Beautiful But Dangerous: Appreciation of female characters in horror films
When it comes to Halloween, we must mention horror films, for many of our Halloween costumes come from classic characters in these movies. Compared with many male characters, women in horror films often have more complex personalities and characteristics. Our Halloween series blog has finally arrived with its final article, and today Isopia will take you to analyze the female characters who appear in horror films and feel this dangerous beauty.
Women have more unique personality traits than men
Women’s personality traits are different and are more fragile, delicate, and sensitive than men’s, allowing them to perform better in horror movies. First, horror films must be able to convey horror information through environmental rendering and character portrayal, making the audience feel terror. Secondly, through plot design and actors' well-executed performances, they must ultimately achieve the psychological soothing effect of releasing terror and anxiety through terror. Here, female characters have better room to develop than male characters because of their personality traits. According to a survey by Japanese psychologist Masaru Hattori, when it comes to female personality traits, people immediately think of three words: gentleness, delicacy, and sensitivity, which are in sharp contrast to the rough, strong, and positive male personality traits. This kind of gentle, delicate, and sensitive character makes women's ability to respond to external things and feel far better than men. They are always sentimental, easy to detect subtle changes in life, and have a deeper understanding of emotions; they are emotional, and a single look can allow them to understand small changes in other people's emotions.
The movie "Black Swan" tells us a story about gradually sinking into madness on the way to pursue a higher artistic realm through Nina, a delicate, repressed, and sensitive female character. Nina was completely hysterical due to her split personality at the end. The breaking point mainly came from "Lily". At the beginning of the film, when Nina takes the subway to go to rehearsal for the first time, she mistakenly sees the "self" in the subway. As for the reason, it is caused by Nina's inner desire for black swans. If she meets people with black swan temperament, Nina will subconsciously attach them to herself. Lily happened to be the only candidate besides Nina, so naturally she couldn't escape grafting. At first, Nina only occasionally projected her desire for the role onto strangers she passed by. But when Lily kept appearing around her, Nina's subconscious occupation of Lily became more and more uncontrollable. The most representative ones are undoubtedly the scene in the film where Nina and Lily have sex and the scene where Nina kills Lily in the dressing room backstage. In fact, Lily in those two scenes is just another personality of Nina. However, the difference is that the first Lily represents more of the desire and acceptance of the Black Swan, while the latter represents jealousy and possession of the Black Swan. If such delicate emotional and psychological changes are performed by men, they may not achieve the effect that the audience expects.
Women's inner sensitivity and fragility have greater explosive power than men's
Men's personality often makes them not pay attention to experiencing emotions in detail. For example, the expression of friendship between men is more direct than that of women, when conflicts and dissatisfactions arise, they usually speak or express them directly, and there is not much psychological change process. It is also difficult for them to understand the subtle emotional changes in the characters' hearts. On the other hand, in traditional social norms, women are allowed to show their weak side, so the strong fear shown by women in horror films can deeply affect the audience. American psychologist Franks believes that in our culture, girls are socialized into emotional roles that need to express fear, while boys are encouraged to be independent and self-reliant.
Horror movies are movies that "creepy the audience", that is, movies that make the audience's soul tremble. When men are afraid of scary events but cannot express them, female characters become better interpreters of people's reactions to horrific events in horror movies. A great way to react strongly, show fear, and ignite the audience's mood. For example, in "The Shining", the writer's wife's face is distorted with horror, and her eyes are filled with fear when she is being chased; for example, in "The Exorcist", when the girl's mother faces her daughter being possessed by the devil, the fragility and helplessness of a woman and the strength and bravery of a mother are superimposed and integrated.
Female images in horror films have unique aesthetic significance
In addition to appearing as victim images, many carriers of horror images are unique to women, and the process from the beauty of the female image to its destruction in horror movies has a unique aesthetic significance: that is, it has a strong tragic effect. A life that was originally fresh, beautiful, and weak became extremely powerful and terrifying after being filled with resentment after experiencing unreasonable and unfair treatment. The more beautiful something is, the more unbearable it is after it is broken. Whether it is a beautiful appearance or a beautiful emotion. The original beautiful face, and gentle character, all changed when she turned into a fierce ghost with resentment. Her face was no longer beautiful but pale, and her eyes were no longer gentle but filled with a fierce light of hatred, even the long hair turned into something terrifying.
The audience uses the picture to judge its danger through the inner value scale, which will produce a strong sense of crisis, which is a source of psychological terror. In fact, not only women but also the elderly and children, who are also vulnerable groups, also play the role of horror in the film. Children are more vulnerable than adults in the real world, but they tend to be more powerful in thrillers. Because children are the most innocent and kind-hearted beings in our impressions, when they turn into evil things, it will form a huge contrast with the impression of reality. This kind of distortion that violates cognition can even trigger tremors deep in the heart. If the two identities of a woman and a child appear at the same time, the impact will be even stronger. For example, the evil little girl in "Orphans" reveals her true face of evil, which makes the whole family who adopts her uneasy, and makes the people in front of the screen shudder at it.
And what's scarier than a weird little girl?
of course. . . two! Many people have different understandings of what the pair of little girls in "The Shining" symbolize, but in my opinion, their “appearance” is "scary" enough.
Now, after reading the series of blogs, you must have already planned your Halloween theme makeup this year, right? Whether you want to be a “crazy swan” or a “shining girl”, it's up to you to decide.