Film Presentation - How significant is the use of supernatural in modern horror?RUN AUDIO: background music from 'The Ring' playing for 1 minute 30 seconds. Fading outVISUAL: DVD cover of The Ring, The Others and The Sixth Sense show on screen for first section of presentation.SPEAKER: My aim throughout this presentation is to discover whether there has been an increase in the use of supernatural in modern horror and whether it is a reasonable argument that supernatural in its own right has its own genre.The points that I will be explaining throughout this presentation;- Has there been an increase in the use of supernatural?- Different ways supernatural is used- Genre theory- Whether supernatural horror should have its own genre.What do we define supernatural as?Something that does not exist in the natural work for exampl...
e ghosts and poltergeists, the presence of something we, as an audience refuse to believe in. this is what I consider a reasonable definition of supernatural.
Although a lot of recent horror films have elements of supernatural, I am only focusing on three films that I think share elements of supernatural and have similar narratives.The three films I am focusing on are
ITEM 1: The Sixth SenseSHORT VIDEO - trailer outlining exactly what the film is about introducing us to the main characters and showing us clips of the action - 51 seconds.SPEAKER - as we see from this clip The Sixth Sense trailer has already introduced us to the fact supernatural elements have been used. It shows us the film is fast paced and what we are about to experience won't be forgotten.
ITEM 3: The Ring (the American remake) is another film
will be using.SHORT VIDEO - trailer - 1 minute 36 seconds - The RingSPEAKER: This trailer gives us a great insight into what the film has to offer, introducing us to the main characters, the fact deaths may be caused by a video tape, created by a long haired girl, who we presume the people are trying to get away from.We see again that this film is fast paced, emotional and the inclusion of supernatural characters makes it more appealing to the audience.
ITEM 2: The last film is The Others.SHORT VIDEO: Trailer - 2 minutes 21 secondsRUN AUDIO: 'Sometimes the world of the dead gets mixed up with the world of the living'SPEAKER: This clearly identifies that the film is going to have the inclusion of ghosts. Again the film is fast paced and we are introduced to the main characters almost immediately.
As we can see from the trailer we are exposed to some of the frightening parts of the film. For example when we see that the small girl becomes an old lady, we suspect she is being possessed.
ITEM 8: A slide to show the review, highlighting the supernatural elements, the positive and negative comments, where the film maker got ideas from (other films)SPEAKER: I think choosing these three films to use were a good choice because they are a great example of how supernatural is used because in each of the trailers we see we are introduced to the supernatural elements that will be present in the film.Supernatural elements are used in most modern horror films and I think that the inclusion of supernatural is becoming a contemporary trend, as it is being
used more often in films and is becoming popular with audiences, who usually are between the age of 18 and 25 it is important that a film had identifiable features, so straight away the genre can be identified. Supernatural horror is becoming increasingly popular amongst film makers because not only does it combine psychological and supernatural horror but the narrative of most of these films are very similar, they all start with an unsolved mystery, then work towards solving the mystery, usually a disaster occurs somewhere in the narrative and eventually the problem is solved.
ITEM 11: Slide to show with a list of what a Supernatural horror film has to include and a list of what a Psychological horror has to include.SPEAKER: For example in the Sixth Sense, at the very beginning of the film, we see the doctor being shot by one of his older patients, we have not yet discovered whether he has died or not, but shortly after this we have events that trick our minds into thinking he is still alive. Then the narrative moves to tell the story, or uncover the mystery, in this case the doctor meets another young patient who "sees dead people" this is a major hint yet we don't suspect that the doctor could be dead, and finally the narrative moves on to either solving the mystery or uncovering the untold parts of the story, in this instance we have to figure it out for ourselves that the doctor is indeed dead and the patient is actually talking to a dead person.
ITEM 6: project the film review on the board.
SPEAKER: This review helped me find what
it was about these particular films that interest the viewer so much, I came to the conclusion that film critics only really criticise this particular genre when there isn't much of a mysterious element, when there is no psychological horror involved. This very rarely happens but for example it seems that The sixth sense is favoured more than 'The Ring' because of the extensive amount of thought that has been put into this film, and how The sixth sense is more mysterious, this could explain why there has been more positive comments about The Sixth Sense than The Ring.I think that supernatural is becoming more than just a sub-genre and perhaps in its own right it should be its own genre, I think this because it has definitely been used a lot more in recent films and is becoming increasingly popular, I don't think there is a horror film that doesn't have some aspects of supernatural present.
ITEM 10: short extract presented on screen bullet pointing characteristics of classic horror.SPEAKER: We see many different representations of supernatural in films; it's just up to us to decide whether we appreciate the different elements of supernatural presented in certain films.
ITEM 5: slide to show the difference between the ratings of the Japanese version of The Ring and The American remake.SPEAKER: Although Japanese horror is more intense and more frightening the ratings show that the western audience prefer the American remake with the Japanese version only getting a 2/10 and the American version getting a 6/10. Perhaps it isn't that we don't appreciate Japanese horror maybe we don't understand the messaged the film is trying to convey when it
is set in a different country and in a different language. Although the use of supernatural is evident in both films, because they are both similar stories we as an audience want a greater sense of escapism and perhaps watching a film with subtitles ruins the fact that supernatural and psychological horror is used.
ITEM 9: Slide to list the criteria 'what makes a supernatural horror film'SPEAKER: Films are definitely a better way for supernatural horror to be conveyed, although in some literature imagery is created, i think the visual aid helps capture the reality of the film and create an atmosphere that the audience appreciates more. I think this explains how supernatural can be used, either to create a mysterious story or to create a shocking story that unravels as the narrative moves on.
ITEM 4: a sample of quotes shown on a slide.SPEAKER: Nic Ransome tells me exactly what Supernatural horror is 'suggest, don't show' yet in modern horror everything is shown, this is because of CGI technology, so perhaps the genre has evolved over time and has been shaped to be more of the supernatural horror films we know, typical supernatural horror films have to have something in common, they mainly have to have a sense of suspense and to be able to startle an audience. The narrative has to be rather similar.
Nic Ransome has already pointed out what makes a genre, it was Thomas Schatz who suggested this theory.
ITEM 13: Explain parts of the theory in brief to give a good overview.SPEAKER: Schatz believed that if a sub genre has enough consistent elements then it should become a genre of its own, I
believe that supernatural horror has consistent elements, that are evident in the three films featured in this presentation, each of the films have a sense of mystery, they all include psychological horror and they have similar narratives. These are the things that come to mind when I think of a supernatural horror film, I believe that supernatural horror films are becoming a contemporary trend because the audience can see the reality aspect because the use of supernatural isn't completely ludicrous as some people believe in ghosts and poltergeists.Horror has evolved over many years, from the days of classic horror in 1930 to now where there are many different sub - cultures
ITEM 7: Slide of timeline and how technology and film ideas have evolved since the 1930's and the creation of all the sub-genres clearly shown and dated, showing the audience that history has played a huge part in the evolution of horror films
ITEM 12: Slide following on from
ITEM 7 to show where writers and directors get their ideas from and how technology has made the creation of horror films more appealing to audiences.SPEAKER: this shows how an audience's expectations of horror films have changed.There have been very many recent horror films with aspects of Supernatural, I'm not trying to prove that every film is a supernatural horror film, but I believe that this genre is becoming an increasingly significant sub-genre in the making of horror films, I think this because the three films I have studied I have come to realise that they all share some of the same characteristics, which according to Schatz theory would make Supernatural horror a genre of its ownSupernatural horror
is very different from Classic horror, because of the way the subjects are approached and the way the narrative is structured, I believe that Supernatural horror should be its own sub- genre because it is a popular trend amongst film makers to use The occult, poltergeists and ghosts, to make their film more successful, as audiences enjoy the mysterious elements and this is what makes a horror film successful.
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