British Horror

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British Horror seems to feature very similar narrative themes and characters. The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005) and Dracula (Terrence Fisher, 1958) are films that present very typical narratives, characters and conventions of British Horror films. British horror mostly follows a definite narrative structure which is usually Todorov’s five steps to a narrative structure; Equilibrium, disruption of equilibrium, realisation of disruption, attempt to repair and finally a reestablishment of the equilibrium. Also you could use Syd Field’s 3 act narrative structure; an overview to the genre, characters and what the film will be about. A conflict with the protagonist involved in a number of complications in which they try to resolve. Then finally the protagonist confronts the villain and defeats them with knowledge gained throughout the film. One of the many subgenres within the main genre of horror is ‘Urbanoia’. Urbanoia subgenre usually features modern characters who travel to the wilderness or territory unknown to them and get their comeuppance for their transition. Urbanoia films usually follow Todorov’s five stages narrative structure up until the third act where the protagonist is defeated, or is left traumatised by the events of the film. Another subgenre is Hammer horror, these have very strong iconography and a gothic tone which makes it clear that it belongs to that sub-genre. Hammer horror was very popular in the 1950s which was a drastic time for sexism in society this is why women were very highly sexualised and dependant on male characters to save them. Whereas in modern society females are written to be stronger more independent characters, as depicted in The Descent, however this doesn’t guarantee their safety as there i... ... middle of paper ... ...hood. Juno is also hinted at as being the final girl however her sympathy for Sarah and the audience’s realisation of the affair with Sarah’s husband makes it clear that she will not survive because she has compromised a marriage which is typical of the genre and results in the characters death. Both Dracula and The Descent are typical of their own subgenres. Hammer and Urbanoia. Dracula is typical of British Horror films because it follows the narrative structure, conventions and typical characters of British Horror films. It follows Todorovs five step theory through to the end and has blatant themes of marriage and this is clearly portrayed through the characters. The descent takes conventions from both subgenres but twists the ending, by having the character fail to survive the film gives a realistic and gritty feel to it which is typical of the Urbanoia genre.
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