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Horror Genre Conventions A2 Media

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A2 Media Powerpoint on Conventions of Horror Genre

Text of Horror Genre Conventions A2 Media


2. WHEN MAKING A GENRE PIECE: D.I.S.T.I.N.C.T D ont I gnore S etting T echnical Code I conography N arrative C haracterisation/Character T hemes 3. SETTINGS / LANDSCAPES Isolated/Abandoned Areas such as Haunted Houses, Cabins etc. Woodland/Forest Areas Dark Streets/Alleyways Ghost Towns / Derelict Cities Countryside Areas in very few cases Lakes Asylums/Hospitals Empty Roads 4. SETTING IMAGES 5. TECHNICAL CODE High and Low Angle shots in sequence to display the shift in power between theantagonists and their victims. Point of View (P.O.V) shots used to give the audience a view from either the Antagonist,Protagonist or other characters in order to show the true extent of the terror beingdisplayed on the screen. Handheld Camera Shots to give the shake effect to portray the fear of the characterswithin the scene and also to increase the tempo/speed of the scene. Sound Effects used to emphasise the fear and panic within the scene, most commonlyDiegetic Sound such as Screams and Heartbeats. Editing Techniques used to increase/decrease the speed of scenes to build tension, suchas Quick Cuts to create a sense of panic, or colour edits to give a ghostly effect. 6. TECHNICAL CODE IMAGES 7. ICONOGRAPHY Visual Style often dark colours such as Blacks/Blues and shades of red are used to connoteEvil, Death and Fear. Lighting is usually un-naturalistic and is used to create effect such as shadows within the sceneor strange shapes in the background. Dark Lighting is synonymous with the Horror genre. Insome films, lighting is motivated through the use of fire (in the form of Bonfires, Torches etc.) Props are a key part of the iconography for a horror film as they often come in the from ofweapons or devices used by the main villain/antagonist or other key characters throughout thepiece. In some cases, the iconography leads to the direct relation of the prop to a specificcharacter (for example Leatherface, from Texas Chainsaw Massacre is commonly identifiedthrough his use of a chainsaw within the film.) Costume is also used to clearly identify horror films, as the costumes usually relate to death ordarkness, and in many cases are used to hide the identity of the killer. In some cases, costumeis used to identify characters through the use of masks. (for example : Scream Mask (ScreamSaga), Jasons Hockey Mask (Friday the 13th), Michael Myers Mask (Halloween). 8. ICONOGRAPHY IMAGES 9. NARRATIVE STRUCTURE The structure of Horror Films classically begins with a small introduction to the protagonist,antagonist and other characters that are generally victims to the events of the film. Commonly,the antagonist will kill off/ scare away the other characters leaving the protagonist(s) alone for abattle with the antagonist. The battle is usually a climatic scene which ultimately ends with thedeath or capture of the antagonist and the protagonists attempt to get back into normal life.However in many horror films, the film has a twist at the end which leads to the resurrection orfreedom of the antagonist, leaving the ability for sequels/prequels. In very few cases does the film end with complete negativity and no goodness overcoming theevil. In most horror films, there is a Damsel in Distress character portrayed by a female, whichultimately leads to a rescue by the male lead. In sub-genres such as slasher films, there is a generic formula that is followed by thedirectors/producers. For example in the Scream film saga, every killer is different, however allof them have a vendetta against the protagonist Sidney Prescott which keeps the saga andkiller mystery alive. 10. CHARACTER TYPES The Main Protagonist ultimately either the Hero or the final victim within the film, is thefocus of the narrative. The Main Antagonist the killer or villain within the narrative, usually mentally orphysically unstable or supernatural Immoral Teens young characters who are killed off to boost the importance of thenarrative and the two main roles Children Used to create an innocent contrast to the narrative, or to make it more intensethrough the use of eerie effects and demonic characteristics. Other Monsters 11. CHARACTER IMAGES 12. THEMES Good vs Evil Depression Religion Childhood Revenge Supernatural Beyond the grave Zombie Apocalypse Evil Science Nightmares Insanity Envy Murder Suicide Self Consciousness 13. THEME IMAGES