Friday The 13th Part 2 In Realtion To Vera Dika's Slasher Theory

1569 words - 6 pages

Shane Gladstone Film CriticismComponent TwoQuestion'Is Friday the 13th Part 2 typical of the slasher movie formula as laid out by Vera Dika?'IntroductionAfter having read Vera Dikas text 'Games of Terror' (Dika, 1990) and watched the film in question 'Friday the 13th Part 2' (Steve Miner, US 1980) it was clear to me from the outset that there are parallels to be drawn between the two. Throughout this essay it is my intention to re-evaluate Dika's theories in relation to the chosen text and come to my own natural conclusions as to whether it qualifies as a strong example of the stalker genre or not. I will do this initially by re-reading the text and picking out the sections of it that relate the strongest to scenes in the film, once these have been chosen I will then concentrate on these scenes and texts in particular as examples of my methodology. I have done this by focusing on the typical stalker clichés presented to the viewer in the opening scene and the general use of space and setting throughout the narrative.The discussion of the typical stalker scene, setting, characterisation and plot structure.Friday the 13th Part 2 (Steve Miner, US 1981) opens with a lurking point of view shot of the killer (Jason Voorhees) watching the child of Alice (Adrienne King, heroine of the original movie Friday the 13th (Sean S Cunningham, US 1980) walk home alone in the rain while singing to himself a children's song. This song (singin' in the rain) signifies happiness and innocence, as a counter reaction to the song the soundtrack music playing in the background is dark, atmospheric and chilling. The setting in which they are located is suburban and typically American however the dark and the rain of the weather give the scene an almost gothic feel and the viewer feels that the child is exposed and open to attack.Moving inside the house the next shot depicts Alice laid on her bed in the middle of a nightmare. From the use of flashback scenes we are able to see that the nightmare regards her past experiences at Camp Crystal Lake, this subscribes to Vera Dika's theory that although the heroine may survive she can never truly be free. The nightmare is a recollection of Jason's death as imagined by the killer in the first film, Jason's mother, Pamela Voorhees. This confirms Dika's opinions with regard to issues such as plot structure. The narratives first section presents us with an event that occurred many years earlier, the drowning of Jason, after having spent the last 20 years at the bottom of a lake he is, in the words of Dika 'driven to madness' (Dika, pg 58, 1990) and is suffering from an 'extreme trauma' (Dika, pg 59, 1990). This trauma was caused initially by his helpless and witnessed drowning as a young boy and then enflamed by his viewing of the wrongful (in Jason's eyes) murder of his mother with whom he shared a deep and abnormal connection. Throughout his short childhood he...

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