Sunday, 3 April 2011

Evaluation Q2 - Representations of social groups

Main character from 'The Orphan'
      In films, particually thriller/horror films, if there is a fued between two people, it's stereotypical for a male to portray the role as the 'villian' and a female to portray the role as a 'victim'.  For example, if there is a killer involved, it's a very high chance that the killer will be a male.  We challenged this stereotype of representations by making the 'baddie' a female charcter.  This is different to many other films, especially the one we're focused on 'The Stepfather'.  However, there has been quite a few films that have used a female villians such as 'The Orphan', 'Kill Bill', the student thriller 'Succubus', and the upcoming film 'Sucker Punch'.  Adding on to that, in our title sequence, the villian's face wasn't revealed until the end of the sequence, which is another representation of a distinctive yet secretive 'baddie'.  Again, it was different and it was a risk-take, but it allowed us to think differently and explore our creativity. 
5 characters in the lift in film 'Devil'
     Despite the differences, both thriller openings have one thing in common: the representation of the false identity they begin with.  With thriller films, it's very common for one character to be 'undercover', or in other words not reveal who they really are, and one example of this is the 2010 thriller film Devil.  The film is about 5 people being stuck in a lift, and one of them is the devil.  I've blogged about this before, but the person who turns out to be the devil is totally unexpected, and wasn't who they said they were at the start of the film.  Similarly, in 'The Stepfather', the step-family are being lied to and are not aware of the step-father's real identity.  At both the start and the end of the film, he changes his appearance, which then allows him to look for somebody to fall into his trap.  The representation of false identities is automatically effective as it creates tension, suspense, curiousity, and interest.

Below are four shots I thought were effective for the representation of identity changes:

The Stepfather before changing his appearance

The Stepfather after appearance change

The female villian before changing her appearance
Female villian after appearance has changed

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