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Lecture 4

FILM 1F94 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Dario Argento, Janet Leigh, Sidney Prescott

Course Code
Peter Lester

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January 18, 2016
Week #3: Genre and Gender—Halloween
Semantic Elements of Horror in Halloween
-Sound and music can constitute a crucial part of a genre’s semantic system
-Aural cues of a soundtrack prepares us for the film
-They shape and meet expectations, and contribute to the effectiveness of the film
The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
Rosso Profondo (Dario Argento, 1975)
-Short, recurring musical (or spoken) passage, that is consistently associated with a specific
characters, place or theme
Star Wars theme songs
Synaptic Elements of Horror in Halloween
-Genre films are typically engage in a constant dialogue with their own history
-Conventions, previous texts, are acknowledge, engage, adapted, built upon
-“Intertextual knowledge” affects our pleasure in engaging with genre films
Sam Loomis (Psycho), Dr. Samuel Loomis (Halloween)
Janet Leigh (Psycho) , and Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween)
Common Critiques of Slasher films
-That we (the audience ) are actively encouraged (forced, even) to identify with the killer, as
they ritualistically kill over the course of the film.
-Pleasures of Sadism
-POV camera (or “I-camera”) reinforces this
Slasher Film’s Gendered Character Archetypes
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