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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Postmodernism: Research (work in progress post)

This post is just so that have a place to put all the information and quotes that I find usefull for my essay on the Scream franchise and also metafiction.

Scream, is a slasher-horror movie based on the tradition Horror films before such as Halloween, Friday the 13th, and Wes Craven’s own A Nightmare on Elm Street. Scream is actually much more than that, it transcending the limits of the genre by having the characters be aware and comment freely upon them. This way, the film becomes a work of “meta-fiction”. But also these movies have an increasingly Ourobouros like tendency towards self-awareness while never abandoning an actual narrative
The film purpose is to prey upon the audience’s knowledge of the horror film genre. Once the characters explicitly state that they know “the rules” for surviving in a horror movie, either those rules must be fulfilled resulting in the characters dying, or broken. It is this tension that sustains the movie. One of the things that made Scream stand out from its numerous successors and spin-offs, was its success as a film that utilized multiple genres and styles. For example, Scream is at once both funny and scary, and the film is aware that it is so.
Beneath all the gore and violence, there's a  sense of wit and intelligence which viewers are likely to appreciate, this is what makes this much more than a common slasher flick.
Scream is also one of the examples of metafiction in a horror film, in that Scream is self-referential and aware of its status as a film in the horror genre. One example form the franchise is that of Randy Meeks, a character in Scream and Scream 2 (with a cameo in Scream 3), that outlines the horror film survival rules that he has learned from working in a video store. It is rare to see a horror film, much less a horror film that can be so silly, comment on techniques employed in its own genre, as well as on the nature of the genre and medium itself.

Scream the horror film survival rules

With Scream 4, Craven decided that there was one key area that needed to be updated, with the earlier films having relied heavily on the telephone as a menacing plot device. But with a new era of communication technology, “Scream 4” had to reflects that, Craven stated in an interview about his recent scream film  that with "The growth of social networking, video cameras and recorders has a big presence in every nook and cranny of our life, and we’re very much in that world, I can’t imagine doing a film set in today’s world without those things being important to plot and character.” says Craven
Whereas the original three Scream films used iconic slasher’s from the 70′s and 80′s such as classic as Halloween, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street. As the basses for the genre rules that where used as cliches within these films.  But Scream 4 was targeted at films such as the Saw franchise and of course the endless re-makes of such slasher films that have appeared in recent years. This was because Scream 4 was made 10 years after the other films, and since then there have been many other horror film some would say have had the effect. Doing this is making Scream 4 up-to-date but at the same time uses the method that the other three Scream movies used.
When research into the Scream franchise I stumble across a documentary that the Bio channel showed a while back called Scream: The Inside Story. Basically the documentary explains the backstory and all the work that went into the first Scream movie. The documentary itself is very interesting and there are a few quotes I have written down that could be helpfully for my essay.

Scream: The Inside Story Trailer

Scream: The Inside Story Part 1

As well as this documentry, I came across a book which at the moment I am trying to find a copy of called Scream Deconstructed: An Unauthorized Analysis. Which analysis all four Scream movies examine the meaning, themes and philosophy of the movie series that brought horror back from the dead by breaking all the rules. If I can find this book, this could be a great source I could use for my essay.

"Scream is rare in that it functions as a horror movie and as a defence of horror movies, as both a criticism of the weaknesses of them and as an embracing of the same weaknesses as tropes that, more often than not, work. It deserves more respect." (Jensen,2010)
"In the ‘Scream' series, whenever rules are stated, it's us as filmmakers saying these are the cliches, and we immediately break the rules, send up the cliches," Craven says.

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