The slasher film is a sub-genre of horror that is particularly concerned with exploring the themes of sexuality and gender. Discuss the extent to which you agree with this statement, drawing on relevant academic reading and one slasher film of your choice.
The slasher film is a sub-genre of horror that is particularly concerned with exploring the themes of sexuality and gender. Discuss the extent to which you agree with this statement, drawing on relevant academic reading and one slasher film of your choice. Horror genre is one of the most likable genres of all times. In this essay I’ll have a look at a specific type of horror movies called ‘slasher’ films. It appears in 1960s with Alfred Hitchcock’s movie ‘Psycho’. That is the first well-known slasher film. For many critics that movie starts the new era in horror movies as a whole. The stories are scary and linked with the real life. And that’s why these movies are mostly preferred to watch from horror fans. As Hitchcock said about the audience: ‘Give them pleasure - the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare.’1 First of all let starts from what ‘slasher’ stands for. Basically every viewer of horror movies is aware of what that means. In order to have that particular sub-genre of horror we had to have a three key things included in the movie of that type. The first main thing is the presence of psychopathic killer stalking victims, which is very significant part from the movie. Furthermore these movies are known as ‘stalker films’. The second one is the female victim, who is fighting for her life. The female characters are very distinctive and important for that genre. The last one is the importance of objects in most cases, knives, axe and basically sharp objects for killing purposes. These three main things provide the basis on which slashers like, “Halloween” (1978), “Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984) and many others lie on. Furthermore this sub-genre of horror is one of the most likeable from the audience. For the purpose of this essay I will have a look at why slasher films explore themes as sexuality and gender and how
exactly they do that. With the help of movies that we’ve seen during this module viewings and not only, I will draw an examples of this and clarified ‘why’ and ‘how’ they do that. Now let extend the three main points that I brought up about slashers. The first point is about the stalking killer. As we know from many movies the killer is a male character and the victim is a female. We can have a look at “Halloween” (1978) for an example. This is one of the most distinctive slashers at whole. Even made with a very low budget, that movie brought to the viewers the fear they expected. In Halloween we have the male character as a killer, clearly human. In very rare cases the killer is not a human being. The protagonist is presented with female character, as we can see in most horror productions. For an example in the “Nightmare on Elm Street” the protagonist is again woman, very sexy and beautiful woman. That is very typical practice for the directors of horrors. Most victims are women. As Poe’s said the death of a beautiful woman: ‘is the most poetic topic in the world’2 The female character is presented with her pureness and virginity. As in “Halloween” the character of Jamie Lee Curtis (Laurie Strode) is presented as good student that in her leisure time nurse children. Here in that case we can see the contrast between her and her friends. Her friends from school do other things as, going on parties, having sex using drugs and things that are very typical for teenagers based on community expectations. The sex is not a desire for the Final Girl. In a lot of cases she is even the first one in the group that sense danger and we can even say that she is presented from the filmmaker as morally pure character. With that kind of attitude we can easily notice that she is going to be our protagonist. Women-...
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