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Vu 1 Amy Vu Dr.

Lynda Haas Writing 37 16 October 2013 Genre Essay The term genre can often be used to express the different categories in forms of literature, art, and even music according to its specific similarities in style. Moreover, the importance of genre is easily understood when it is subcategorized into sub-genre, where it is essential to define the form into a more particular generalization. (Definition of a genre isnt necessary. Using the articles of Kyle Bishop and Noel Carroll will help establish a better definition of a horror and zombie genre.) In such cases, Zack Snyders remake of George A. Romeros original Dawn of the Dead portrays the idea of this term by being identified as a horror genre because of the plot itself. (A few rhetorical situations will need to be included here.) Dawn of the Dead revolves around the concept of a group of individuals stranded together in a deserted Wisconsin shopping mall all of which is surrounded by an increasing population of flesh-driven zombies. (This does explain that it is a zombie genre, but not a horror genre. Again, I will use Carrolls definition here.) Even so, the broad terms horror genre used to describe Dawn of the Dead can be used into a more in depth complex category of a zombie genre. By all means, Dawn of the Dead illustrates numerous horror and zombie conventions that strongly help it take its identity as a horror and zombie genre. (Too general. I will need to list the conventions that I will be discussing throughout the body paragraphs.) Although conventions are widely used in the story, there are a few basic horror and zombie genre conventions that stand out the most. In every horror movie, the protagonist often

Vu 2 has to defeat monsters in order to progress further into his or her life. Likewise, Ana, the main character, deals with this situation when she is suddenly attacked by her husband, Louis, who inevitably turned into a zombie, and by a group of zombies bounded by her only place of shelter, the mall. In the beginning though, Ana was able to escape her husband when he relentlessly dove in to bite her. Because of that, she began to move on with her life by finding shelter in an abandoned shopping mall, along with a few other survivors. Consequently enough, this resulted in being attacked by a number of zombies who apparently made their way through the secured mall. Furthermore, Dawn of the Dead depicted another huge horror genre by foreshadowing an unfortunate event to the audience. Luda, one of the surviving individual who is pregnant, was bitten by a zombie, but because she shrugged it off, that led us to believe that she, as well as her unborn baby, will obviously turn into a zombie sooner or later. Of course, that foreshadowing was marked by events that later happened later in the story. In addition to horror genre conventions, zombie genre conventions are greatly shown through the appearance and physical ability of the zombies. Snyder illustrates his zombies to be strong and fast, where they are relentlessly driven for human flesh in any way possible. These main characteristics of zombies significantly show how the story in general is displayed as a zombie genre because of other similar movies portraying the same features. Although many other zombie movies may show their zombies to be strong but slow-moving, Snyder uses the movement of the zombies to be fast to create an unusual and strange convention compared to the typical visual of a zombie. (Instead of explaining several obvious conventions, I will need to choose one major convention and follow it with a scene to analyze.) Besides the movement of the zombies, another use of a peculiar convention is the movement and placement of the camera. In particular, we see the use of point-of-view shot in

Vu 3 many different scenes, especially when Ana tries to escape her husband and she stands before the outcome of the zombie attack. A point-of-view shot allows the audience to experience what it is like to be in the characters eyes and therefore, see all that is happening before his or hers eyes. (I should include more film terms to help describe the scene better.) After Ana successfully escapes from her husband, the placement of the camera is placed behind her so that we sense the danger and devastation that she sees. The camera is placed into such a full view that we can almost believe that were in her place. According to Kyle Bishops Dead Man Still Walking: Explaining the Zombie Renaissance, he portrays that the chaos, disorientation, fear, and destruction [Ana] witnesses are disturbingly similar to the initial news footage broadcast on September 11, 2001 (22). Given this, the camera placement is used in such an usual way that it conveys a hidden meaning to what Ana actually sees. Because the outcome of the September 11 attack made zombie movies much more popular, the use of this message creates a paranoia feeling to the audience. In a way, this is similar to what horror movies are designed for: to leave the audience feeling paranoid and frightened. (This convention could be used as the first body paragraph. I will have to include more details and analysis on the scene and its importance.) To further establish the conventions of Dawn of the Dead, the setting and appearance of the zombies are used to symbolize another deep meaning. Horror films most commonly have a location in an abandoned area to connote the feeling of being isolated and alone. In this situation, Ana and her group of survivors are at a deserted shopping mall. The use of zombies surrounding the mall indicates that the zombies themselves are consumers since they literally do nothing but tear down and consume everything they find (Satomko). Additionally, the zombies portrayed are also trying to attempt to justify their existence by devouring the material world, the shopping mall. These zombies are all congregated at the mall for one main purpose: going after something

Vu 4 they obviously cannot get their hands on. The location of the story has a significance impact on the overall message because it takes on a different meaning than what we expect. (The location of the film could be used as the unusual convention for the second body paragraph. I will need to compare it to another film or the original Dawn of the Dead and explain how it sets it apart from any other film.) Dawn of the Dead illustrates numerous horror and zombie genre conventions, all in which it shows how it connects to the overall genre. By examining the different conventions shown throughout the story, we can grasp the idea of how it fits with the zombie and horror genres. These include the location, characteristics of the zombies, and the underlying meaning of a few uses of conventions. With other zombie films being played, Dawn of the Dead shows just how it relates to the many other conventions that are used in previous and following films. The use of the September 11 concept definitely puts it into the category of cultural anxiety because of the resulting terror and fear, affecting our cultural consciousness and mind. These conventions and ideas of Snyder and Romero greatly illustrate how the Dawn of the Dead is exposed as a horror and zombie genre. (I will have to somehow explain how Dawn of the Dead fits in with the overall genre based on the two conventions and how it also reflected and followed any cultural anxiety.)

Vu 5 Works Cited Bishop, Kyle. "Dead Man Still Walking: Explaining the Zombie Renaissance." Journal of Popular Film and Television 37.1 (2009): 22+. Heldref Publication, 2009. Web. 15 Oct. 2013. <http://writing.colostate.edu/files/classes/9951/File_CBDF9810-ABB4-3D7C1F9D8781A24F49E1.pdf>. Satomko. "Understanding Zombies as Metaphors in George A. Romero's Dead Trilogy." HubPages. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2013. <http://satomko.hubpages.com/hub/Understanding-Zombies-as-Metaphors-in-George-ARomeros-Dead-Trilogy>.