4. Stock Characters
A stock character is a character representing a type. In my chosen genre, horror, a couple of
examples of stock characters are:
The Jock – Usually known as ‘the leader of the pack’ he’s the male equivalent of the popular girl
and he is usually dating a fellow female stock character who is good looking. The Jock is usually
targeted in particular by the the killer, a common way is when he is being cocky or when he
tries to go after the killer but actually gets killed himself. He shows courageousness and bravery.
An example is Curt in Cabin in the Woods, played by Chris Hemsworth.
The good girl – A lot of the time the ‘good girl’ is the last person left to live in a horror film.; left
to face the killer. She usually develops bravery throughout the film and plays are huge part in
presenting a heroine role. Throughout the film she often hides or runs from the killer and
survives. An example is Sidney from the Scream films, played by Neve Campbell.
5. Stock Plots/Situation/Themes
The stock plots/situation/themes are things that are common to happen within a genre. In a horror film these are:
Someone seeing things that no one else can
Warnings are ignored and the people face severe consequences
Deaths of innocent people
People getting tortured
Mentally insane people
Serial killer stalks victim
A group of people are followed and murdered one by one
An example of seeing things that no one else can see is in ‘The Conjuring’, Lorraine, played by Vera Farmiga, sees the demon
spirit in the house through a mirror that no one else can see.
An example of a mentally insane person is in ‘The Human Centipede’, Dr. Heiter, played by Dieter Laser, kidnaps and tortures
three innocent people to make them into his very own pet, known as ‘the human centipede’.
6. Stock Issues
Stock issues are the reason as to why what
happens in the film happens. A few
examples in horror films are:
7. Stock locations and backdrops
Stock locations and backdrops are where the filming is usually based and what is going on in
In the genre of horror the usual locations of these are:
Family/friend holidays villa/apartment
The usual backdrops are:
Dark night time
8. Stock props and signifiers
Stock props and signifiers in horror are usually something that can
always be to do with death, the killer or something that is going to
make a scene very tense. A few examples are:
Car that won’t start
Telephone that randomly rings
Lights that randomly turn on or off
Radio/TV that randomly turn on or off
Weapons – Sword, knife, chainsaw etc.
9. Music and Sound
The music and sound in horror films is usually fairly sacred and they
are used to create tension and scarce on the people watching; it’s the
‘sound of fear’ with the distorted notes. Low pitch music is used to
help build the intensity of the scene. Sometimes there’ll be nothing
but silence and then something really jumpy will happen, and even if
you know it’s going to do so, and you prepare yourself for it, you still
naturally jump. Without these audio features, horror films would just
simply never be as terrifying as they are.
The music and sound to the trailers in a horror film play a big part, it
usually starts of as a happy or smooth tone of music and then gets
more tense as it’s giving you an insight further into the film.