ENGL 1143 Fall 2018
Formal Essay #3: Horror Film Analysis
Length: 3-4 full pages
For this essay, you will perform a close reading of one of the following horror films, answering the prompt:
In this film, what does the monster represent? What evidence can you find to support your analysis?
1. Coraline (2009) (Netflix)
Some of these films will available at the Reserve Desk in Moffett Library for free check out, or you can find them on the streaming services listed. I encourage you to watch the film you select more than once, as your analysis will improve with each successive viewing.
Your answer to the question “what does the monster represent?” can be a certain emotion, or some broader social fear that is expressed through the monster, etc., as long as your answer can be supported with evidence from the film.
After viewing your film, the essay you write must include these components:
· An introduction that introduces the film you’ve selected, its director and release date, and a brief summary of its plot and characters. (Remember to keep your summary relevant, but a person who hasn’t seen the movie before should still be able to understand your paper.)
· A thesis that presents a line of argumentation about the meaning of the monster in the selected film
· Well-developed body paragraphs
· direct quotes – at least 2
· conclusion – preferably a “so what?” conclusion
· works cited page
Remember that this is an analysis, not a response, review, or exploratory essay. Rather than provide subjective opinions or meandering prose, present a pointed argument that is rigorously supported with evidence from the film (provide MLA in-text citations for quotes). It’s not enough to simply make a claim and move on—you must prove your claim. Moreover, go beyond surface level observations and critically engage with the deeper meaning of the film you choose, especially regarding its monster. Do not rely too much on summary of the film. Keep your summary brief and relevant to your interpretation.
I strongly encourage you to consult the “Conventions of Film Analysis and Interpretation” sheet before you submit your final draft. Following these conventions will significantly improve the quality of your final product.
Finally, do not use outside sources for this assignment. I want this to be your argument, not someone else’s.
Submission Guidelines: Submit the paper electronically by the start of class on its due date. MLA format.
(Note: if you are unable to watch these horror films due to severe phobias, etc., speak to me/email me and we can make arrangements for you to analyze a different film.)
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