Cinema of Horror MEDA 13672
November 10, 2014
In 1978 John Carpenter changed the landscape of horror cinema with the release of his terrifying new film Halloween. The film follows a group of young females as they are stalked, tormented and inevitably killed by an escaped lunatic wearing a Halloween mask and wielding a knife. The film was revolutionary for the many themes and concepts it introduced, (including the concept of the final girl) things that have been so often repeated they have become tropes of the genre. However the initial praise heaped upon Halloween for it's portrayal of a previously unheard of strong female character may have been premature due to the almost insurmountable criticisms heaped upon it by the second wave feminists at the time. Despite attempting otherwise, the film, and the horror genre as a whole, have been misguided in bringing what the audience is to perceive as strong female character to the screen. Although years have passed since it's first release in 1978 Halloween can still be viewed by many as misogynistic and over sexualized. Presenting a negative outlook on women, judging them based on gender as well as showing them only as sex objects and devaluing their worth.
We are introduced to John Carpenters film 'Halloween' through a subjective point of view killing of a young woman, a young woman, who without the directors intended perception of events, has done nothing to deserve such treatment. Throughout the opening scenes of this film we can sense the disapproval and contempt for the sexual actions that both Laurie and her boyfriend are partaking in, and while they are both equal participating parties. We watch as Michael allows the male to leave down the stairs and out of the house unscathed before continuing upstairs to murder his sister. These scenes so clearly illustrate who we are to believe is in the wrong, the male of course to is be applauded for...
Clover, Carol J. Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1992. Print.
Halloween. Dir. John Carpenter. Perf. Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, P. J. Soles, and Nancy Loomis. Warner Bros. Pictures, 1978. DVD.
Ridgeway, Cecilia L. Framed by Gender: How Gender Inequality Persists in a Modern World. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.
Williams, Linda. When the Woman Looks. PDF file. http://www.northernhighlands.org/cms/lib5/nj01000179/centricity/domain/92/week3-williams-womanlooks.pdf
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