2.0 Literature Review
To make sure the research can be done in correct way with relevant content. Researcher can use relevant article, journal even theory to provide an idea or evidence of the research topic so that credibility and accuracy of the works can be increased. Thus, literature review is one of the important parts in completing research.
2.2 Horror Films
According to the journal of Tim Dirks (1996), horror films are unsettling films designed to frighten, panic and dread to invoke people hidden worst fears while captivating and entertaining people at the same time in a cathartic experience. Horror films effectively centre on the dark side of life, the forbidden, strange and alarming events. Thus, it deals with people most primal nature and fears, nightmares, vulnerability, alienation, revulsions, fear of death and dismemberment, loss of identity and fear of sexuality.
From the earliest days, people used their vivid imaginations to see ghost in shadowy shapes, emotionally connected to the unknown and fear things that are improbable. People can get into an outlet for the feeling of fear itself without actually being in danger by watching horror films. There’s a very real thrill and fun factor in being scared when watching horrific images. A good horror film does not need complex technology special effects to produce in some situations. This is because when horror films done with less reliance on horrify special effects, it can be extremely effective film forms which tapping into people dream states the horror within man himself or unknown.
The earliest horror films were in Gothic style, which means they were usually set in fog-shrouded, spooky old mansions, or castles, dark and shadowy locales. For the main characters have included supernatural or grotesque creatures, monsters, vampires, devils, ghosts, zombies, demons even an unknown human. Horror films can be developed from several sources such as folktales with witchcrafts, devil characters, myths, fables, ghost stories and novels. In horror films, the irrational forces of horror invariably need to be defeated. These films normally will end with a return to normalcy and victory over the antagonism.
Dorian Scott Cole claims that plot is refer to the main plan of the story, the structure of an event to telling what is happening from the beginning to the end of the event. It’s also the engine that drives the story forward on the course. It plays an important role in an event like films and literatures. To make a plot of the story, writers need to consider what the character needs and his situation in the story. When the characters are put in a situation, they are going to start working to get what they want. Writers need to get clear with everything in the story so that they can construct the plot clearly without any confusion.
There are many types of plot that writers can use to construct their story. One of the famous types of plot that frequently used by writers is Freytag’s pyramid. Classically Freytag’s pyramid can be divided into 5 parts which are exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution and denouement. In the exposition, the background information that is needed to understand the story properly is provided. Such information includes protagonist, antagonist, basic conflicts, settings, and so forth. The exposition ends with the inciting moment, which is the single incident in the story’s action without which there would be no story. The inciting moment sets the remainder of the story in motion, beginning with the second act, the rising action.
During the rising action, the basic conflict is complicated by the introduction of related secondary conflicts, including various obstacles that frustrate the protagonist’s attempt to reach his or her goal. Secondary conflicts can include adversaries of lesser importance than the story’s antagonist, who may work with the antagonist or separately, by and for themselves. The third act is that of the climax, which marks a change, for the better or the worse. If the story is a comedy, things will have gone badly for the protagonist up to this point and things will begin to go well for protagonist. If the story is a tragedy, the opposite state of affairs will ensue, with things going from good to bad for the protagonist.
During the falling action, the conflict between the protagonist and the antagonist unravels, with the protagonist winning or losing against the antagonist. The falling action may contain a moment of final suspense, during which the final outcome of the conflict is in doubt. The resolution is the character solves the main problem or conflict or someone solves it for him or her. Everything of the story will be settled in this stage. The comedy ends with a denouement in which the protagonist is better off than he or she was at the story’s outset. The tragedy ends with a catastrophe in which the protagonist is worse off than he or she was at the beginning of the narrative.
Writers are very depending on their creativity in composing the flow of plot in order to make the event attractive and interesting. If the plot is not composed in suitable and attractive way, the final event will not in good condition no matter how good the idea is. Thus, there is a big challenge to a writer in composing an interesting plot for a film or literature.
22.214.171.124 Developing a Plot for Horror Films
There is a challenge for a writer in developing a plot for horror film. According to Theresa Hopper’s journal in 2002, writers need to keep their mind to be original when work out a plot for horror film. Writers can make their writing original by adding own personal take on a familiar plot. There are so many horror plot devices that people familiar with such as happy family moving into haunted houses, naïve people abusing Ouija boards, charismatic vampires, vengeful witches, demon lovers and so on. These have all been used since the beginning of the genre, but it is not meaning that writer cannot still employ them successfully. They just have to think of a unique way by looking at the subject so that they can give a new life in the old device.
Christina Hamlett claims there are several steps in developing a plot for horror film in proper way. First of all, writers need to familiarize themselves with as many horror films as they can and study the techniques that filmmakers like to use to scare their audiences. For example, use fairly ordinary items like dolls, cars, dogs, houses and other daily things and imbue them with extraordinary and malevolent powers. Besides that, they also escalate the suspense and terror by systematically isolating the potential victims, utilizing gruesome visuals and scary sound effects, and playing on the apprehensions that many of people had as children. After that, writers can make a list of the top 10 thing that people are most afraid to according the level of threatening. Then pick the one that absolutely terrifies writer the most and form the basis of the plot. There is a must writer to pick out the scariest object for them in order to develop the story with true feeling. If not they will not able to develop the story that really touch audience because writers even not able to persuade themselves the story or the object is scary.
Once the object has been chosen as the main things in horror film then writers need to outline the scary story before start to write it. Outline is very important part in developing a plot because it helps writers to clarify every single elements or conflicts in the story before they write out the detail things. To outline the scary story, writers need to give the villain in the story a plausible motive for what it does. For example, the villain is seeking revenge against the descendants of the person who killed him, the villain is seeking to avenge the honor of a deceased sweetheart, responding to an ancient curse that forces the main character to do evil things or reacting to the effects of a bad lab experiment. There are so many possible way to let writers develop, it is just depending on the creativity of the writers. To avoid the protagonist in the scary story just simply be reacting to everything that the monster do, writers need to give them some solid motivations. For instance, hero needs to accomplish to be thwarted in some way by the presence of the evil forces. He can’t simply walk away from this scary conflict because if he does, something even worse could happen as a result.
After all the characters’ basic information and the conflicts between protagonist and antagonist have been developing. It is the time writers indentify the story into 5 parts of the plot which are exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution and denouement. Writers need to get clear with what is happening within the 5 parts of plot. During the moment, writers need to decide how many characters that needed in the storyline and what kinds of locations will be required. Last but not least, the dialogue should always sound natural, horror films tend to have less dialogue in them than other genres because their strength is derived from the scary visuals and action sequences.
2.3 Music in Horror Films
Simon Boswell is a music composer who famous for his involvement in several classic horror films. Those involvements are including many by Italian horror master, Dario Argento. According to Boswell’s statement
“Music in horror films is probably more powerful than in any other genre, so it’s good for a composer to do them because he can be very influential on the action.”
John Hubinette claims that music in horror films is more powerful than in most other films due to the dramatic nature and shifting pace of horror films. The main purpose of horror film is to scare people. To do these by all means possible, filmmakers will not only depend on visual. Even though music is a very important aspect of horror films, it must never distract the audience. The music should fit the action as well that is not perceived as a separate aspect of the film, it should be integrated with the visual and work to seamlessly intensify the events in the film. This is perhaps the reason why music in films is so often overlooked. It the music is well composed and well implemented, it will becomes a part of the overall experience.
In the earliest years, orchestral music is the most characteristic type of horror film music. It has been used since the birth of the genre even today orchestral music is the most popular type of music used in horror films, thrillers and adventure films. There’s a reason why orchestra music is so popular and rapid used in horror film until today. Orchestral music has open-endedness and great dynamic range that allows the composer to greatly vary his compositions to follow the event in a film. Another reason could be that orchestra music is very neutral and appeals to a wide audience, but perhaps the main reason is that powerful orchestral music simply works very well when there is a need to convey emotions and set a certain mood.
Today, orchestral music is not the only genre used in horror films. Many films differ in this area by using other kinds of music such as synthetic based music and industrial music. For example ‘Blair Witch 2’ which uses alternative rock and meal music. This selection of music works pretty well, as it is quite dark, brooding and suits the visual style of the film. In several times, classic orchestral horror music has been replaced with music that would normally never even be considered for a horror film. Perhaps the most extreme case is ‘American Psycho’, which mainly uses American 80s rock and pop music. In this film, it becomes obvious that horror films require the right kind of music to function properly. A very odd feeling is produced when Patrick Bateman (the male protagonist) slaughters one of his victims to the tune of ‘Hip to be Square’ by Huey Lewis and the News. It produces a complete audio-visual dissonance, but when this music decreases the fear factor of this particular scene, it does create a very odd experience, which is probably what the film makers aimed to create.
2.4 Sound Effects in Horror Films
Besides music, sound effects are also one of the important elements in horror film. It has the ability to give a big shock to audience and enhance the scary atmosphere in the scene dramatically. Besides that, sound effects helps to make the action in horror film become lively and increase the reality feeling.
According to the statement by John Hubinette, he claims that both the music and sound effects are directly linked to the visuals of the film. Music works by accompanying the events in the film to create or adjust a certain mood or atmosphere. Sound effects are usually tied even more closely to the events in the film, most of the cases are applied to intensify or mark direct action such as movements and impact. These sounds are usually exaggerated especially in action film and horror film. There’s a classic example of an exaggerated sound effect which is punches, which often sound like whip lashes when normally filmmakers would produce a barely audible. Although this kind of sound effect might negatively affect the realism of certain events in a film, it does serve to increase the power and intensity of movements, impacts and other actions which is very important especially in horror films that aiming to create a confrontational audio-visual experience.
There is also a type of sound effect known as ambient sounds that widely use in horror films nowadays. In horror film, ambient sounds usually insert in looped sequences and used to create a background noise for a scene. Thus, it will looks natural even enhance the particular moods in the scene. There are some examples of ambient sounds that people can found in horror film such as crickets, humming, the wind blowing, thunder and rain. It is also interesting to note that in particular horror films tends to highlight sounds that people would normally not pay attention to, such as a beating heart or someone breathing. This usually happens when there is a single victim being chased or stalked by a monster or ghost. The purpose is to draw audience into the scene and to make it part of the action or put it in the situation of the victim. This tactic works very well in horror film in most of the time.
Other than that, silence can also function as a sound effect in some scenes. It can be used when there is a need to create high tension and also be used together with loud musical hits in a turn-taking sequence. Silence has the function that emphasizes the certain atmosphere or situation in the scene instantaneously. Compare with music and sound effects, silence will be the best weapon for filmmaker to draw audiences’ attention in particular scene. Audiences’ needs nowadays are become more complicated, they will not satisfy with the effort on visual effect in horror film. Music and sound effects are also the element they concern with.
2.5 Theories and Concept Applied
Theories are very important in conducting a research; it helps research to explain certain phenomenon or situation with evidence. Thus, the result of research will be more persuasive once research applied theory in his work. Auteur Model and Feminist Model will be included to analyze the content analysis in this research.
2.5.1 Auteur Model
In the 1950s and 60s, the film critic Andrew Sarris became the leading American proponent of what is now called Auteur Theory. “Auteur” is come from French word which means author. Talk of artistic and the term ‘auteur’ placed the director centrally as the author of the film.
An auteurist critic looks for consistency of theme and design throughout a director’s film. If the film maker was to be seen as auteur they would have to exhibit through a series of films clear auteur characteristic. To fulfill the requirement of Auteur model, there are four characteristics author refer to. Firstly, the visual style of the film; which means the Mise en scene and designation of cinematography in the film. Secondly, the narrative structure and feature of the film; which referring to the story genre and the message that bringing by the film. Third, the particular character traits and situation; which referring to the acting style and the performance of actors. The last characteristic is referring to the theme that set in the film. If the filmmaker has reached those entire mentioned characteristic, these characteristics will be clearly seen in all of his work in whatever genre.
Gillking’s statement claims Alfred Hitchcock as a director frequently studied from an auteur perspective. When Auteur Model was being developed, Alfred Hitchcock was frequently acknowledged as the consummate exemplar. Even his name evokes immediate expectations in terms of themes and techniques. As the master of mystery and suspense, Hitchcock’s films play with the audience’s nerves, sexuality or tabooed areas assume central or implicit places. For example the latent homosexuality of Strangers on a Train (1951), the Parody of an Oedipus complex in Psycho and the traumatic remembrance of repressed Memories of Marnie (1964). Hitchcock was influenced by the German Expressionists and he admired their ability to express the ideas in purely visual terms. It is the visual expression of thought and psychology that Hitchcock achieves throughout his films.
Hitchcock’s films are marked by his mastery of cinematic technique which is exemplified in his use of camera viewpoints, elaborate editing and soundtrack to build suspense. There are several example can be found in his films. For the first, Notorious (1946) includes an incredible zoom-in from a high shot to an extreme close-up of a significant plot detail and suspense building inter-cutting of the final scene. Secondly, In a scene in Blackmail (1929), Hitchcock uses a complex pattern of sound and dialogue based around the word knife to reflect feelings of guilt. Besides that, there is a cut from a woman’s scream to the similar sound of a train whistle in the The Thirty-Nine Steps (1935). In Suspicion (1941), his personal stamp is typified by the use of a light bulb to produce the effect of an ominous, glowing glass of milk. This attribution of symbolic power to inanimate objects is another hallmark of Hitchcock which a bread knife in Blackmail (1929) and a key in Notorious (1946). He also places great focus on the creation of set pieces where he is able to exercise his talent for detail and suspense.
According to the statement of Gillking, he also claims that Hitchcock’s vision of the world is reflected in the themes that predominate in his films. The specific psychology that is presented in the films such as the fascination with wrongful accusation and imprisonment is a significant part of the Hitchcock signature. One of the basic themes is that the mistaken identity, the wrong man accused who must find the real perpetrator in order to prove his innocence for example The Lodger (1926), The Thirty-Nine Steps (1935), North By Northwest (1959) and so on. Other than that, Hitchcock also found visual expression for his themes in recurrent motifs that express his vision of the world like staircases in Strangers On A Train (1951), Vertigo (1958), Psycho (1960), sinister houses in Psycho (1960), chasms in Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959) and National Landmarks that the most obviously in North by Northwest which includes the United Nations’ Building and Mount Rushmore.
Besides Alfred Hitchcock, there are so many directors that under Auteur Theory, such as John Ford from United States, Pang Brothers from Hong Kong, Jack Neo from Singapore. They have their own strong characteristic in directing a film and it is hard to imitate or replace by others. People are familiar with their style even can recognize their film easily with the characteristic of film that mentioned above.
2.5.2 Feminist Model
Feminist model is widely used to discover and describe a distinctively female perspective on film, as well as those ways in which the cinema might not be found uniquely pleasurable by female viewers. There are two elements which are psychoanalytic and ideological analysis has blended by Feminist model criticism. The psychoanalytic component is found in attempts to understand the ways cinema arouses the pleasure and desires of its audiences and how this might differ on a gender basis. In the other side, ideological is found in the efforts of feminist criticism to relate the portrayal of women in films to particular social attitudes, assumptions and practices that may be found in the more general society of which those films are a part.
According to the statement of Stephen Prince, he claims that Feminist film criticism tends to assume two forms. The first is an analysis and description of how a male-dominated film industry has selectively shaped images of women in films that have been created largely by men. Male director has portrayed women’s image in their desired way through the visual spectacle and the use of the close up function in film to present women as erotic object for the contemplation of an ideal male audience. For example, Marilyn Monroe or Marlene Dietrich is the most popular star who is the erotic image for a male audience. She gave the extraordinary visual attention through her body in the film which directed by male director.
The second form is closely related to the first, it is the discovery of alternative feminist forms or filmmaking and images of characters. There is a wide range of filmmakers and models of filmmaking to choose by the feminist critic. The critic could examine the work of a director such as Jane Campion, who makes films that are not slotted into particular genres or targeted to be large crowd pleaser employing traditional formulas. Two of her films are The Piano (1993) and Orlando (1993).
The Piano (1993) , stars Holly Hunter as a mute, Victorian, unwed mother who travels to New Zealand to fulfill an arranged marriage to an English farmer who living there. The film explores her torturous reception as both a woman and an artist. She have to live in a culture which is alien to her and that places her into the most insensitive and brutal husband.
Orlando (1993), this film examines the consequences of gender roles and how they affect the way people live their lives. Sally Potter’s film is adapted from a Virgina woolf story about a young man during the Elizabethan era who lives for over four centuries without aging but who mysteriously changes into a woman. Orlando has experiences the world from the perspective of each gender through living as both a man and a woman. Orlando comes to appreciate the uniqueness of each gender’s role and how socially conditioned these roles are.
The Piano (1993) and Orlando (1993) are philosophically and aesthetically distinct from male-directed productions. In the unique term of their narrative and image all the perspective brought to gender. Its social definition and impact on sexuality, speech and art, each film offers the pleasures of distinctive female voice in cinema.
This chapter explains horror films, plot, music, sound effects and 2 theories which are Auteurist Model and Feminist Model with several facts and example. Researcher can learn and understand more about the background of the titles throughout this chapter. By studying all the titles above, it will give researcher a clearer image about what is going to focus in the following chapters. Thus, it also minimizes the chances researcher out of topic when doing this research.