American Horror Films: The Birds And The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

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The 1960s and 1970s were two of cinema’s most interesting decades. They were decades where directors started experimenting with and breaking apart classical expectations of generic film approaches. From these two decades, came horror films that showcased no classical moral or psychological clarities; there were no happy endings, explanations, or concern to victims. In previous decades, horror films intensively focused around monsters of science, monsters that were unlikely to be seen infecting or attacking everyday folks. But horrifyingly in the 1960s and 1970s, the audience never knew why monsters were attacking civilization. The monsters of savagery came out of nowhere and were a compilation of daily anxiety, attacking ordinary people that…show more content…
The Birds, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, creates a horrifying situation in a town out of everyday animals seen in civilization. The source of horror in the film is, at the same time as Melanie Daniels, the leading female, arrives in Bodega Bay, birds that suddenly, inexplicably, convert and start attacking people. Bodega Bay, being a charming coastal town near San Francisco, becomes the host to savagery through unpredictable circumstances. Standing over the film in its entirety is the perplexing “why” to what is happening, creating far more anxiety and unease than do any of the actual, individual attacks. The film has a scene where everyone tries to offer up an explanation as to why these attacks are happening, some considering pollution or Melanie as the cause, but Hitchcock neither confirms nor denies any of the accusations. The savagery of the bird’s attacks in the picturesque setting of Bodega Bay bring together specific oppositional value systems, becoming the meeting point that creates the horror of the film, one that makes the viewer think that birds could attack their own quaint town. The ending, where the viewer believes the conflict will be…show more content…
The film focuses on five friends that travel into a tiny, rural town in Texas, where they run across a cannibalistic family, but in particular a strong, chainsaw-using, savage character, referred to as “Leatherface”. Leatherface has earned his name for his tattered, inelegantly sewn leather mask. Tobe Hooper from the very beginning of making the film pretended that the movie was a true story and that everything audiences see onscreen has happened to real people. The idea that the film was a true story created a cloud of horror and anxiety over everyday civilization. The setting was a small town in Texas, one that could easily be similar to the audiences and similarly to Bodega Bay in The Birds, creating raw realism for the viewer. Death in the film comes unexpectedly, often, and with maximum brutality, such as one character being hung from the skin on his back on a hanging meat hook. The film is memorable in the viewer’s eyes due to these animalistic images of savagery from Leatherface, and all of his infamous murders using a chainsaw, creating a sound that the audience will forever fear. The horror and savagery Leatherface establishes is the horror of real world violence, which often happens abruptly and without warning. Leatherface throughout the film makes it clear to

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