For this assignment, we are going to think and write about tropes in horror films, specifically those found in zombie horror. The primary purpose of the assignment is to help you begin to do the analytical work of examining specific scenes, and noting their characteristics. In order to complete the assignment, you’ll have to look back over scenes in Night of the Living Dead and fit them into a broader framework of knowledge. That framework of knowledge in this assignment is called the “trope.” A trope is a convention that occurs more than once in a given genre of study. For instance, in more than one romantic comedy, there is a final scene in which one lover rushes onto a plane at the last minute to convince the other lover to stay. This scene, or some variation on it, is almost something we anticipate when we watch a romantic comedy. In a sports movie, there is often a scene in which the worst athlete on the team–someone nobody expects to contribute–suddenly comes alive and scores the final basket/touchdown/home run. You get the idea: there are certain conventions in films that we almost come to expect to see. These are tropes.
I have attached a link here to a website that creates and archives a long list of tropes from an number of genres. Many of these are tropes that people have accepted to be common in horror, although the list is very long and some of the tropes are rather obscure–items you’re probably only going to find linked on this list. I’ve linked you directly to the page on horror tropes, and this is the page you’ll be working with: The link is here. (Links to an external site.) Read over as many of these tropes as you can, although I know it’s a long list and you may not be able to read them all, all the way through. As you read, pick at least three tropes that you think occur in George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. (A Note: Just so you don’t get stuck in one letter of the alphabet, please make sure that the name of each trope starts with a different letter of the alphabet. This will ensure a bit of coverage.)
Once you have at least three tropes from the list that you remember occurring in the film, write a paragraph for each trope, describing what it is, where it occurs in the film, and what it does for the film (Be specific, noting the time marker at the bottom of the video for the occurrence of each trope, so that I can check it). What is the purpose it is serving? In what way does it make the film scarier? Beyond just being scary, is there anything the trope contributes to the film? (Obviously you don’t have to answer all these questions for each trope, but if you’re having trouble, the questions are there to help you focus your writing).
Nuts and Bolts: Three paragraphs, typed, uploaded as a word document. MLA formatted, 700 words. Remember to cite the specific trope you are referring to from the linked list and to cite the specific time in the film when the trope occurs. Type and save your assignment as a word document. Then, upload the document following the prompts. Do not upload the document in a different format, or I won’t be able to see it, and I will give it a zero until you upload it properly, following the instructions given here.
LINK FOR NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
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