Sexualized Saturdays: Choosing Monsters Over Women

nancyfreddy

Recently I began watching all the movies from the Nightmare on Elm Street series with one of our former authors, Fiyero, who has written a whole series of fantastic posts on these movies. While watching the final movie of the series, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, I noticed that director Wes Craven seemed to be pointing out one issue with the series: fan obsession with the villain Freddy Krueger over female protagonists who have fought Freddy, especially Nancy, who is arguably the heroine of the whole series. This favoritism of a monstrous child killer over a strong, well-rounded female protagonist says a lot about both our antipathy toward women and our glorification of violence toward women.

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The Women of Elm Street: Nancy Thompson

A Nightmare on Elm Street- Nancy ThompsonIt’s time. It is finally time.

Months ago, I began a series of posts in which I endeavored to celebrate the female leads of the Nightmare on Elm Street series. It’s my favorite horror franchise and has many excellent qualities, not the least of which is its celebration of female heroines, so the choice seemed an obvious one. I got through most of these leading ladies in a timely manner, but when it came time to write about the original and greatest protagonist of this series, I found myself incapable of accomplishing the task.

How could I put into words all that is so incredible about Nancy Thompson? How could I do justice to the character who is most responsible for my love of this series and, on a larger scale, the whole horror genre? I was locked in indecision and simply avoided the topic, but now that it’s October and I’m fully immersed in horror and the supernatural, it is finally time to finish this series.

Here we go. Spoilers after the jump.

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Fan Film: Scream Fan

Happy October everyone! Once again it’s that wonderful month when all of my posts focus on spooky topics in preparation for Halloween. Today, I’d like to share a short fan film I came across recently, Scream Fan, by YouTube user ryanhorror.

The short film is based on the Scream series by Wes Craven, but exists in the “real world” as opposed to the Scream universe, meaning that the Scream movies are just movies in this film, not actual events. If you’re not familiar with Scream, get your butt over to Netflix and find it it’s a 90’s horror movie in which the characters are Genre Savvy and the movie itself is very clever, funny, and scary. To many horror fans, it also signified the end of the “slasher” films by influencing following films to be similarly witty and satirical. The movie was followed by two sequels, the last of which was released in 2000, making it the trilogy which essentially began and ended the 90’s horror revival.

That is, until 2011, when a fourth installment was released. Many fans, myself included, didn’t greet the news of another film with thunderous applause. We were led to believe that the Scream story was complete and that it was that rare horror series which knew when to stop. The whole theme of the third movie (since, again, the characters know the tropes of their genre) was that it was the concluding chapter of a trilogy and everyone knew it. How could there possibly be another installment after such an excellent conclusion? I honestly don’t know, because I skipped seeing number four in theaters and still haven’t gotten around to renting or buying the DVD.

…and that’s exactly what this fan film is about.

In this quick movie, the killer is targeting Scream fans who “turned [their] back on Scream” and skipped seeing the fourth movie. The killer is a super fan who cannot and will not accept that the latest movie didn’t reach the success of its predecessors and is ready to punish everyone responsible for this fact.

I’m honestly amazed by how well this film is done. In such a short amount of time, true suspense was created and everyone involved should be very proud of their work. It stays very true to the spirit of the Scream films with a genre savvy lead and a killer who toys with the target over the phone long enough to build tension and develop a connection with the audience before finally getting to the action between the two. Both performers in the film do a great job with their roles and keep the viewer engaged throughout.

Give the film a watch, it only takes eleven minutes out of your day and it’s a great way to get yourself ready for the spookiest month of the year! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to go rent Scream 4 before I get a phone call from you know who…

Scream Ghostface

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Wes Craven’s 1984 classic A Nightmare on Elm Street is my all-time favorite horror movie and honestly ranks as one of my favorite movies of any genre. There’s so much that’s great about this movie (and its sequels of varying quality) and so much to unpack (from the characters to the story telling to the strong women and of course the horror icon Freddy Krueger) that I’ll definitely be coming back to it to discuss more in the future, but I couldn’t let the month of Halloween slip by without talking about ANOES at least once.

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