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Is The Representation Of Women In Contemporary Horror Films Like Scream 4, Post Modern Or Problematic?

3357 words - 13 pages

Bryony RobertsIs the representation of women in contemporary horror films like Scream 4, post-modern or problematic?"There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to successfully survive a horror movie. Number one: You can never have sex… Sex equals death… Number two: You can never drink or do drugs. It's the sin factor, it's a sin, it's an extension of number one. And number three, never, ever, under any circumstances say 'I'll be right back', because you won't be back". - (1) Randy played by Jamie Kennedy. This quote is taken from the Wes Craven horror film, Scream (1996), a part parody, part pastiche, part postmodern thriller. It examines its own genres clichés and traits making it easy to be considered as the most self-observant horror movie ever made.In the aftermath of the first Scream film a tidal wave of post-modern horror movies were created to capitalize on its success. One of these rip-offs is Urban Legend (1998) which attempted to treat urban legends in the same way Scream did with other horror movies. Scream identified the irony, codes and conventions of an average horror movie using it to examine rules/stereotypes of the genre for intertextual plot twists. However not too long after Scream 3, horror took a huge turn away from irony and deconstruction and looked into other areas. The most notable trends for horror in the first decade of the 2000s include, the 'found footage genre' (The Blair Witch Project 1999), Intense 'torture porn'/intense violence or gore (Saw 2004), foreign horror movies (Ring 1998/The Ring 2002), and remakes and reboots of classics (Rob Zombies Halloween 2007, The Omen 2006). Scream 4 noticeably mentions and uses most, if not all of these areas especially the reboot element as 2011 was the year of the most remakes, as a contemporary horror film, filling at least one of these gaps is crucial. A good example of this is the success of the first Paranormal Activity (footage genre) film, but even the use of all crucial elements can't save every disastrous sequel. Some that are already past the irritation stage include Nightmare on Elmstreet, Friday the 13th, and Halloween with preposterous reincarnations.The new Scream uses a Post-Modern opening currently popular with younger audiences. The target audience is both female and male, 15 - 40 year olds.It was previously easy to know the difference between the actual film and the horror movie within the movie (Stab). This could be problematic as it can confuse the younger audience. In this movie, it is not clear which one is which and Scream takes advantage of that with a double fake opening in which the audience think they are watching Scream 4 but are actually watching Stab 6, which is actually playing on a TV in front of two young women. However another twist, one of the women pulls out a knife and stabs the other, revealing this is actually Stab 7, which is playing in front of two other, younger teenage girls. It is still not clear that...

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