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Blood, guts and becoming : the evolution of the final girl

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Kean, SA 2017 , 'Blood, guts and becoming : the evolution of the final girl', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

“The image of the distressed female most likely to linger in the memory is the image of the one who did not die: the survivor, or Final Girl.” -Carol J. Clover. Men, Women and Chainsaws.
“They’re all the same. Some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl, who can’t act, who is always running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door. It’s insulting.” -Sidney Prescott. Scream (1996).
This thesis aims to re-evaluate the changing role and function of the Final Girl in horror film since 1974. This exploration demands both an understanding of horror film as a genre and the historical conditions that have shaped feminist and film critics’ responses to them. It also demands an understanding of the changing horror audience and the ways horror film responds to its own critics. Theory and film do not exist in a vacuum, theory comments on film, film comments on theory and film comments on itself. As the two quotations that open this chapter show there is an interconnectedness between them. The Carol Clover quotation demonstrates how films develop character types that become an integral part of the genre which in turn then becomes theorised as an essential element of the genre. The quotation from Scream (1996), and the Scream film in particular, demonstrate a film commenting on its own genre. Both film and theory influence the development of film: Clover’s identification of the Final Girl has led to the increasing prominence of the female survivor, as well as the development of this character away from her predictable and well-worn beginnings.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Kean, SA
Keywords: Abject, Horror, Hero, Film, Final, Woman
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Copyright 2016 the author

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