Free Essay

Final Girl

In: English and Literature

Submitted By bab036
Words 1732
Pages 7
Bronson Best
Steven Hedgepeth
Composition 1
15 November 2014

Final Girl
The article “Defeating the Male Monster in Halloween and Halloween H2O” wrote by Kelly Connelly, introduces a new idea about women in slasher films. In the article, Connelly states that women in films dealing with slashing, will have to learn and be able to face the masculine traits of the killer to be able to surive and be the “Final Girl” (13). Kelly uses the movies Halloween, Halloween 2, and Halloween H2O to describe the relationship that is used in each of these movies. The relationship she describes is the female-male relationship, which would be considered the male killer and the Final Girl (13, 14). A few traits that Connelly describes that the “final girl” has is that she is never sexually active and she often acts more like a boy than a woman. If she sees something that is not normal or is out of the ordinary then she is automatically assured to go check to see what it is which causes her to receive the traits of being smart and attentive of her surroundings (14). Clover has come to see that Laurie achieves empowerment as the final girl based on her ability to stay alive long enough to be rescued in the first film, Halloween (14). But twenty years later in Halloween H2O Laurie had become of age as the true final girl” by assuming the male characteristics of her attacker, which would be a necessary step in defeating the slasher film monster. The lessons Laurie learned in Halloween and Halloween 2 will permit her to finally triumph as the final girl by defeating the male monster in Halloween H20 in addition to her acceptance of her relationship with Michael, which is the male monster in the films (14). The significance of the final girl is more than the development of a new cinematic character that possess each of the characteristics and because of who she is or how she acts but what she represents is the most important thing. She represents a move toward the empowerment of the female victim (14). Connelly states in the article that Clover explains that the final girl’s assumption of the active/male gaze results not in her annihilation in the manner of classic cinema, but her triumph which depends of her assumption of the gaze (14). The female is able to survive and empower herself through the adoption of the gaze of the male monster in addition to the other masculine traits the monster has. The significance of the gaze, in the light of the patriarchal society reflected by the male dominated credit sequence, suggests a reinforcement of the dominance of the male gaze, Kelly states. The opening scene of Halloween further reinforces the destructive and incredible power of the male gaze (15). As the scene goes on, the viewers can see a couple kissing through the living room window as they hear the distant voices of the couple. The boyfriend finds a mask, puts it on, kisses his girlfriend and suggest they go upstairs. As the camera is viewing the house, it shows a hand going in the drawer and getting a knife. As the killer goes up the stairs he grabs the mask off of the boyfriend and puts it on, which is the first scene of the movie viewed through the eyes of the killer. As the killer is standing there looking at the Judith brushing her hair as she is naked she turns and looks at him while covering up her breasts. But it’s too late then, the killer had already started stabbing her. This will result in her falling to the floor with blood on her right breast where she had been stabbed. The blood will represents a scarlet letter. As in many horror films, Judith had permanently been marked by her engagement in illicit sex (15). Laurie, Michaels surviving sister has many of the physical and personal attributes such as intelligence described by Clover as belonging to the final girl (15).Laurie’s best friend Annie, unwatchfulness and ill-timid usurpation of the male, sexually aggressive gaze that has resulted in her death. Bob, who was Laurie’s boyfriend, death will begin a new trend. The reason Bob’s death is so rare is because after Michael kills him, he stops and looks at him with his head turned sideways, admiring his killing, which he has never done before. Bob’s death signals that women may still be objectified, but now men will be also. Now Michael has took the time to disguise himself before he enter to kill Bob’s girlfriend, Lynda. Lynda thinks that it is Bob and starts flirting with him showing him her breast, but with Michael not flirting back she gets suspicious and puts her shirt on which is pulled open as he chokes her with the phone cord while she is on the phone with Laurie.
Unlike Michael, Laurie is not in control of the violence, she is about to face with the discovery of her friends dead bodies that reveals to her with the full extent of the threat she now faces. Laurie survives her struggles with Michael, but is still unable to adopt enough of his characteristics to defeat him. With the first attempt to kill the monster, Laurie uses a knitting needle to stab him in the neck, but he easily removes the needle as he falls to the ground. Laurie had the chance to kill him when she found his knife laying on the floor, but she rejects the opportunity, showing that she has not yet mastered the masculine violence to defeat a psychokiller. With the second attempt to kill him also shows Laurie’s inability to unhuman Michael through meaningful use of the male weapon. She attempts to use a female tool, nylon stockings to keep the closest door closed that she is hiding in. As Michael tries to open the door she grabs a close hanger and straightens it out to stab him in the eye. After she stabbed him, Michael falls to the floor, Laurie grabs his knife stabbing him in the chest and then she walks out the room.
Unlike Laurie, Dr. Loomis never lost sight of the danger posed by Michael. Dr. Loomis happens to be in the street in front of the house Michael is stalking Laurie. He enters the house, in which he will take on the masculine prerogative of shooting Michael. As he investigates Michael’s death after six gunshot wounds, he looks out the window to see that Michaels’s body is gone. Laurie is unable to achieve the total empowerment as a final girl in “Halloween”. It is Dr. Loomis who is eventually able to subdue Michael, temporarily however. Twenty years later, Laurie will finally have her chance to become the symbol of active empowerment in “Halloween H2O”. Unlike “Halloween”, “Halloween H2O” will feature the close association between Laurie and Michael. The first few scenes remind the viewers of the power Michael has had over Laurie. Every step Laurie takes, she is faced with and must come to understand her own relationship with the monster who has haunted her life and dreams. These early scenes show that Laurie’s familial relationship to Michael and the violent history they have shared are ever present for her and have permanently distorted her view of the world. She reminds the viewers that she is a good final girl, as she stands in front of the stained glassed window reminding her students to uphold the high standards of Hillcrest by avoiding sex, drugs and alcohol. Her watchfulness also reappears in the form of protectiveness of her son, John. Laurie has retained the characteristics of the final girl, but they are characteristics that have been complicated by her history and by the passage of time.
Halloween H2O features two young girls, a brunette who talks fondly about the possibility of a roaming orgy, and a blonde who is embarrassed by such talk. Molly, the blonde girl, remind s the viewers of Laurie, and Molly, as John reminds the viewers, “a sterling example of what’s right.” Like Laurie, Molly is able to answer complicated questions during English class. Also like Laurie, Molly will struggle valiantly against the male monster, smashing Michael in the head with a rock, allowing John to escape. I agree that the movie ties into the article really well, by talking about scenes that happened in both, just like the first murder where Michael kills the boyfriend of the couple in the house that is making love. Also, the final girl characteristics are almost the exact same by being watchful, dominant, and protective. Lastly, I believe that all slasher films have a character with theses kind of traits and ability’s. Halloween and Halloween H2O are of the most prime example of this type of movie, like Connelly explained. A movie series I think of that can relate to the Halloween series is “Scream.” The last person standing against Ghost Face is also a girl who holds the final girl traits. Another set of slasher films that I believe have the same kind of traits is the Friday the 13th series. In this series, there is always a girl just like Laurie, which is aware of what is going on, careful on her decisions, and does not do anything sexually related. Most of the slasher films I can think of are almost always the same, with a group of friends that is getting haunted with this one girl who has the final girl characteristics and has the ability to survive. Alice in Friday the 13th series, the heroines of part two Ginny Fields, and part three, Chris Higgins. Both Ginny and Chris are cationic at the ends of the respective films, and Alice survives the monster in the first film only to fall victim to "him" in the second. The final girl in part two is carried away on a stretcher, calling out for her boyfriend. Moreover, Ginny's adoption of the monster's own strategy, in part two, brings into question whether the final girl image is in fact a wholly positive one.
Works Citied Connelly, Kelly. "Defeating the Male Monster in Halloween and Halloween H20." Journal of Popular Film and Television 35.1 (2007): 13-20. Web.
Halloween. Dir. John Carpenter. Perf. Laurie Strode, Michael Myers. 1978. DVD…...

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