With terror in their hearts: a structural and textual analysis of gender, transmission, and the enjoyment of horror in slasher films and contemporary legends

McKechnie, Rhiannon (2010) With terror in their hearts: a structural and textual analysis of gender, transmission, and the enjoyment of horror in slasher films and contemporary legends. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The contemporary legend canon contains many different kinds of legends, including but not limited to food contamination, embarrassing sexual situations and incidents with automobiles. However, there is a particular subset that involves a maniac (usually assumed to be male) attacking a victim who is usually young and female. I have dubbed these contemporary horror legends. They bear a strong resemblance to the violent and gory horror films I watched in my youth, which I refer to as slasher films. In these slasher films, teenaged victims are butchered by killers who are frequently male. Are slasher films merely using a different mode of transmission to tell the same stories as contemporary horror legends? In this thesis, I use textual and structural analyses to compare contemporary horror legends and slasher films: their modes of transmission, their depictions of gender and their audiences. Why do we continue to enjoy telling, and watching, these horror stories?

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9404
Item ID: 9404
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 172-183)
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 2010
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Communication in folklore; Legends--History and criticism; Slasher films--History and criticism; Urban folklore; Violence in popular culture

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