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Horror Genre Iconography

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1. HORROR ICONOGRAPHYGeorge Brinan 2. EXAMPLES OF HORROR FILMSThe ExorcistInsidiousParanormalActivity FilmsAs Above So Below 3. TYPICAL SYNOPSIS The typical synopsis associated with horror films are used to scare, thrill and entertainthe audience. Horror films centre around the dark side of life; the strange, forbidden andalarming events. Synopsis are vital for a horror film as they give the film a foundation andmeaning. Some of the typical synopsis of horror films include: Revenge Hauntings Demons and exorcisms Gore Serial Killers Religious belief 4. SETTINGS Often abandoned buildings or deserted areas, for example mental asylums or oldwarehouses. Many times these buildings have some sort of past/history to them, such as ghost storiesor mysterious noises coming from there. Often horror films either start out in the daytime and later turn to night, or they occur in thedark throughout. This gives an eerie sense to the film. If you were to watch a film that wasunfolding at night you would expect it to be scary or frightening. 5. PROPS AND CLOTHING Props are one of the main indicators that point towards the horror genre. Specific propscan be identified with a certain villain or character e.g. Chainsaws, Machetes, Knifes,Guns etc. Common objects include: Weapons, Masks, Icons of the Supernatural, Religious Icons.Masks are mostly used when some sort of criminal is the main protagonist for example inthe film Texas Chainsaw Massacre the killer is constantly wearing a straw mask. ReligiousIcons are usually associated with cults and factions or they are associated with the mainstory in the film. In many horror films the synopsis goes that a group of friends are out having fun, but thenend up in a bad situation. This means that the clothes they are wearing are casual wear,however they get progressively more damaged as the film goes on. Several times theymay be covered in blood, dust or dirt as they try to escape from somewhere. 6. CHARACTERS The Main Protagonist, often the victim/hero of the movie. The Villain, often masked serial killer or some sort of possessed demon. The stupid/immoral teenagers that always get killed. Creepy children often little girls who have been possessed. Police Officers that can either be good or bad. Also more including Demons, Psychopaths, Stalkers, 7. CAMERA WORK High and Low angles are common features in horror films due to their ability to connote fearand nightmares. POV shots are common because they allow the audience to see the world from the characterseyes. Handheld shots make it difficult for the audience to make out what is happening introducing asense of panic. Cloverfield is an example of this, as the entire movie is shot with a handheldcamera to promote the feeling of terror and the idea that this could happen when you leastexpect it. Sometimes horror films use depth of field, makes it harder to see the villain creeping up behindthe victim. Disturbing sounds are very important in a horror movie. Ambient diegetic sounds like footstepsand non-diegetic sounds like a heartbeat. Types of shots used like extreme close ups on a certain victims face can help the audiencesconnection with horror and fear, and also to exclude any Editing can create unsettling tension and suspense. If the editing hasnt been paced up in awhile then you know that something scary is about to occur.