d?"\-\Til a<!aJe;:~ci.:il~f~ a~~_i~~nto-unaersfaiiaThat she is, forthe·p~e_8-t:_:r:iLunatta~h.eJLan4e.v~I!JQn.Jy~S-otoo "SteVieot·-- Carpenfer'STlie-Pog, like Stretch a disk jockey; divorced mother and newcomer in town, she is unattached and lonely but declines male attention. 1J:1e f'.~!laj. girl isalso watchful tothe point of paranoia; SQl_allsAfills _gf. danger thafh~r-£ttehfllt!fu!2F~L~E~-~~gi~!~!~ .. Above ail- she is intelligent and resourceful in a pinch. Thus' Laurie even at her most desperate; cornered in a closet, has the wit}o grab a hanger from the rack and bend it into a weapon; Marti can hot-wire her get- away car, the killer in pursuit; and the psych major of Friday the Thir- ', i
40 CHAPTER ONE A survivor goes after the killer of Slumber Party Massacre. teenth II, on seeing the enshrined head of Mrs. Voorhe~s, cai: stop Jason in his tracks by assuming a stridently maternal .voice. Finally, although she is always smaller and weaker than the killer, she grap- ples with him energetically and convincingly. . . ,. The Final Girl is boyish, in a word. Just as the~.J§ noLfully ( ~~s not.:[email protected]~]~J!l!E!n~122tJD; .• ~ny_.ca~:L>!~~~~~~"-in \ ~ ~~ds. Her smartness, gravity, competence in~ 'chaiifc:aTarurDther practical matters, and sexual reluct~n~--~et_heJ ~Cl!Lf~_om]he§~~-r_,girl~~-!t~l~!!y_her, iro~call~, w!t!'t,!li.~~~!17-1'-2.Y§ she fears or rejects, ~!Q_f;_peak of the killerhlmself. Lest we ~ss the ·point~ -iTIS speTied out in her name: Stevie, Marti, Teny,_~ci:µi:~e,, Stretch, Will, Joey, Max. Not only the conception of the hero m Alien and Aliens but als~ surname by which she is called, Ripley, owes a clear debt to slasher tradition. With the introduction of the Final Girl, then, the Psycho formula is radically altered. It is not merely a questio~ of enlarging the figu~e of Lila but of absorbing into her role, in varying degrees, the fu~ctions of Arbogast (investigator) and Sam (rescuer) and restructur~g the narrative action from beginning to end around her progress m rela- tion to the killer. In other words, Psycho's detective plot, revolving around a revelation, yields in the modern slasher film to a hero plo!, revolving around the main character's struggle with and eventual tri- H E R B 0 D Y, H I M S E L F 41 umph over evil. But for the femaleness, however qualified, of that main character, the story is a standard one of tale and epic. Shock ;\ One reason that the shower sequence in Psycho has "evoked more ' 1 study, elicited more comment, and generated more shot-for-shot·! analysis from a technical viewpoint than any other in the history of j j cinema" is that it suggests so much but shows so little. 23 Of the forty- 1 odd shots in as many seconds that figure the murder, only a single fleeting one actually shows the body being stabbed. The others pre- sent us with a rapid-fire sequence of shots of the knife, of the shower, of Marion's face, arm, and feet, finally the bloody water as it swirls down the drain and dissolves to the image of a large, still eye. The horror resides less in the actual images than in their sum- mary implication.
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- Fall '17
- Carolyn Reese
- The Raven, Horror film, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Texas Chain Saw, Slasher film