Saturday, 12 March 2011

Evaluation Question 1 - Use of conventions

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

A slasher film is a sub-genre of the horror genre, it classically involves a mentally deranged killer stalking and murdering a group of victims in a graphically violent manner. This group of people are often a group of friends involving a couple (which typically are killed first due to 'sinful' acts together). They're often killed with a slicing implement such as a large knife or a scythe. 

The term "slasher" may be used as a term for a horror film involving graphical murder. However the slasher genre has its own set of characteristics which set it apart from related sub-genres, although sharing some codes and conventions with similar genres. The group of friends in a slasher movie, typically have a couple (the female being a dumb, busty, blonde girl), a single girl (usually brunette and the sober character if the film involves alcohol), a single male (who is often trying to get the girl to sleep with him) and also another single male who is friends with the single girl (he is left on his own a lot, to show that he is lonely and is only with the group because of his friend). 

janetleigh1.jpgThe order this group of friends are killed in is also typically the same; the dumb blonde being involved in the wrongful act with her boyfriend is also known as the scream queen, she is usually killed first. The boyfriend is killed next, or badly injured so he will die soon. Then they killer stalks the group purposefully scaring them then strikes at the male who tries to get with the brunette female. The killer typically appears to leave them alone, then strikes out suddenly (often with a 'false scare' moments before), killing the last male. The brunette girl left is also known as the final girl, she is seen fighting off the killer. The final girl then delivers a 'lucky' life-threatening blow and attempts to escape, sometimes successfully, but often she 
escapes and is later captured and killed. 

A perfect example of this final girl idea is seen on Eden Lake, the girl on this film escapes and finds a man driving a van so he stops to pick her up. The man then says he needs to go to pick up his brother from the wooded area, the man leaves the van when he arrives there to ring his brother, leaving the girl in the van. When his brother finally appears she realises it is in fact the attacker! She is then spotted by the attacker as she desperately attempts to access the drivers seat. She manages to reverse away as the attacker and his brother run towards the vehicle. She then becomes incapable of driving properly due to a blow to the head whilst escaping and crashes into a house. She rushes into the garden demanding help, later whilst she is being helped clean up, the attacker arrives home with his elder brother claiming she murdered his friend, as is killed by the father of the family soon after.


'And then there were none' is a very early slasher film, and the codes and conventions of this film are (obviously) outdated by todays conventions. This shows that the conventions of genres (including slasher) are very flexible and subject to change.

My film opening challenged many conventions, for instance in a typical slasher we would have another male and another female involved, but they would be introduced later on; after the first death.

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