Tuesday, 25 January 2011


Intertexuality is a term used to describe when certain aspects of a film are borrowed from another film.  It's very rare to find a film that is 100% original, nowadays.  To me, intertexuality is quite interesting because even if one little aspect is borrowed from a movie, it could make another film really wonderful.  Others may find it useful as they may have enjoyed one aspect of a film so much, they would like to see it in a different film again, maybe used in a different way.

Going back to the 1960's, Alfred Hitchcock's famous film 'Physco' was a very original and successful thriller film.  Loads of thriller films have borrowed particular aspects from this film, mostly in the famous shower scene.  Here are 4 examples: 

- What lies beneath
- The stepfather
- Fatal attraction
- Succubus (student thriller)

What Lies Beneath

Most of the film is set in the bathroom, or well the major scenes, and similarly to 'Physco' the woman is the victim, and the same type of camera shots are used, e.g. close ups on the innocent women.  Both films have the men as the killers, which may symbolic of men being dominant characters in thrillers.  Both films also contain the water running which builds up to the victims being attacked. 

The Stepfather
 The shower scene from 'The Stepfather' is almost a replica of the shower scene from 'Psycho'.  Not only is the use of the big knife used, but the way the stepfather was positioned is very similar to where the killer in Psycho was standing.  The way the shower curtain is ripped is also another replica, as most of the same shots were used.

Fatal Attraction
As the others, one clear thing that has been borrowed from Psycho is the use of the big knife and the portrayal of the woman being the helpless victim.  However, unlike other films, the woman as the victim fights back and attempts to stab the guy.

Succubus (student thriller)
I really like what these students have done because it's as if they 'remixed the original'.  Aspects similar to Psycho are of course the big knife, use of blood and the shower scene - the person in the shower is also unaware of what's going to happen.  The dramatic music also only occurs when the stabbing does.  However, instead of the blonde woman being the victim, she turns out to be the killer!  Most thriller films love to portray the woman as the victim so I think it was nice seeing a different approach for a change.

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