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Movies don’t create psychos, Movies makes psychos more Creative

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The Slasher-movie is one of the most common known films. They usually comprise American white suburbia where the teens are killed unprotected by the authorities and parents. These films include Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street. Here a killer in the white suburbs disturbs the classic glossy white American living. Scream is a slasher movie and uses lots of techniques to emphasize some of the ethical issues. In Scream a large number of conventions are used. They are used as references from other films and some just from the very stereotypical slasher movies.

The first scene is ridden with lots of small cross-references to other films. One of the first things that you note is the sounds. Chilling music, screeching violins, heartbeat, slashing of knives, a scream and ringing telephone – these are the first things you hear and are all very strong references to the stereotypical slasher films. The first shot of the whole film is a close up on a telephone. This is an intertextual reference to “When a Stranger Calls,” which uses a telephone. The next thing you see is a very typical convention of a slasher movie.

A blonde teenage girl is alone in an isolated, very American, house and from first impressions doesn’t seem extremely clever. She plays the part very well and is immediately killed after being toyed about with by the killer. Whilst this happens she and the killer quote other famous slasher films like Halloween, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. All this straight away lets you know that it is another teen slasher movie, even if you realise the references or not. You know this as it shows all the characteristics of a typical slasher film.

You are immediately thinking about it being a very slasher film, but it seems different and rather mocks the style. Throughout the whole film there are more exophoric references to other movies. In the bathroom scene, when two cheerleaders (again stereotypes) doubt Sidney being stalked and say “She wanted to kill herself, but she realises that teen suicide is out this year and homicide is a much healthier therapeutic expression. ” The first cheerleader is asked where she gets all that stuff and she replies Riki Lake. This shows how saturated their culture is with pop-psychology.

It also gives them a reason like with many chat shows- you have a reason for everything, so killing someone could be down to your disturbed childhood. Another technique Wes Craven uses is to show the characters themselves. When the teenagers hear of Casey’s death they don’t mourn her and feel sorry, they go out and rent some scary movies. They throw a party and act completely against what would normally happen in this sort of situation. This again shows how full this generation is of horror movies. It may be used as an almost parallel age group to real life people and showing what they could be like or will become if they continue like this.

One very important scene is after school when the teenagers are sitting together. Here they talk with no compassion for the deaths of Casey and Steve. They are asking how could someone bring himself or herself to gut someone, Stu (the killer) then gives a gory description of doing it to the others. Again it shows how this age group has become very numb to the killing just as if were part of a movie and they were watching it. Many the group seem to be enjoying it as with the other students who dress up in the killers clothes and run around school, mocking the situation and having a joke.

In the video store scene, Randy, Stu and Billy are there. This scene really does identify main characters. Randy is the nerd who works out who does the murders, but no one listens to him and he is killed at the end. Stu and Billy (both are the killers) are easy identifiable here as they appear very powerful and in control, but hide it when they joke about the movies and who the killer is. There is also more about how numb this society is. Randy says “We had a run in the mass murder section. ” This shows much again how much their whole age range is obsessed with horror movies.

Wes Craven brings this up again to re-enforce the idea of their culture being fanatical about horror movies. In the movie store lots of new exophoric references come up, there is Frankenstein playing on a TV in the opening shot. Also ET is asked for by one of the customers. Also Randy says the murders are: “this is standard horror stuff – it is Prom night Revisited. ” It shows how he has compared it to a film and he is working it out. But one of the most interesting quotes is from randy – “It’s the millennium – motives are incidental. This is a really good way of raising moral questions. It has a powerful impact on the audience and makes them think, “Is that true do all murders have motives, do some just kill? ” Also it gives there movie a place in time, it bring it into the “real” world. This then raises more awareness about it, as it doesn’t seem just a movie anymore. In one of the other scenes, the beginning of the party, the music 2schools out for summer” is played. It may symbolise that school is finished and it is happy, but here school is finished, but not from being the end of term.

It again shows their resistance to feeling pain or sorrow, due to their “over exposure” to scary films. Also the way the teenage generation is viewed by others is important. When Billy is first arrested a officer asked the head policeman if he though he could have done it. He replies “20 years ago I’d have said not a chance, but kids these days… ” Here it shows that even though the kids are changing it isn’t unnoticed, and also it is only noticed because adults now think they may have the potential to kill someone. Wes Craven has again cropped up more questions more the audience to think about.

He has deliberately put it in to show how the group has definitely been changed by the movie (or something else? ) and how they are different to past generations and the adults. The other very interesting scene is when Tatum is about to be killed in the garage. She really does play the nai?? ve innocent victim and asks, “Can I be the helpless victim” she doesn’t realise that it is the real killer and plays it along thinking it is someone dressed up. In a normal culture most people would have realised, but because of their movie obsession and unfeeling to fear she doesn’t realise until much later.

One of the main things that is very noticeable in Scream and in lots of other slasher movies is the absence of adults and authorities. Throughout the whole film hardly any parents are mentioned and very few adults are seen. Casey parents discover her body, but are too late to stop the murder or just happened to not be there when it really mattered. This is a very deliberate to show just how incompetent they are. Also the police are very useless and they don’t get anything. They take too long to get to anything and seem to be very stupid even if they are well intentioned.

One classic example of this is when the killer is inside the sumpermarket stalking Sidney and Tatum. Outside Dewey (the nicest, but probably most incompetent officer) and a senior officer are standing outside talking and eating ice cream. This mimics other slasher movies where their lack of authorities is clearly visible as well. This may raise more ethical queries about are teenagers in white suburbia becoming too dependent on themselves and who do they come to when they need help? On the other hand it could be that adults are just not clever enough or competent enough to deal with these situations or teenagers?

One of the few adults who is present is the principle. He is in charge of the School, which is supposed to be a safe and pleasant place. He may rightly punished the students for dressing up in Scream costumes, but when he puts on the mask in front of the mirror he brings up more questions such as, is he the killer? And are the adults taking these things serious enough? Even so the principle hates the students and refers to them as “their entire thieving, whoring generation. ” And he talks about them being “heartless and desensitised.

They are both true, which is much visible through their behaviour. The significance of this is that It is then another question raised to back up the idea of them being oblivious to pain and suffering. They then have no hesitation to make fun of the student’s deaths and joke and laugh about them. A gap in this grown-up lack is most likely filled with Gale Weathers. She is a journalist who is good a following a story and has a clear thought through everything. She first seems clever when she speaks to Sidney. She goes on about how Sidney could have wrongly imprisoned a man for her mum’s murder.

This may show how she can thinks by herself and be independent. She works out lots of things like when she is at the police station with lots of other journalists, she is the only one who figures out there is a back entrance. Also she has the initiative to listen to where the students are going and find the stories, not let them come to her. But everything Gale does is not just for everyone else. She maybe good intentioned, but she does see what it can do for herself. One point she makes is “If I find a man innocent of a murder, just think what that could do for my book sales.

Wes Craven may have used this bold female figure to create some order in the film. She is the only hope as she does save the day, but also it may cause enquires about how come she is the only one who can do anything and she is only a journalist- what abut the police? This again backs the idea of the police being incompetent and only one journalist can save it. It shows that the police really should be doing this, but they aren’t. The last thing in the film is motives and why. Sidney asks Billy and Stu why they killed all the people.

Billy says “we all go a little mad sometimes. ” This is not his real motive, but is a great reference from Psycho, Anthony Perkins. His real reason is that Sidney’s mum had slept with Billy’s dad forcing them to break up. Stu’s reason is because of peer pressure. Both of these answers both raise hundreds of questions about media violence. Some maybe that because of this pop-psychology culture where everyone has a problem and a reason someone (Stu) can just murder someone say it is peer pressure. Also because of their obsession with horror movies it could all be down to that.

Wes Craven has included these highly debatable motives to raise more questions. He has also used the motive scene as a place where people can think about how violent movies have been used as example before. The James Bulger murder and Columbine high school shooting were both blamed on violent films. This could be showing how it is very easy to blame movies, but what about other reasons. Here movies may seem one of the most obvious choices, but there are other reasons. E. g. Billy’s parents where split up, they may have had troubled childhood, had a traumatic experience.

But just because it doesn’t say it here it doesn’t mean it couldn’t have happened. Wes Craven may have included these references and ideas to say perhaps media violence isn’t just the answer to why people are violent and do harmful things. He might be trying to suggest that might it be something else totally like, the way teenagers run their lives and go out a lot. Or he might be saying yes, Media violence is totally to blame, But Wes Craven has brought up lots of different ideas and views, and not everyone who watches a movie has the urge to go on a homicidal killing spree.

In conclusion I think Wes Craven has made the film for two reasons. I think that maybe he has done it to widen people’s views of media violence. If he was totally against it he would have done something much more radical and powerful. I think it is made so as to offer up more views and ideas. If people watch Scream and believe that media violence is the cause of many killings, then it could widen their opinions. It could also be that Wes Craven is suggesting that there is something wrong with our culture. If many people believe “Riki Lake” and other people like this then something is quite wrong.

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