Compare and Contrast the Ways in Which Two Films Use Horror Genre Conventions

Compare and Contrast the Ways in Which Two Films Use Horror Genre Conventions

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This essay critically analyses and discusses the semantic and syntactic areas of what defines a horror genre in films. Followed by a case study of an animated film which supports and demonstrates theses horror film conventions. Then another case study which challenges and questions its position in the chosen genre. To decide whether it does hold elements of the horror conventions in both semantic and syntactic point of view, or possibly sway towards a different category of film. Before discussing the forms and functions of what defines a horror film. It is important to understand the term genre and how genres are created. In order to be selective within the research about the works of horror films in the right manner and which aspects should be placed under the title of an established horror genre. Genres are initially created with the idea of gathering certain defining elements resulting a “group” or “type of” films. Tim Dirks interpreted film genres as

“various forms or identifiable types, categories, classifications or groups of films that are recurring and have similar, familiar or instantly-recognizable patterns, syntax, filmic techniques or conventions - that include one or more of the following: settings (and props), content and subject matter, themes, mood, period, plot, central narrative events, motifs, styles, structures, situations, recurring icons (e.g., six-guns and ten-gallon hats in Westerns), stock characters (or characterizations), and stars.”.

Although it is possible to establish and set restrictions based on features like “recurring icons” to form a criteria for films and some film work do lends itself well in a specific genre. As Rick Altman points out in his journal that the concept of genre is prob...


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...ed: 19th Dec 2013].

Brophy, P. 1986. HORRALITY--THE TEXTUALITY OF CONTEMPORARY HORROR FILMS.Screen, 27 (1), pp. 2-13. Available from: doi: 10.1093/screen/27.1.2.

Carroll, N. 1987. The Nature of Horror. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 46 (1), pp. 51-59. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/431308 .

Cook, P. and Bernink, M. 1999. The Cinema Book. 2nd ed. London: BFI Pub.

Ochs, D. 2009. Who's Hungry. [video online] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8srEvrF90-s [Accessed: 21th Dec 2013].

Shaw, D. 1997. A humean definition of horror. Film-philosophy, 1 (1), pp. 1-9.

White, D. L. 1971. The poetics of horror: more than meets the eye. Cinema Journal, 10 (2), pp. 1-18. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1225234 [Accessed: 20th Dec 2013].

Monsters in the Closet: Homosexuality and the Horror Film By Harry M. Benshoff

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