Sunday, 4 December 2011

American horror theatre

See for an eye-opening article about the horror experience in genuine 3D; paying $100 to be tortured and abused is a $300m industry in the US - could it happen here? (American horror theatre: 'A hand slams into my neck and wrenches me through the darkness')

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Hammer Horror

Nice compilations of clips from various Hammer movies; remember, many of these are stocked in the Lib - your coursework pitch could be to 'reimagine' one of these within a modern slasher format!


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Zombie flicks - low budget, inferior to your productions?

Colin, the supposedly £45 movie, was bad enough, here's another that looks pretty atrocious but illustrates that not everything that makes it market is slick and professional; bedroom producers are springing up and able to market and distribute their micro-budget efforts where years ago they would have gotten no further than family/friends passing round a VHS tape: Harold's Going Stiff (not in the least recommended!). The other intriguing aspect of this lamely-punning film is how it plays with representations of age, as it seems to feature a romance between the titular aged zombie and a 20-something woman (reflected in that schoolboy double entendre title).

You can get a sense of the underground boom in zombie production at
As with zero-/micro-budget productions within other sub-genres of horror, some of these are plainly and crudely using sex to sell.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Back catalogue boxsets: eg of Fri 13th

When we're studying British Cinema (Audience + Institutions) for the exam, one of the major aspects we consider is marketing, as part of the overall picture of how it functions as a business.
Since the DVD came along and replaced VHS, film studios have relied heavily upon reissues, as well as multiple editions (special/collector's/ultimate edition, director's cut etc) as a way to create extra revenue (money/income). Box office (cinema) revenue is just one part of their revenue streams.
With so many 80s horror franchises being 'rebooted' or 'reimagined' its no surprise that new editions of the 80s horror movies are being released, tempting those who already own these on DVD (or Blu-Ray) to pass over another sizeable lump of cash for new extras and uncut editions.
Here's one example, a detailed review from the excellent of a new Friday the 13th boxset.

Since writing this I noticed there were many examples on YT of fans vodcasting their own reviews too, such as this example; click onto the YT view page and you'll find more/better examples along the right-hand side:

[DVD Review] 'Friday The 13th' Ultimate Collection Limited Edition
Sunday, September 18, 2011

By: David Harley
When Paramount released the first Friday the 13th box set back in 2004, it was a huge disappointment. Fans were finally able to buy the first eight films together, true, but none of them were uncut and bonus features – which Jason aficionados knew existed through the festival circuit, overseas releases and the like – were nowhere to be found. The supplemental materials included were a bit better than most people gave them credit for being, but the sting of not having uncut versions sent fans over the edge - folks, we’re never going to get them uncut due to monetary concerns and guild regulations.

A year later, Peter Bracke released Crystal Lake Memories, a tome to the series that contained the sort of in-depth analysis and interviews the bonus disc lacked. To this day, no Friday extra has come close to rivaling the 320-page book for content and entertainment value. A documentary that used Memories as a starting point, entitled His Name Was Jason, was released on February 3, 2009 and was a total joke. There wasn’t nearly enough information on how the films were made, instead focusing on common knowledge about the series as well as interviewing internet personalities and up-and-coming directors. God bless these guys, I love (most of) them but I don’t care what they think about Jason and, judging by how much it’s looked down upon these days, neither does anyone else. Some of the producers went on to tackle another big horror franchise the following year with Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy.They learned from their mistakes and made one of the greatest horror docs of all-time.

That same day in 2009, Paramount began releasing their Deluxe Edition line of the entries they owned (the first eight films). Originally planning to release them on DVD and Blu-ray, the films stopped being released in HD after Part III and there’s still no news on whether we’ll ever see the rest of the Paramount flicks on Blu-ray. These newer editions regurgitated a lot of stuff from the first box set, but had a healthy amount of new bonus features including an uncut version of the original (the only uncut film officially released so far), a fan commentary with Adam Green and Joe Lynch on The Final Chapter, the god-awful Lost Tales From Camp Blood shorts, new interview segments, deleted scenes (most of which were previously released but there are a few additions) and even a Best Buy exclusive which was included as a bonus disc with the 2004 set. In the end, everyone came away happy – Paramount got to capitalize on the reboot with new editions and fans got more bonus features and better A/V quality – except for those hoping to get the rest of the series in HD.

Almost 7 years later (one day shy, if you want to get technical), Paramount is rereleasing their Deluxe Editions in a new box set – The Ultimate Collection, limited to 50,000 copies – that includes a replica hockey mask, a book that stores all of the discs and two pairs of 3D glasses for Part III. But is it worth double dipping for? Instead of dissecting each film – let’s be honest here, guys: you’re investing in a $40+ box set comprised of eight well known horror flicks, you couldn't care less about what I think of them – let’s go through the new selling points.

The new box is made of thin sheet plastic, which is roughly the same height as most other box sets out there (it’s a smidge taller than the Futurama releases, whic

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Zombies current appeal (post from FinalGirl blog)

when there's no more room at the library...

Zombies, am I right? It's kind of amazing to me how resilient the subgenre has proven in recent years, considering its heyday, if you ask me, was in the late 1970s/early 80s...but then, I suppose, fads are supposed to be cyclical. At least, I hope they are; at long last, I've mastered the Macarena and I'm dying to bust it out somewhere.

But really, did any horror fan expect zombies to make such a hardy comeback? I didn't. Sure, they never went away completely, but for a while they were quiet, shuffling around in the background while other monsters had their moments. You know, monsters like Freddy, Michael, and Jason, who starred in some of the worst sequels in the history of...sequels. Or those monsters from TV shows on the WB, whose faces filled the dull posters for tepid slasher-style flicks and remakes. George Romero was making movies without a zombie in sight, while a DVD rerelease of his seminal film Dawn of the Dead was something to celebrate.

Oh, my friends, how the times have changed. Was it 28 Days Later that ushered in the new zombie era? Perhaps. Whether the opening of the floodgates can be traced back to one particular movie or book is irrelevant; the fact is, zombies have infiltrated film, videogames, literature, television, and even everyday life ("zombie walks", anyone?) like no one could have anticipated. Nothing else in horror (or fantasy, know, genre-stuff) comes close- not vampires, despite the popularity of Twilight. Not witchcraft and wizardry. Nothing! Zombies are everywhere, and it seems they're not going ANYWHERE.

In Zombies! An Illustrated History of the Undead, writer/film director Jovanka Vuckovic explores...well, the book's title says it all, doesn't it? From the origins of the zombie in Haitian history to the current craze for the genre, this slim volume provides a broad look at the walking dead in all forms of pop culture.

For me, the books earliest chapters are the most informative, as I am but a humble ignoramus regarding Haitian voodoo rituals, religious rites, and the like. Vuckovic spends some time doling out the history before segueing into the earliest days of the zombie genre in film and literature. I'm not terribly well-versed in 1930s and 40s horror, say, so I found myself LEARNING. This is good. I like learning.

In later chapters, such as "Back from the Dead: Zombies in the New Millenium", the book becomes a bit more "Vuckovic on Zombies" than "History" as the author provides her opinion on films and the like. There's no denying that she's an authority on horror, and her opinion is certainly an educated one- her tenure at Rue Morgue Magazine is proof of that- but I found myself getting all defensive about a few topics at hand. She calls Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead an "unnecessary remake", which...I don't know, maybe it is. But I can't help but think its got merits of its own, completely independent from what George Romero did 30 years prior. Vuckovic rips much more harshly into Paul WS Anderson's Resident Evil, and again, I found myself, you know, defending my own opinions to a book. Resident Evil is probably crap- in fact, you can probably take away the "probably"- but sometimes crap is fun. Sometimes crap is good! Obviously Vuckovic is entitled to her own opinions and NO book is completely objective, but I think there were time throughout that I simply wanted more "facts" and not to be made to feel like a brainless, drooling dolt because I like a certain movie or two. I may be a brainless, drooling dolt, sure, but a history book shouldn't necessarily remind me of it.

Or maybe I'm just too much of an opinionated horror fan myself. After all, I do have a blog.

"Booooook...wait, I mean braaaaiiins...."

Zombies! works best, perhaps, as a resource. With sizable lists of films and books featuring the undead- not to mention all of the titles Vuckovic discusses in the chapters proper- there is plenty of gut-munching media out there for readers to check out. Throw in the hundreds of photos and illustrations, and the book becomes all but indispensable for zombie fanatics everywhere. Romero fans in particular will be pleased; the genre's most famous figure provides a foreword and, not surprisingly, is featured heavily throughout the book. I was happy to see two of my loves- comics and videogames- get plenty of attention.

I have a few nerdy gripes (beyond my already established, whiny "But I LIKE Resident Evil!" complaint)- where's the bibliography? Zombies Ate My Neighbors is not a first-person shooter! and so on- but overall, Zombies! is a terrific addition to any genre lover's bookshelf. It's brought ample movies and books to my attention, likely giving me undead fodder for years to come (The Chilling? What's that? I have no idea, but I'm gonna check it out)...proving yet again that zombies will never die.

Unless you shoot 'em in the head, I guess.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Horror Games: 13 most atmospheric

The games industry is now bigger than the film industry, but the relationship between the two has always been a little uncomfortable, with the history of films spun off from game franchises not a glorious one: Resident Evil and Lara Croft being prime examples of the sort of cheap schlock heavily reliant on a glamorous female to draw out the teen male gamer audience.
Can games ever truly compete though with the better end of the horror market? Will a game ever really better the still-influential cinematography that ensures that 1979's original Halloween continues to sell on DVD?
Here's a list of 13 'atmospheric' horror games (from the excellent site that might point to the answer...

(NB: many of the stills featured from the listed games are gory!)

Source of following article:

The 13 Most Atmospheric Horror Games
Posted By AdamDodd July 26, 2011 @ 11:58pm

Most games can cover up their flaws with jaw-dropping visuals, slick combat, or boobies, but horror games don't have it as easy. In fact, for a game in this genre to succeed there's one thing it always has to have, and that's a powerful atmosphere. An atmosphere is a compilation of a bunch of different things that makes the game stick with us long after we've played it. It's also a little different for each person since everyone experiences their games differently from the next.

For me, atmosphere is how the game looks, sounds, and feels. For example, if I'm walking down the rusted, broken halls of a long abandoned down mental institution with only my flashlight to illuminate the path in front of me as I instinctively jerk the beam of light toward what I could've swore was a shadow or the sound of footsteps - that's an experience I'm not going to forget any time soon. It's the atmosphere, or all the little details that sets the game apart from the rest and helps immerse you into the experience. So head past the break to see the 13 most atmospheric games I've ever had the pleasure of playing, and remember, these aren't in any particular order, so please don't freak out if your game is #5 while an obviously crap game made #3.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Rotting Hill - 4min zombie short

First off, please note its VERY gory!
Which is why I won't embed it, but you can view it, plus making-of docs, at
Its a clever pastiche of the zombie genre, turning it round into a rom-com (so, as with SotDead, a rom-zom-com).
The sophistication of the CGI included is beyond our budgetary means and timescale, but shows what can be achieved with accessible digital technology

Monday, 13 June 2011

Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher Film

The following is taken from
You can find further chapters and sections there on feminism, representation etc

Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher Film

next sub-section

The Slasher Film

The immediate ancestor of the slasher film is Hitchcock's Psycho (1960). Its elements are familiar: the killer is the psychotic product of a sick family, but still recognizably human; the victim is a beautiful, sexually active woman; the location is not-home, at a Terrible Place; the weapon is something other than a gun; the attack is registered from the victim's point of view and comes with shocking suddenness. None of these features is original, but the unprecedented success of Hitchcock's particular formulation, above all the sexualization of both motive and action, prompted a flood of imitations and variations. In 1974, a film emerged that revised the Psycho template to a degree and in such a way as to mark a new phase: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper). Together with Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978), it engendered a new spate of variations and imitations.
The plot of Texas Chain Saw is simple enough: five young people are driving through Texas in a van; they stop off at an abandoned house and are murdered one by one by the psychotic sons of a degenerate local family; the sole survivor is a woman. The horror, of course, lies in the elaboration. Early in the film the group picks up a hitchhiker, but when he starts a fire and slashes Franklin's arm (having already slit open his own hand), they kick him out. The abandoned house they subsequently visit, once the home of Sally's and Franklin's grandparents, turns out to be right next door to the house of the hitchhiker and his family: his brother Leatherface; their father; an aged and only marginally alive grandfather; and their dead grandmother and her dog, whose mummified corpses are ceremonially included in the family gatherings. Three generations of slaughterhouse

workers, once proud of their craft but now displaced by machines, have taken up killing and cannibalism as a way of life. Their house is grotesquely decorated with human and animal remains—bones, feathers, hair, skins. The young people drift apart in their exploration of the abandoned house and grounds and are picked off one by one by Leatherface and Hitchhiker. Last is Sally.

Final Girl: Carole Clover and critiques

The following is taken from Men, Women and Chainsaws

Men, Women and Chainsaws: The Final Girl

The final girl is a thriller and horror film (particularly slasher) trope that specifically refers to the last woman or girl alive to confront the killer, ostensibly the one left to tell the story. The term was coined by Carol J. Clover in her book Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. Clover suggests that in these films, the viewer begins by sharing the perspective of the killer, but experiences a shift in identification to the final girl partway through the film. The final girl has been observed in dozens of films, including HalloweenFriday the 13thA Nightmare on Elm StreetThe Texas Chain Saw MassacreI Know What You Did Last SummerHellraiserAlien and Scream.
According to Clover, the final girl is typically sexually unavailable or virginal, avoiding the vices of the victims (sex, narcotic usage, etc.). She sometimes has a unisex name (e.g., Teddy, Billie, Georgie, Sidney). Occasionally the Final Girl will have a shared history with the killer. The final girl is the "investigating consciousness" of the film, moving the narrative forward and as such, she exhibits intelligence, curiosity, and vigilance.
One of the basic premises of Clover’s theory is that audience identification is unstable and fluid across gender lines, particularly in the case of the slasher film. During the final girl’s confrontation with the killer, Clover argues, she becomes masculinised through "phallic appropriation" by taking up a weapon, such as a knife or chainsaw, against the killer. Conversely, Clover points out that the villain of slasher films is often a male whose masculinity, and sexuality more generally, are in crisis. Examples would include Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Clover points to this gender fluidity as demonstrating the impact of feminism in popular culture.
The phenomenon of the male audience having to identify with a young female character in an ostensibly male-oriented genre, usually associated with sadistic voyeurism, raises interesting questions about the nature of slasher films and their relationship with feminism. Clover argues that for a film to be successful, although the Final Girl is masculinised, it is necessary for this surviving character to be female, because she must experience abject terror, and many viewers would reject a film that showed abject terror on the part of a male. The terror has a purpose, in that the female is 'purged' if she survives, of undesirable characteristics, such as relentless pursuit of pleasure in her own right. An interesting feature of the genre is the 'punishment' of beauty and sexual availability (Leading to the idea that "Sex = Death" in Horror Movies)
Examples of final girls
Before the release of Alien 3, Clover identified Ellen Ripley from the Alien franchise as a final girl. Elizabeth Ezra continues this analysis for Alien Resurrection, arguing that by definition both Ripley and Annalee Call must be final girls, and that Call is the "next generation of Clover's Final Girl". Call, in Ezra's view, exhibits traits that fit Clover's definition of a final girl, namely that she is boyish, having a short masculine-style haircut, and that she is characterized by (in Clover's words) "smartness, gravity, competence in mechanical and other practical matters, and sexual reluctance" being a ship's mechanic who rejects the sexual advances made by male characters on the ship. Ezra notes, however, that this identification of Call as a final girl is marred by the fact that she is not a human being, but an android.
Christine Cornea disputes the idea that Ripley is a final girl, contrasting Clover's analysis of the character with that of Barbara Creed, who presents Ripley as "the reassuring face of womanhood". Cornea does not accept either Clover's or Creed's views on Ripley. Whilst she accepts Clover's general thesis of the final girl convention, she argues that Ripley does not follow the conventions of the slasher film, as Alien follows the different conventions of the science fiction film genre. In particular, there is not the foregrounding in Alien, as there is in the slasher film genre, of the character's sexual purity and abstinence relative to the other characters (who would be, in accordance with the final girl convention, killed by the film's monster "because" of this). The science fiction genre that Alien inhabits, according to Cornea, simply lacks this kind of sexual theme in the first place, it not having a place in such "traditional" science fiction formats.
Laurie Strode (from Halloween III, and H20) is another example of a final girl. Tony Williams notes that Clover's image of supposedly progressive final girls are never entirely victorious at the culmination of a film nor do they manage to eschew the male order of things as Clover argues. He holds up Strode as an example of this. She is rescued by a male character, Dr. Samuel Loomis, at the end of Halloween. He holds up Lila Crane, from Psycho, as another example of a final girl who is saved by a male (also named Sam Loomis) at the end of the film. On this basis he argues that whilst 1980s horror film heroines were more progressive than those of earlier decades, the gender change is done conservatively, and the final girl convention cannot be regarded as a progressive one "without more thorough investigation".
Williams also gives several examples of final girls from the Friday the 13th franchiseAlice from Friday the 13th, and the heroines from Part II and Part III. (He observes that Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter does not have a final girl.) He notes that they do not conclude the films wholly victorious, however. The heroines from Parts 2 and 3 are catatonic at the ends of the respective films, and Alice survives the monster in the first film only to fall victim to "him" in the second. The final girl in Part 2 is carried away on a stretcher, calling out for her boyfriend (which Williams argues again undermines the notion of final girls always being victorious). Moreover, Ginny's adoption of the monster's own strategy, in Part II, brings into question whether the final girl image is in fact a wholly positive one.
Kearney observes that in the middle 1990s the trope of the final girl in horror films was "resurrected, reshaped, and mainstreamed". She points to Sidney Prescott (in Scream III, and III) and Julie James (in I Know What You Did Last Summer and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer) as examples of this.
Other characters identified as final girls include Sally Hardesty of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Nancy Thompson of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

British horror + budgets; bright future?

[re-posted from another DB blog]
A cracking article (is there any other kind?!) in today's Film Guardian got me thinking again about how British horror might tie into your exam topic, an idea that initially took hold from watching Eden Lake (superb; very, very well crafted, with an utterly modern, mature final girl) some weeks ago.
The article - given a different title on the website for some reason - is worth reading in full; its rammed with quotes that could have been picked out by someone sitting your exam!
See by Ryan Gilbey (11.6.10) [its copied in at the end of this post]

So, how does the contemporary resurgence of British horror, now achieving success on a scale not seen since the halcyon [successful!] days of Hammer Horror, tie into your exam you may ask?
Lets start with the future!

Budgetary constraints obviously have an effect on the look of UK horror movies: they simply can't compete with the good-looking US model populated by, well, good-looking US models. "We do gritty and realistic better than anyone else," says Kevorkian. "I don't think we have the budgets to do big elaborate horror films here, so we turn to a more reality-based horror, which is a hell of a lot more  frightening."
"Money definitely has something to do with it," says Lawrence Gough, who financed Salvage with £250,000 from Northwest Vision and Media. "A big budget production here can mean £10m-£15m, whereas $40m (£28m) in the US would be considered cheap. There's also a tendency in British film-making toward realism, which I don't think the Americans share."   [quoted from Gilbey's article]
I'm surprised there's no mention in this article of two features that show that low-budget, digital film-making doesn't have to mean the £750k spent on Donkey Punch (£600k of which paid for the boat rental!) with government funding through the UKFC (as I blogged yesterday, a new report, coming as expectations rise of severe cuts in government funding/tax breaks for UK film, makes the argument that UK film is economically very important and should retain special funding).
What does Colin, the £45 Brit-zombie flick that managed to find a distributor and funding for a cinema release [see this post for more info], suggest about the future direction of UK film-making? [Its not horror, but the £25k Born of Hope and of course Shane Meadows' £48k, 5-day-shoot, Le Donk and Scor-Say-Zee, also tie into this]

Sunday, 3 April 2011

The false scare

Try googling "false scare" halloween or other variations for further on this

The classic false scare comes in Halloween 2 (1981), using the device of a cat jumping onto the would-be victim; you can view it online at (about 4:30 in, or around 34mins into the DVD)

Monday, 21 March 2011

Found Footage genre lives on? Cloverfield 2

Thanks to B-D reader 'Avery' for the heads up on a new article over at Total Film who scored some massive news regarding the long-gestured Cloverfield sequel. Since the release back in 2008, Matt Reeves has been busy with Let Me In, while producer J.J. Abrams has been working furiously on Star Trek and Super 8. Getting the two in the same room focusing on a sequel hasn't been an easy task, and both have repeatedly stated that they want to make sure they have a super cool new idea.

Finally there appears to be a breakthrough...

"Well, you are going to see it - we just don't know when," laughs Reeves, officially acknowledging a sequel WILL happen for the first time ever.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Zombies for charity...

Dublin Zombie Walk 2010
by Sean Fallon on July 2, 2010

Who are those people with blood on their face staggering down a Dublin street? It’s not a drunken mob (this time), it’s participants in the Dublin Zombie Walk 2010. They went all out with the costumes, and the whole thing is for a good cause. The event is held to raise money for the Irish Cancer society.

(Dublin Zombie Walk)

Sunday, 13 March 2011

BBC snotty about horror/fantasy/sci-fi?

A highly vexed sci-fi writer watched a BBC special on our book-reading habits, noting the glaring lack of horror et al. ...
Hunt and thousands like him could have been forgiven for thinking that these selections might have had some SF, fantasy or horror titles among them, especially, as Hunt says in a blazingly angry blog posted the same night, given that these genres "together account for between 20%/30% of the fiction market." But no.
Read the full article at

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Using YouTube video to pitch for $45k horror

If you've got a spare $45k you can get this into production...
The detail from the YouTube page is added below

thepaperboatman | Aug 30, 2010 | likes, 2 dislikes
COST TO MAKE: $45,000

Synopsis: Professor William Seabrook, an obsessed American researcher, uncovers what he had
been searching for the last five years of his life-- an ancient meteorite made of pure
diamond that landed on a desolated island in Zambales, Philippines a hundred years
ago. But the local pirates he hired to help him uncover the treasure want the diamond
for themselves and betrayed the Professor. Unbeknownst to the pirates, the diamond
contains microscopic alien virus. Despite the warnings from the Professor, the pirates
keep the diamond. The pirates die after contracting the virus and their body resurrect
into mindless flesh-eatiing creatures.

And so they remain on the island, undead, hungry for flesh, thirsty for blood...

In a not so distant town roam the Grave Bandits, Romy and Peewee, two orphan
kids wanted by the law for making a career out of stealing precious belongings from the
dead. As they try to escape the townspeople, they end up on the desolated island and
discover a greater foe: The undead, lots of them! The Grave Bandits hide in a cave
where they meet Maiya, a beautiful native girl and Professor Seabrook.

Trapped on an island and left with nothing to defend themselves, the Grave
Bandits formulate a plan to escape and battle the undead using
improvised tools. But a diamond the size of a tangerine is hard to resist, just
when things are going according to plan, they discover greater enemies
amongst themselves. Will the Grave Bandits become our unlikely heroes or will they
ulitmately succumb to greed?

The Grave Bandits is a feature length horror-adventrue film filled with twists and
dark humor. It's a film no horror fans can afforrd to miss!
Running time: approx 1 hr 45 min.

Fan trailers of movies they WANT made!

Interesting phenomenon (which can provoke some fierce criticism on YouTube; the Alien 5 trailer has 3 times as many dislikes as likes): franchise fans creating fake trailers for films they want to see, and labelling them 'official':

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Researching recent genre egs + presenting this in vid

The following vids were compiled by a horror enthusiast; they contain both more and less detail than you'd need: there are so many films it must be close to comprehensive, and must have taken quite a while to research (and find the posters) ... but, on the other hand, provides zero further info on screen by way of titles, which you would (and/or via a voiceover).The vid is essentially simple to create, once the research is done and images gathered: a jpg image inserted into an iMovie project automatically becomes a 5sec clip which you can trim or extend.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Being Human: Auds, Repns, Dig.Tech

The BBC show is very useful to look at as an example of the contemporary horror production. Postmodern to its core with characters questioning all the traditional cliches of horror roles even as they live them, aimed at a broad 15-34 (despite the post-watershed timing its 15-rated by the BBFC) youth audience, with characters and plotlines to attract both genders, infused with humour to leaven the horror, and with its own online-only spin-off or companion series, it truly is 21st century horror.All the episodes from the latest season (S3) are available on iPlayer as I write.
You will see that moral issues and debates are rehearsed through the issues and disputes; the situations (dis-equilibriums if you like) the protagonists get themselves into, and the efforts and attitudes of the antagonists they face. Horror has always been a platform for exploring moral codes and issues, not just a means to shock and appal; titillate and terrify.
In S3 Ep2 we see a great example of the representation of age - a teen vampire who starts out as the amoral teen thug of tabloid headlines but, through the episode's narrative arc, is transformed when given a chance by initially dismissive adults.
In S3 Ep3 we see a great exploration of the zombie - worth looking at for various reasons. Watch it to see how vital a role sound plays; the zombie is only made truly disgusting and horrifying with the overdubbing of bones cracking and rotting flesh 'sloshing' - strip these away and even with the effective music the zombie lacks verisimilitude; fails to convince let alone scare. Furthermore, as always with zombies, the character is a metaphor for part of the zeitgeist (the spirit of the age; common features or values of our time): the wealth-obsessed WAG, and the focus on celebrity culture and material goods/brands in the 21st century Western world. Critics of globalisation (an issue we look at in A2) argue that our media, from hip-hop videos to the various national editions of Hello magazine, are a conduit for spreading these vacuous, empty values across the globe.
As a UK TV drama, looking at and applying the semiotic terminology and framework of analysis is useful for your AS exam, and work into A2 Media (this technique lies at the core of all Media Studies work across the 2 years).

Friday, 11 February 2011

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Women in horror

You'll see there's a links list for this; I'd welcome your suggestions to add to this!
One example:
It features strong language and pulls no punches, but the Final Girl blog, by a filmmaker at the very low budget end, can be not only very entertaining but also highly insightful and illuminating - the blog includes blow-by-blow accounts of the blogger's film-making experiences to date: