Scream and Halloween
Both “Halloween” and “Scream” are examples of the slasher genre. “Halloween” was revolutionary for a few reasons. One was because it started the slasher genre. The typical conventions of these films are a killer, an innocent victim, probably blonde, blood, music, and a house in the middle of no where.
The film “Halloween” was not promoted at all, because it was a film that people thought would not succeed and did not have a big budget. Anchor Bay, the film company who created “Halloween” was never heard of before. The same for the director John Carpenter, he was an unknown. “Halloween” used many unknown actors and lot of extras that acted for free, because of their small budget. This film made a lot of people famous. With a small budget of $325,000 to make, this is nothing compared to “Scream.”
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“Halloween” was not promoted at all, yet still is it one of the greatest horror movies of our day. Word of mouth is how, one person would go and see the film then they’d go tell someone else and so on. As for “Scream” it was a blockbuster film that was promoted heavily through adverts, trailers and commercials. When people went to watch “Scream” they were disappointed, because it had been made out to be the greatest film of all time, the way they had promoted it made everyone think it was.
The victim in both films are vulnerable and naive, the killer takes advantage of this. Drew Barrymore who plays the victim in “Scream”, and Jamie Lee Curtis who played the victim in “Halloween” are both portrayed as naï¿½ve young girls trying to act older, this is what gets them into danger.
The narrative for both “Scream” and “Halloween” follows Propp, as the victim is like the princess and is a damsel in distress and the villain is the killer. Both victims play with danger a lot. In “Scream,” the girl flirts with the killer on the phone not knowing what he is about to do. In “Halloween” the victim is trying to act older than she is, babysitting putting her self in a responsible situation that she is to young for. By doing this the audience can relate to the victims more as they now seem like a normal teenager that sometimes do rebel. The victim in “Scream” like the first victim in “Halloween” Michael’s sister, both get themselves into the victim situation by again playing with danger. They are both in a sexual position with a boy. It seems to me they both become victims as a punishment.
The victim in “Halloween” is played by the actor Jamie-Leigh-Curtis who is coincidently the daughter of Janet Leigh, who played the victims in the famous “Psycho” which “Halloween” borrowed a lot of ideas from. “Scream” seems to be a parody of “Halloween”, it’s almost mocking it, the victims Drew Barrymore is outrageous and over reacts extremely. Drew Barrymore was most famous for her role as the child actor in “ET,” because of this we feels sympathy towards her.
Both killers use knives to kill their innocent, teenage victims. Nether film uses blood and gore to create fright; they use emotion and imagination to create it. But blood was used in “Scream.” “Halloween” was made to be naturally frightening, because it uses the fear of the unknown by not showing the killer. “Scream” on the other hand seems childish after watching it once, because we can predict what is going to happen. “Halloween” is a movie you can watch twenty times but still get shivers. The audience feels the killer in “Halloween” Michael Myers because we see him as a child, and know what things he is capable of doing. We hear Michael Myers breathing, and that’s when we know he’s in the scene. This makes me feel like I’m actually there.
The music get louder when the killer in “Scream” is about to appear. These are non-diagetic sounds. These sounds play a big part in both films, but the sound in “Halloween” is used much more effectively when they use the piecing sound it makes the film scary without even looking at the screen. Other diagetic sounds like the crickets are also effective because it gives us the feeling the house is in the middle of no where.
The hand-held camera had an effect on “Halloween’s” success. Also, that was another reason why it was revolutionary because, the hand-held camera was used for the first time. This had a good effect it made the audience feel like they were there. It put us into the killer’s eyes. In both films a dolly track was used to allow to camera to follow the victim, for example when the camera follows “scream’s” victim to the door. The three most common shots in both films were close ups to show emotion, tracking so we could see what was going on, and point of view which forced us to be the killer. These were common in both “Halloween” and “Scream.”
In conclusion to my analysis I believe both films are very similar in some parts of the film, for example the victims they chose. On the other hand the both films are very different in the way they present themselves to the victim, in “Halloween” the killer was more of a stalker, but in “Scream” the killer doesn’t stalk his victims just kills them. All in all the both films were very good, but my favourite was “Halloween” I found it more frightening watching Michael Mires stalk his victims.