Representation of Women in Horror Essay

4055 Words Oct 6th, 2013 17 Pages
Bella Spooner

Representation of Women in Horror Films.

Since the inventions of television and film, media influences have become extremely important in modern society with people constantly being inundated by images and messages that come from film, television, magazines, internet and advertising. Researchers and theorists such as Carol J. Clover and Jean Kilborne believe that the fact that people are going to be affected by the media is absolutely unavoidable. Films can act as guides to how people, particularly women, should act and look. Women in horror are typically shown as the ‘damsel in distress’ and are usually attacked by the killer after committing a sinful act like having sex or misusing drugs or alcohol. The females are
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Scream’s most dominant issues that are raised are common issues in the lives of teenage girls; sexuality and virginity, femininity and its connection to power and identity as it is shaped and influenced by the media, experiences and relationships, particularly a girl’s relationship with her mother and in this case, the death of her mother. Director Wes Craven confronts all of these issues and solves them in powerful ways which encourage girls to defend themselves by being assertive and finding their identity in their own way and in their own time. Scream’s main focuses are sexuality and virginity and how they have an impact on anxiety in young women and have an effect on the reputation on the girl –“your mother was a slut bag,” Sidney is told.

Scream takes a new turn in the outcome of the film where the cliché of “Prince Charming” rescuing the “damsel in distress” is eliminated by the Sidney’s “perfect” boyfriend, Billy, being one of the killers and replaced with the idea of the “final girl” where it is a female who is a virgin and doesn’t not do drugs or consume alcohol that fights back and become the ‘hero’ rather than a male, giving the unrealistic message that if people don’t do wrong, nothing bad will ever happen to them but horror films are notorious for presenting women in a particular way, often making them victims of sexualisation.

Tatum is Sidney’s best friend in the film and is a classic example of the “dumb blonde” character. She

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