Media - Critical research

Do filmmakers use the final girl theory in the representation of woman in slasher movies and does this representation change over a period of times?

The aims of doing this research is to find out the use of Carol .J. Clover’s “final girl”( FG) theory in slasher movies. Before researching on this theory I have undertaking some background research on the representation of women in films and mostly horror genre.

Traditionally the roles of women were portrayed as weak and eye candy. They are in a way of useless who needed to complete by a man. Male characters are likely to act as a strong and intelligent protector to females with a very high possibility within the dominate character. This concept built deeply into audience’s mind which appeals in mostly earlier genre of movies. Supported by my secondary research on book research (The Cinema Book) this is what we called as the stereotypical women. These rules are still appeal to movie that out now and quite a lot to fine in Chick Flick and Drama.

However, by investigating slasher movies from the 1970s traditionally rules are not exactly fit in all the women that representation in this type of movies. The similarity of women being in a slasher movie and the other genre are the lead female characters usually would be young and pretty. They would be good looking and famous to attack man audience’s attention to the cinema. This refer to the principle that Laura Mulvey suggested in her book “visual pleasure & Narrative Cinema” of male gaze. This principle analyses how the point of view from a man to the attacked by a female character.

On the other hand, these girls are not as defenseless and weak as they used to be in the other genres. “Watch any slasher movie, and tell me what gender the survivor is? It’s a woman.” By “yellow jacket” who replied on my question in an internet forum. All the repliers in the internet forum suggested and agreed women to be cleverer and organize that male in a slasher. These is why I come across with the Final Girl(FG) theory by  in her book - Men, Women and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film suggested in her study of modern horror movie in1992. In identifying the final girl in slasher movies, Clover suggested they noted as usually smarter, more conscientious, and more morally purer than her cohorts, who are usually stupid, sloppy and have an image of “slutty” girl in the movies. It is a horror film trope that specifically refers to the last person alive to confront the killer. Occasionally they will have a sharing history will the killer. We can see many examples in lots of different slashers such as Halloween(1978) had Laura to fight with the psycho killer Michael who are brother and sister, Sidney killed Billy who represented as her boyfriend and actually is the killer of her mother in Scream(199) and particularly Nancy in the Nightmare on the Elm Street(1980) who planed out how to build booby trap and set them as to lure Freddy which he came to her. Freddy’s dead was cause by her mother.  

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That is the reason why people in the forum think women in slasher s have the capability to absorb what’s going on and they take action to make themselves survive. I also come across with the idea of “stick and run” action that women usually take in slashers (they hit the killer and get away, then repeat.). A man is not represented as a hero to protect her away more. They became protagonist flip the role around as the men were useless in this genre of movies.

This theory also leads to both of my interviewee and focus group ...

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