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Film Studies Horror Genre Film Viewing Permission Slip

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Film Studies

Horror Genre Film Viewing Permission Slip

Dear Parents:

In the next few weeks, as we study the horror genre for film class, we will be viewing three R rated films. The first is by director Tim Burton entitled The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. This film received the Academy Award in 1999 for Best Art Direction. It includes some fairly gory scenes of decapitations, however, the gore is not overdone and much of the horror comes from a well-told story and an artful creation of mood and atmosphere. The second film we will watch is Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, based on a Stephen King novel of the same name. This film contains a brief scene with frontal nudity of a woman; additionally Kubrick uses the image of elevator doors opening with blood spilling out to create the creepy and claustrophobic atmosphere of the hotel. Finally, there is one scene in which two bloody bodies are shown. However, the film is widely considered to be a quality film that creates fear through largely psychological means and character development. Finally we will conclude our unit with Silence of the Lambs, “one of the most taut, suspenseful, psychological thrillers ever produced. Director Jonathan Demme's superbly-crafted, harrowing film is dark, moody, somber, and truly frightening, yet exhilarating. The film captured 5 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Best Actress (Jodie Foster), Best Director (Jonathan Demme), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Ted Tally) The intimate and disturbing characterizations of mass murderers were shocking, particularly the character of evil personified - the notorious, cobra-like, intelligent psychiatrist turned psychopath Hannibal Lecter (portrayed masterfully by British actor Anthony Hopkins) and his bargaining game to share information about another wanted serial killer ("Buffalo Bill") with dedicated, fledgling, vulnerable and rising female FBI agent-trainee/investigator Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster). The most compelling part of the film is in the developing dynamics of their participation in a cat-and-mouse battle of nerves, and the many chilling, spellbinding discussions in four scenes between them.” ( However the film is serious and mature in nature as it deals with the psychology of mass murderers. There is one scene which shows a bloody face, but most of the horror is suggested rather than shown.

With each film, we will discuss techniques the directors use to create suspense, fear, and anxiety through their respective films. However, if you are uncomfortable with your child viewing one or more of these films, there will be alternative PG films shown (Beetlejuice by Tim Burton, and Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock and Stand by Me based on a short story by Stephen King). There will be no negative repercussions for any student who elects not to watch any of these films. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at or by phone at 310-457-6801 x202.
Thank you,
Jennifer Gonzalez

Please initial next to each film to indicate you give your permission for your son or daughter to watch the film. Or, if you would rather, you may sign the last line to give your permission for all R rated films we will show this year.

__________My son/daughter has my permission to watch The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
__________My son/daughter has my permission to watch The Shining
__________My son/daughter has my permission to watch Silence of the Lambs

_________________________________(full signature please)_***I give my son or daughter permission to watch any R rated films throughout the year without being notified,

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