Slasher Films Codes and Conventions


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Slasher Films Codes and Conventions

  2. 2. CHARACTERS: LAST GIRL STANDINGLast Girl Standing Usually a female hero exists in slasher films, being the last girl standing. She is often sensible and the less popular girl, and less attractive than her friends who are killed. She is almost always brunette. She is often more innocent, virginal, and sensible than her friends. She will survive to the end, where she has a confrontation with the villain or monster and it is killed, but it can also only be deterred. In this case, the film is left open for a sequel, where the last girl standing sees the return of the villain.Examples; Halloween, Scream, I know what you did last summer.
  3. 3. CHARACTERS: VICTIMSGroup of Friends Usually the main victims are part of a group of friends in the film. The group is often both girl and boy teenagers at high school or university, however there are also quite a few slasher films with only girl friendship groups as the victims. The Last Girl Standing is also part of this group, as well as the first girl. There are also usually separate or enemy groups of friends, like Jocks versus Geeks or unpopular versus popular.First Girl – usually the most attractive girl, and sexually active. She is almost always blonde. She is killed early on, often during or after sexual acts with her boyfriend or a boy.
  4. 4. CHARACTERS: MONSTER The villain in slasher films is usually physically deformed and/or mentally deranged. The killer is almost always Male. His identity is hidden and usually by a mask, or is always hidden by lighting or other methods. The character often is recognised easily, by character motifs, such as Freddy Krueger by his hat and blade hands. Attempts to kill the villain fail, any bullets or knives often miss or do not work. The killer is a serial killer who is often strong and carries a hand held weapon like a knife, axe, chainsaw and more.
  5. 5. LOCATIONS The common location in Slasher films is a suburban area, often with the main focus on one house. Usually a quite large detached house, which looks quite normal. The main places are small towns, abandoned buildings or farms and deep in the forest/rural area. The locations are far from civilization where phone reception may be bad, and the villain often cuts electric or phone lines. The only way out is a car, which fails or the villain also destroys.
  6. 6. SLASHER HORROR TRAILER CONVENTIONS Opening establishing shots – sets the scene, shows setting and characters, equilibrium Build up of problem – main driving force of film Introduction to villain – shift in equilibrium Teasing shots – reveal some of the events but never shows full extent of what’s happening to tease the audience Climatic end showing further problem makes the audience want to see the film
  7. 7. TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE Establishing shots of scenery, empty and isolated area while a woman sings in the background, seems like an equilibrium We then see the woman who is singing, then the camera shows the girl she is singing to, who is tied up. A loud non dietetic noise then lets us know its definitely a disequilibrium, and we can see she is tied up. Footsteps approach but we can only see her face, then a cut to a canted angle of the house with her scream Extremely quick teasing shots begin, showing very small details of what is happening but just enough to be able to hook the audience We see a number of different characters very quickly, making us question whether we know who the killer is Then the last few shots show an even more problematic plot where the victims are in the house with the killer(s) and we wonder who survives and who escapes. The last image is the chainsaw which we link to the whole film
  8. 8. PROM NIGHT Establishing shots of girls talking, introduce main characters and situation, as well as equilibrium. Typical girl friendship group, teenagers at high school, couples and prom setting. Upbeat music until the moment of disequilibrium – sudden lights go out and editing becomes fast, teasing shots begin and screaming/heavy breathing from character Villain is introduced by foot shot and shot from behind showing a typical weapon; hand held knife. Background information of killer is being said in background telling us he is a stalker of one of the protagonists. Shadows, creeping, whispering and silent moments followed by shock/loud noise provoke fear and adrenaline in the viewer Identity is hidden of the killer, crucial to Slasher films Problem escalates as we see more characters being grabbed/left in building “hes locked all the exits” lets us know there is a sense of isolation and they are alone with the killer in the building Fast paced heartbeat creates fear for the audience Hint of last girl standing as she is the protagonist and the main focus of the film Last shot is her being grabbed, makes the audience question whether she survives and what happens to her