Saturday, October 10, 2009

The portrayal of Women in Asian Scary Movies

The shift away from the “submissive, helpless, damsel in distress” character in scary movies is beginning to take place across the globe as well. Trencansky talks about how women are beginning to be portrayed as stronger more dominant characters who aggressively fight against whoever is haunting them instead of waiting for a man to save her.  Two Asian movies, Shutter (which was adapted into an American film) and Alone embody dominant female characters, just like in Friday the 13th  and Nightmare on Elm Street.

            Shutter was about a couple who notice that strange images keep appearing in the pictures that they take; the main female character determinedly goes on a discovery to find out what these strange images mean and comes to discover that it is actually the image of a ghost. After a lot of digging, she finds out that the ghost who is haunting them is a girl that her husband and some of his friends had harassed and murdered a few years ago. This woman is a portrayal of the “Final Girl” who actively solves the problem and prevents this ghost from further haunting them. She is clearly a female who has “refused her assigned subordinate role” (68) by leaving her husband after she realizes what he has done and he is sent away to a mental institute. The woman who is haunting them, however, embodies a more submissive role as she is subject to harassment by three strong men. She comes back to haunt them because of this, proving that ghosts are psychologically disturbed.

            Alone was another thriller which was released in Asia but not in the U.S yet. The main character is female and she is being haunted by a ghost and actively goes on an excursion to find out who it is. Her “masculine interest” does seem to compromise her gender, as she has boy short hair and isn’t married. Her “Smartness, gravity, and competence” seems to make her “boyish” (67). She figures out in the end that the person who is haunting her is her twin sister that died a few years ago. The sister came back to haunt her also due to psychological issues, basically her twin actually killed her. 

No comments:

Post a Comment