23 Dec 2013

SLASHER FILM RULES: Silent Night, Deadly Night

1984 saw the release of Silent Night, Deadly Night, not the first Christmas based horror but certainly the most controversial (because, you know, small children who still believe in Santa may be upset to see someone dress as Santa if they're allowed to watch a horror film.  It is not a film about a small group being killed off one-by-one but rather a random killer film.  So does that mean it follows the rules or not?

16 Dec 2013

ROM COM RULES - Bridget Jones's Diary

2001's Bridget Jones's Diary is based on the 1995 novel of the same name which was loosely based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.  

RULE #1 - The Characters

A:  The Couple - Bridget Jones & Mark Darcy.
i -   Balance - No, the book and film are from Bridget's POV, being, as the title suggests, based around the idea that it's Bridget's diary.
ii -  Opposites in Attitude/Behaviour - Her:  Slob, can't cook;  Him:  Repressed
iv - Occupations/free time involving Romance or the Media - She is in publishing in the beginning then
moves on to television.  He is a lawyer, but the one case we see is based around helping a couple stay together.

B: The Best Friend/Confidant 
Bridget has a trio of friends.  They only appear as a group (except Jude who appears once on the end of a phone in "trapped in a bathroom".  They really offer support more than advice, seemingly only telling her what she wants to hear.

Jude is "Hollywood ugly": attractive, cute but doesn't look like a supermodel.  She's the wackiest of the group, has man troubles herself and advises Bridget on landing a man.

Shazza is the prettiest and most sensible of the group and therefore the least interesting.  Except that she likes to say "fuck" a lot.  Said to be based on the director of the film.

Tom is attractive and a sleazy/slutty gay stereotype.

C:  The Third Person
Bridget's boss Daniel Cleaver, is a relationship during the film which interferes with Bridget and Darcy getting together.  Darcy's law partner Natasha tries to win Darcy but he shows little interest in her.

RULE #2 - There Won't Be T&A

No T&A, so brief skin in one scene, and lots of Bridget in embarrassing underwear.  Bridget and Cleaver have lots of sex, Bridget and Darcy don't have any.

RULE #3 - The Meet-Cute

The in film Meet-Cute is silly parent supplied clothes and unfortunate overheard insult.  However, there is the story of a naked 4 year old Bridget playing in Darcy's wading pool which is certainly used as one over and over.

RULE #4 - Circumstances

An personal attack on Bridget by Darcy and overheard by Bridget and a lie told about Darcy by Cleaver creates a wedge between the pair.

RULE #5 - Realisation of Love

It seems that Darcy realises that he likes Bridget after she embarrasses herself at a book launch, and seems to fall more for her every time she embarrasses herself.  Which is a good thing since the entire film is about her embarrassing herself.  Cleaver does the same, starting, it seems with her horrible karaoke performance at a work Chi-mas party.

Bridget began to realise she loved Darcy when he confessed he liked her.

RULE #6 - The Break-Up
Bridget and Darcy were never really together to break up.  The closest they got was him visiting her for her birthday.

A:  The Reason - Any chance of anything happening after the party were crushed by his fight with Cleaver.

B:  The Event - Her birthday dinner, which was a disaster but was partially saved by Darcy before it was ruined by him starting a fight.

C:  Humiliation - The entire film is humiliation after humiliation for Bridget, the fight really wasn't much of one.  Darcy may have found it mildly embarrassing.

D:  But... - Bridget's dislike of Darcy is based on a previous lie by Cleaver.

E:   The Turmoil - Bridget undergoes a little turmoil because both Darcy and Cleaver are out of her life.

RULE #7 - Separated Forever

At the Darcy's Ruby Wedding Anniversary it is announced that Darcy is moving to New York.  With his law partner.  Which he does.  And then comes back.

RULE #8 - Redemption

C:   The Stunt - When her father is driving safely in snowy conditions, Bridget replaces him as driver and drives dangerously to the anniversary.  This is before she knows he is leaving.

D:  The Romantic Gesture - Bridget does the traditional speech interruption at the anniversary when she discovers Darcy will be leaving the country.  However, embarrassed she tries to cover not going all the way.

At the end of the film Bridget chases Darcy into a busy snowy street in her underwear when she thinks he is leaving her.  Whether this counts as a stunt, a romantic gesture or both I'm not sure.

RULE #9 - Happily Ever After

Ends with them kissing.  The new diary for a "new start" also implies a possible ever-after.  During credits some to-camera stuff suggesting the relationship lasts.

RULE #10 - Sequels

Actual - The film has a sequel, based on the sequel to novel (the novel has 2 sequels).
Spiritual - The leads, RenĂ©e Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, are all regularly leads in romantic films.  The screenplay is by Richard Curtis (regular writer of British romantic comedies) and Andrew Davies (adapter of Austen and romantic films).  Grant previously appeared in Curtis's Four Weddings & a Funeral.


The following rules were followed in this film:   1Aii;  1Aiv;  1B;  1C;  2;  3;  4;  6;  10.

The following rules were partially  followed in this film:  5;  7;  8;  9.

The following rules were not followed in this film:  1Ai;  1Aiii.
~ DUG.

9 Dec 2013

SLASHER FILM RULES - Friday the 13th.

In 1980 the first of the most successful horror movie franchise was released:  Friday the 13th.  While the highest grossing horror series in the US, it is also the most disliked by critics.  Are both of these things because the series follows or breaks the Slasher Rules?

2 Dec 2013

ROM COM RULES - The Film Rules

There is a certain sub-genre of romantic comedy chick-flicks contain meet-cutes known as Rom Coms.  These films are highly formulaic and cliched.  Perfect to a Film Rules.

But first, for a guide to living in a Chick Flick check out the now cancelled Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23's Season 2 Halloween episode.

25 Nov 2013


John Carpenter's 1978 film Halloween considered important in bringing the Slasher film to public attention and has the first appearance of many of the genres tropes.  It may have established some of the rules, but did it follow them?

18 Nov 2013

RANDOM RULES - 10 Rules to Doctor Who

Films aren't the only things with rules.  Television shows follow not only their genre rules.  But each show also has its own internal rules.

Here is my list of the new series of Doctor Who's internal rules...

11 Nov 2013


There list  of rules that you regularly see online:  Horror Film Rules or Slasher Film Rules.  They are rules about films in which a small group are killed off one-by-one and who (if anyone) will survive.  The apply to most Slasher films and a number of other non-Slasher Horror films (especially animal and alien attack films) and even Action and Disaster films.  I've chosen to call them Slasher film rules, but will look at other Horror and non-Horror films from time to time.

These are not intended as survival guide but rather as genre rules to explore.  If you're really just trying to survive a real-life slasher film situation, the following this footage will help you survive (ignore the spelling of "sequel"):

4 Nov 2013

RANDOM RULES - 10 Rules To Tell If A Character is a Supervillain.

See TEN RULES: How To Tell If A Character is a Super Villain part of SUPER VILLAIN ADVICE.

THE FILM RULES - Introduction

Different films and types of films come with rules.

These films create and define genre but they can also make them predictable.  Sometimes it is that predictability that the viewer wants, sometimes following the rules make the film more special when it breaks them.

This blog is designed to test some of the commonly known film rules to see if they are really used in film and conversely to see how closely a variety of films follow the rules of their genre.

A list will be created, through personal observation and viewer consensus (the web, mentions in popular culture, etc).  This list will be blogged.

Then films from the genre will be watched and how they follow the rules analysed.  Eventually, when 10 films have been done how the rules stand up will be looked at.

There will also be the occasional random rule list to keep things bubbling.

~ DUG.