Monday, August 5, 2013

The Survivor of a Slasher Flick in Middle Age

I'm thrilled to have my poem, The Survivor of a Slasher Flick in Middle Age, up on Gerald So's Crime Poetry Weekly: The 5-2.

It's my ode to "the final girl," the lone female survivor of the horror flick, epitomized by Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode in Halloween.

"The one character of stature who does live to tell the tale is in fact the Final Girl. She is introduced at the beginning and is the only character to be developed in any psychological detail. We understand immediately from the attention paid it that hers is the main story line. She is intelligent, watchful, levelheaded; the first character to sense something amiss and the only one to deduce from the accumulating evidence the pattern and extent of the threat; the only one, in other words, whose perspective approaches our own privileged understanding of the situation. We register her horror as she stumbles on the corpses of her friends. Her momentary paralysis in the face of death duplicates those moments of the universal nightmare experience—in which she is the undisputed “I"—on which horror frankly trades. When she downs the killer, we are triumphant. She is by any measure the slasher film’s hero. This is not to say that our attachment to her is exclusive and unremitting, only that it adds up, and that in the closing sequence (which can be quite prolonged) it is very close to absolute."

-- Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film, 1992, Carol J. Clover

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