Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry Share Flag Next Entry
cap, captain miss america

2) liret didn't get birthday art because she was away for her birthday. I remedy that NOW.

Finally, for the thing I mention in the video and sexist fucking assholes at movies.

The premise of the movie is that the three male characters raped a young woman who subsequently killed herself and comes back for undead revenge.

At the end, when she goes after the last guy, who did not rape her, but drugged her and took photos of the woman, who was his girlfriend, while his two friends raped her, a man in the audience said, very loudly, "What a fucking crazy bitch."

I was like, WTF. Seriously. WTF. Hello. Um. Rape?

On that note, I've been thinking about the Final Girl phenomenon a lot tonight. More on that later. Why is it that women are so often the protagonists of horror stories? I'm not sure. I am trying to figure out what it has to do with gender stereotypes. I know a lot of people cite Halloween when they talk about the origins of final girls, but you see the makings of them in characters before that-- the two girls in The Haunting of Hill House-- jeeze, even The Turn of the Screw has a proto-Final-Girl.

I'm sure smarter people than I have have written smarty pants stuff about it. Any recs?

  • 1

I need to figure out how to get that on a t-shirt.

My zombie pony is coming to me in the mail!


<---- you should submit this and maybe the John Adams. Or more.

That's true about horror movies; "Texas Chain Saw", "the Shining" (the mom)... I guess the mom lives in "Exorcist", so maybe that too. Speaking of which, how did "Halloween" even get that popular? It was pretty bad. ALL SLUTS DIE.

Well, Halloween is usually cited as the 'original' Final Girl movie. And the All Sluts Die thing is part of the Final Girl mythos-- there are two main types of Final Girls-- the sweet, innocent, virginal one, and the tough girl who can kick the guys' asses. Buffy in the original movie is kind of a combination of the two.

I guess it's the whole good against evil. The symbol of a teenaged girl, who is usually seen as being more innocent than a boy the same age, is very powerful. That whole cusp of being a woman, being helpless, gentle, and pure having to take on something horrible and evil... often with the implications of rape in addition to being killed. It's like Snow White is fighting monsters.

Oh, I'm not just talking about teenaged girls. I'm talking women in general. Shutter & The Ring both have older women as protagonists: Shutter has a married woman, The Ring has a mother. The Descent has a married woman as well. Ripley in Alien and the mother in The Shining are hardly sweet, nubile teenaged girls, either, so this isn't a new change to the genre.

True... it's still the idea of the woman being the weaker sex tho. And a mother still has the sense of untouchable or sacred.

Yeesh! O.o What theater do you go to? There's always assholes when you go. What wankers.

I think it's easier for the guys making movies to watch a girl running and screaming and getting tortured than a dude, because, y'know. Boys don't cry.

Lunacy. -.-

But Final Girls don't cry either! Or rarely cry!

Oh yeah about movies.

I think part of it may be that people react more strongly when it's women being threatened? Because no matter how tough or competent they are, people are going to see them as vulnerable. This also lets you have an ass-kicking, smart main character without letting the audience decide that since the main character is smart and ass-kicking they're obviously going to kill the bad guys so things aren't scary any more - if you have a guy character who's too tough, it sort of would turn into Rambo vs. the Undead, but there's never really a risk of that with a girl.

Why is it that women are so often the protagonists of horror stories? I'm not sure. I am trying to figure out what it has to do with gender stereotypes.

Because they're all derived from the Gothic novel where you've got your token ingenue who is threatened by men who are after her virginity and virtue. Even horror stories not about specifically that anymore still come from that tradition.

The Final Girl phenomenon?

While the previous posters have put up some valid points, I think there is a much simpler one at heart:

Because a male in the same role would either be emasculated, and thus not sympathetic to the audience, or be someone you can assume will fight back and win and thus the horror will be reduced.

Seriously. It is all gender related. Male leads, especially in movies, are not allowed to be scared without losing their masculinity. That is why male leads mostly pops up in horror movies where they can fight and strike back without reducing the horror. That mostly means zombie movies, since fighting and killing the zombies is a typically manly job for a hero. There the horror is that it really doesn't matter, because they are too many. Same with for example, the Blob, that also has a male lead that fights back, because it is so utterly futile. Or other lethal creatures horror movies like The Thing. No problems with male leads there. They are scared, sure, but they are manly scared with weapons.

However, have a more supernatural/creepy/unfightable/serial killer/single murderer horror and you have to have a girl.

I mean just try to imagine Halloween with a male teenage lead?

In an interesting sidenote, the female lead in the Ring is actually male in the book the movie was based on. They changed it to a mother instead of a father in the japanese movie because the movie producers thought it would be too weird and unbelievable for a japanese audience to believe a man would invest that much interest in his child.

I kind of cheated on this question because I have an answer that isn't the obvious one. & because you brought up where male leads show up I'm going to reply to it here.

Male leads tend to show up in horror films that are either sci-fi (aliens, zombies, etc...) or that involve fighting other people. One stand-out exception is the Alien series, which is important because of the concept of motherhood as a driving force in the film series & it is necessary for the lead to be a female for her to even begin to understand the monster. Men fight the visceral.

It's not that men can't be scared. I mean, look at Hitchcock. A lot of Hitch's best movies demand a terrified male lead being plunged into the depths of neuroses over his fears-- Vertigo, for example. But that, I think, is part of what makes Vertigo believable. A woman would not let that happen to herself. Nor would a woman be victimized in the same way were she stuck in the station in The Thing. I think that's a case where a female character wouldn't be believable.

And what I think it is has more to do with what you mentioned about The Ring-- A man wouldn't be believable not because he wouldn't take an interest in his child, though, but because for a man to be in touch with the spiritual/supernatural requires him to be an eccentric or a priest (eg The Exorcist). Women are given an unspoken power in the collective unconscious; women are closer to ghosts, closer to psychic vibrations naturally than men are.

The Godzilla series is a good example of this. In the earlier movies, where Godzilla is being fought with lasers, etc., the leads are male. In the later, 1990s Godzilla movies, when psychic communication & issues of earth power become important to the story, Miki Saegusa becomes the heroine of the films & her ability to understand monsters on a deeper emotional/spiritual level becomes central to the plots.

I would like to say that the women in horror films and even the gothic novels kiwi_magic brought up above are descendants of Medea, Circe, Cassandra and other classical female figures who have a deeper understanding of the supernatural that the men around them can't begin to comprehend.

Here's some stuff on this topic: http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/gothic/history.html

This is an excerpt: "Their different approaches to the novel of terror, as it was called in the eighteenth century, have given been called by some critics terror Gothic, represented by Radcliffe, and horror Gothic, represented by Lewis. Sometimes this same distinction is tied to gender, with female equated with terror Gothic and male being equated with horror Gothic."

Oh, oops, I actually started a comment back to you before and then had to restart my computer. But that is awesome, thank you.

Edited at 2008-03-28 05:26 pm (UTC)

I think this shows one failing of mine: I have never watched any Hitchcock at all. Why?

Well, everybody loved them and it was considered that you couldn't love films if you didn't love Hitchcock so I just said fuck it and never watched them out of principle. Just like Bogart movies...

You would like Hitchcock. He plays a TON with gender roles and with twisting people's expectations. Vertigo is brilliant because he casts Jimmy Stewart as a specific type of character because he knows that the audience will trust his perceptions just because he's Jimmy Stewart, so when shit gets fucked up, what the Jimmy Stewart character has done is shocking.

I don't think you HAVE to like Hitchcock to like film; that's silly, but if you've not watched Hitchcock, you're probably missing a lot of references and tropes in more modern horror and suspense movies that were originally set up by Hitch.

Bogey is a different story. The interesting thing about Bogey is that he is not at all an attractive man and yet he manages to ooze sex on the movie screen. The character Rick Blaine in Casablanca is such a prototype for so many male characters who came after him that it's important, as are Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, but I don't think you need to be familiar with Bogey's work or like him to love movies. I don't think he's got a universal appeal.

OOps, and after rereading the comments again more carefully, I saw several others making the same points. Sorry *grins*

That was indeed a very visceral experience.

  • 1