Hi, I'm an AS Media student, and this blog contains research into the different aspects of film and media, specializing in the Slasher genre. The research has all been put towards the development of my coursework production 'Camp Ivy', which I co-produced with Poppy and Millie. Our coursework has been influenced by the rural locations and mise-en-scene in Friday the 13th and Eden Lake.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Final Girl Concept

The final girl concept was devised by the feminist author, Carole Clover in her book Men, Women, Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. It is used in thriller and horror films, particularly slashers, that specifically refers to the last girl alive to confront the killer. The final girl is typically sexually unavailable or virginal  and sometimes has a unisex name. During her confrontation with the killer, Clover argues she becomes masculinised through 'phallic appropriation' by picking up a weapon and standing up to the killer. Because the horror/thriller/slasher genre film's are generally a male-oriented genre, have a young female character can be associated with sadistic voyeurism and feminism. According to Clover, it is necessary for the surviving character to be female in order for a film to be successful, because she needs to be able to experience abject terror, and this would not be able to happen with a male character.

Final girl and scream queen in Halloween
How Laurie Strode defines the final girl archetype in Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978):
The first signifier links a good academic level, and the fact she is carrying books signifies she is intelligent. Later on in the film, she forgets a chemistry text book and her friends laugh at her, which is a use of binary opposition, as her friends are the scream queens. The clothes she is wearing are also a signifier that she is the final girl. She is covered up, and the clothes are quite old fashioned, dull and un-sexy. Her hair is also brunette, which is a common feature of the final girl to have. As well as this, Laurie does not have a boyfriend and is a virgin, whereas as her scream queen friends all have sex, and end up being killed. When she is hanging out with her friends, they're smoking but she is not, which signifies responsibility.

How Sidney Prescott defines the final girl archetype in Scream (Wes Craven, 1996):
As with Laurie Strode, she has long brunette hair, and her dress sense is old fashioned and fairly childish. The first time we see Sidney her night gown is what we, in modern day, might typically associate with elderly people. She is also doing her homework, which signifies academia. Her bedroom is also quite childish. Because she is a teen, we would expect to see posters of shirtless boys/men, however there are framed pictures with floral decor which is unusual for a teenagers bedroom.

No comments:

Post a Comment