7 March 2013
I’m Safe…. Oh no! There it is Again!
Repetition becomes an engine of horror when the viewer allows the constant replay of old fears to creep into their minds. Commonly found in the Horror Film Genre repetition has been used to create a trap for its victims as well as the audience. Creating the allusion of escape, repetition builds up a cyclic feeling of safety and then cuts out the sliver of hope with the return of the monster or whatever is terrorizing the cast. In Francis Ford Coppola’s film Dracula the repetition of shadows and transformation is used to emphasize Dracula’s inhumanity. In The Thing, by John Carpenter, the constant return of the alien in a new form illustrates suspense and captivates the audience, successfully creating a trap. Repetition is a timeless device effectively used by directors to draw in the audience instilling the underlying themes of the film to build a truly horrifying world. Coppola’s use of eroticism is constantly repeated in the film. Gender roles became an interesting tool for the seducing and then destruction of the men in the movie. Lucy, Mina’s best friend in the movie is a victim to Dracula. He pursues her in an unknown wolf-like form and rapes her before turning her into a vampire. Throughout the film rape is repeated; Jonathan is raped and drained by Dracula’s brides and in the midst of passion Dracula almost rapes Mina as he tries to stir her subconscious memories. This dramatic tone brings to light the disgusting act of rape. Only the foulest humans on earth can commit such a deed yet rape is easily displayed repeatedly on the big screen. This repetition mocks the norms our society created leaving the viewer uncomfortable and scared. Here repetition is expertly used to push past social boundaries and the human psyche formatting horror. However this repetition is not only used to traumatize the audience with blatant sexual acts but to also create Dracula’s persona. Much like the Thing, Dracula takes on many forms making it hard for the cast and thus the audience to pin point what the monster really is. When Jonathan enters Transylvania we see Dracula manipulating the shadows around them. Dracula’s appearance at the time is much like a decrepit old man. Again, Coppola plays on the social norms of sweet helpless old people to set up the scene for Dracula’s next transformation into a hideous wolf beast. Dracula turns again into a dashing young prince and the finally into his ancient form on his death bed. The repetition of transformation intrigues the audience for it is something that we cannot comprehend. This is horror! The continuous battle against the unknown is fought by…