Characteristics of the Postmodern Horror Film
In our world today, box offices are flooded with giddy teenagers seeking a thrill from horror movies. Horror movies date back all the way to the 1890’s so what is it exactly that keeps viewers wanting more? According to Isabel Cristina Pinedo, there are four key elements to the success of the contemporary horror film. Today’s successful films constitute a violent disruption of the everyday world, transgress and violate boundaries, throw into question the validity of rationality, and repudiate narrative closure. The movie Final Destination (2000) is a more recent horror film that consists of three out of four of Pinedo’s elements. While the movie does not apply to all four elements, the characteristics of the three present are strong enough to allow the film to still be considered a horror film. Final Destination is loaded with scare tactics that closely resemble the characteristics described by Pinedo. The film is based off of a series of deaths that are unexplainable and unpredictable, matching the first element of characteristics of the postmodern horror, “horror constitutes a violent disruption of the everyday world” (Pinedo 17). More specifically relating to this element are the mysterious tragedies that take place throughout Final Destination. In this film death comes at random times violating “our assumption that we live in a predictable, routinized world by demonstrating that we live in a minefield” (18). Death is just that, a minefield. The characters feel they have no control over their lives because while Alex, the main character, figures out that there is an order to these deaths, nobody is certain exactly when their time will come. Also contributing to the students’ constant fear is the way the deaths are occurring. One boy, Todd slips in the bathroom and is accidentally hung from the shower clothesline, another girl, Terry, is hit in the middle of town by a speeding bus, and a teacher is killed from an...
Cited: Final Destination. James Wong. New Line Cinema, 2000. Film.
Pinedo, Isabel Cristina. Recreational Terror. Albany: State U of New York P, 1997. Print.
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