Here are the notes I've made from it:
There are 3 types of story to the horror and science fiction/fantasy genres. In horror these are:
- "Man battles an outside monster that has come to pay a visit."
- These include demons, vampires, diseases, aliens, monster sharks e.g. Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Jaws.
- "Man creates the monster, seemingly with good intentions, that gets out of hand and must be destroyed."
- These include genetic experimentation and inventions that turn disastrous e.g. The Fly.
- "Man is monster."
- These address the wickedness of man.
- Man confronts the dark side of his nature.
- Hero faces the shadow within himself or the evil may be personified or externalised e.g. Halloween, Silence of the Lambs.
"Each of these stories provides a central thrust of action that propels us to the end of the film. Horror thrills aren't enough to make a successful film, those terrifying sequences need to be structured around the central action."
The stories in Science Fiction and Fantasy genre are:
- "An Ordinary Hero enters a fantastic world."
- An imaginary/fabled world e.g. Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz
- Lost civilisation based on earthly reality is found e.g. Journey to the Centre of the Earth, the Lost World.
- The Hero finds a portal/makes a time machine e.g. Back to the Future, Time Bandits.
- "A fantastic being enters the Hero's Ordinary World."
- The creature is stuck, the films journey is its safe return e.g. E.T
- The creature arrives with a quest e.g. Terminator 2, War of the Worlds
- It arrives to pull the hero into its world e.g. Close Encounter of the Third Kind, Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
- "The Hero exists within a fantastic Ordinary World armed with awareness of its Science and mythology."
- The hero needs to solve a problem and great adventures follow e.g. Star Wars films
- Quest Journey shows the hero being manipulated by a greater power, such as gods/fate/magic e.g. Jason and the Argonauts, the Sinbad films.
- These can involve space travel adventures e.g. 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Voytilla, Stuart (1999) Myth and the Movies: Discovering the Mythic Structure of 50 Unforgettable Films. Canada: Michael Wiese Productions. Pages 75 and 261.
I thought that having these as a guide on this blog would be useful as we can all access it quickly with no fuss! :)