human Centipede, wears a doctors outfit which gives his occupation. While the context in the film shows he is contrasting his usual role. In the movie Saw, the antagonist ‘Jigsaw’ uses a mask to hide his identity. The mask is one of the most popular costume used in the horror genre as it hides their identity. Unlike them wearing a uniform, the mask covers up relationship with the audience and instead one with evil and pain. It is effective as it leaves the audience to question who is the main killer in the film. This is also used in other popular horror films like, Scream and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This method of hiding the killer with a costume dates back to Psycho where Norman Bates dresses up as his deceased mother.

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