Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Post Modernism - Scream (1996)

Scream (1996) is a horror film directed by Wes Craven, which fits into the 'slasher' film genre. Up on first view of this film before the post modernism lecture, i just assumed it was an everyday slasher film which had some comical moments, most of which were due to its parody film 'Scary Movie' (2000). But now watching the film after the lecture and with some slight knowledge of post modernism, the film transforms from this everyday slasher into something quite spectacular. The film is not an everyday slasher in which many people may believe, instead it is a post modern masterpiece executed with great skill. Scream is a post modern film due to numerous different sections of the film, some of which include references to horror films of its past, a subject of which director Wes Craven specialises in. Where as other parts of the film use techniques like mise-en-scene and in the highest case of post modernism within the film, the characters within the film are aware of the 'formula' in which makes a great slasher film, there for making the audience aware, a technique in which Wes Craven utilises with great skill.

Through out the entire film Wes Craven has referenced a classic slasher film where possible, these references even go back to one of the first slasher film ever conceived, Alfred Hitchcocks 'Psycho' (1960). One of the key moments in slasher history is the scene in which Hitchcock kills of his lead actress/character Marion Crane within the first few scenes of the film Psycho. Craven does well to replicate this in Scream when he also kills of his lead actress/character Casey Becker played by Drew Barrymore within the films very first scene. Some of the more modern references in slasher history include the characters notably themselves referencing parts in classic horror films such as Halloween (1978), Friday the 13th (1980), A nightmare on Elm street (1984) and many more. Craven even dresses the schools janitor in a costume which resembles that of Freddy Kruegers for a comical moment within the film.

What makes Scream post modern in ways other than referencing and 'stealing' ideas from the past, is Cravens play on the perfect 'slasher formula'. Scream is essentially a re-boot of the aged slasher genre, it grabs the attention of a modern audience in ways in which they might not understand, but also grabs the attention of the classic horror/slasher films lovers. Scream plays on the idea of the 'slasher formula' by allowing the characters within the film to understand the mistakes made in classic slasher film such as Halloween (1978), so the characters themselves no what to look out for, if for some reason they find them selves in one of these situations.

There is so much more information i would be happy to right up but due to incoming deadlines i feel as though is should put these thoughts aside, perhaps they could reoccur in the form of an essay? But to some up Scream as a film in general and as a film with a post modern twist i would only need to write one word...perfect.

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