The definition of meta, is something that is reflected in itself, or self-referencing of itself in something. It also has to deal with something that is aware of itself. Meta-horror is a horror that self-references itself in the movie, or a horror book. Another concept of meta-horror, is that the characters are going to know how the movie is going to play out, even if they don’t know or think that they are in the movie. In this paper, I will be discussing the two movies I watched in the metahorror genre, You’re Next by Adam Wingard and New Nightmare by Wes Craven.
I will talk about two main points, the first being how the two movies show meta horror similarly. Secondly, I will discuss how they discuss and show meta horror in different ways. These movies expressed horror in their own ways, but also in the same ways as movies from the past. You’re Next is American slasher movie directed by Adam Wingard, from 2011. It is about a family who is coming together for a reunion, but some of the characters plotted a nasty surprise for the rest of the family.
The family union was abruptly invaded by a group of assailants, that until the end of the movie, e didn’t know were hired by some of the family to kill the father, mother, and the next in kin, who would then inherit the family fortune and real estate. Little did the assailants know that one member of the family was the most talented killer out of all them. She ended up the being the only survivor of the whole invasion. New Nightmare is also an American Slasher movie directed by Wes Craven from 1994. The movie is about Freddy’s revenge on the cast of the previous Nightmare movies.
Freddy come back from the dead to plot his revenge and haunt the previous casts nd main characters of the six other movies before this. At the end of the movie, Wes Craven suggests that Freddy is a supernatural entity that was drawn to his films because they were about him. At the end of the movie, just like a couple of the other Nightmare movies, Heather (the main character of this movie) and her son fall asleep to confront Freddy in his secret realm. Heather and her son, Dylan, team up to kill Freddy.
The last scene of the movie shows us Heather and Dylan reading a script of Wes Craven’s next movie, which ended up being the script for this movie. Heather thought that she was just living out her life, but in reality she was staring in a movie. How are the two movies similar? The first simple answer is that both of the movies are meta-horror movies. They both show meta-horror in some of the same ways. A big concept of meta horror is the disappearing of the main antagonist, the character makes a showing and just as something is about to happen, they suddenly disappear and there is seemingly no trace of them.
An example of this from You’re Next is near the beginning of the movie, one of the main characters was cavenging for tools to defend themselves, and all of a sudden one of the attackers came through the window with a knife. The character then reacts with stabbing the assailant with a knife that she found from the draw, as she turns to get another weapon, the assailant suddenly disappears as she turns and around there is not a trace of him. This happens many times during the course of the movie. Another scene that uses this same concept happens during the middle of the movie.
The mother was mourning the loss of her daughter who had just een killed by the barbed hanging wire right outside of the main front door. While she was crying, one of the assailants sneaks out from under the bed and then proceeds to kill the mother by stabbing her in the face. As she gets stabbed, she screams, and the whole family runs upstairs to find out what happened right away, when the family gets there, they find no assailant and proceed to find written in her blood on the wall right next to her “YOU’RE NEXT”. There were many of these scenes in New Nightmare, one that stood out to me, happened later in the ovie.
After Heathers husband had been killed by the claw that was from Freddy Kruger in the old movies, she was sleeping and as she was having a nightmare, we see that the claw-hand was tearing through sheets and slowing coming up upon her, as she snapped out the dream she was having, the claw that was hanging over her and about to kill her, all of a sudden disappeared. The two movies used a couple of the main concepts that meta-horror is known for, but they were also completely different. How were the two movies different from each other? The two ovies actually had very little in common with each other from the concept of being meta-horror.
You’re Next resembled very little of what most meta horror movies are. Most of the time we see that the characters are predicting what is going to happen to later on in the movie, or they make sudden references that do the same. Also other metahorror movies have a certain element of control to them, an outside force is the primary reason for things happening, a famous example of this is The Cabin in the Woods, the whole movie and everything that appens to the kids are being directing by an outside force and we just don’t see that happening in this movie.
The most outside control that I can see is the fact that a couple of the family members are in on the plan to kill the family, so that they can inherit the family real estate and sell it to become rich, because the whole family is in bankruptcy. New Nightmare on the other is the prototypical metahorror movie, by one of the greatest directors who made metahorror movies. The movie was not part of the Nightmare franchise that Wes Craven had been irecting for the previous ten years, but rather the film was all about haunting the characters that had been in the previous movies and who were responsible for killing Freddy.
We can tell that this is a metahorror movie, because at the end of the movie, Heather finds a script that had detailed Wes’ next movie, which was what the while movie was. This movie was like the past Nightmare movies though. The end of the movie was a scene that I had seen before. Heather took a sleeping pill in which she was dropped in a secret realm where Freddy had een hiding and she found her son, Dylan, who was being chased by Freddy.
She ended up killing him with a knife, which happened at the end of the previous Nightmare at Elm Street movie that I had scene. This paper discussed two movies New Nightmare directed by Wes Craven and You’re Next directed by Adam Wingard. I gave the plots of the movies, then proceeded to discuss the similarities and differences of how they approached the genre of meta horror and how they revealed it in the films. The purpose of the genre of meta horror is to provide a thrilling and suspenseful ride for the viewers.