Vladimir Propp's 31 Functions

Vladimir Propp, a scholar and literary critic, analysed fairy tales and broke them up into 31 different functions. As our coursework is only the opening 2-3 minutes of a film, it does not include every convention, although we discussed as a group which of Propp's conventions our film would include if we were to make the whole thing. 
  • Interdiction: It is shown in the dream scene that Jess warns Sarah not to ask or wonder what is going on. "I can't tell you." 
  • Violation of interdiction: The first scene (Sarah's death) clearly shows that she had ignored Jess' warning, therefore getting killed. 
  • Trickery: Hannah manipulates Jess throughout the film, convincing her that she needs to kill people. This is made apparent in the second scene (Jess and Hannah talking), when Hannah says "Do you want to get caught?".
  • Complicity: Jess goes along with Hannah's plans. 
  • Beginning to counter-action: This is not shown in our coursework, although we discussed that there would be a hero later on in the film who stops Jess/Hannah killing people. Though this function isn't fully shown in our opening, the fact that Sarah found out and tried to stop Jess could foreshadow this counter-action.
  • Receipt of a magical agent: In our opening Jess has already received a book from Hannah, which is magical. Well, it just contains a Satanic ritual which allows her to kill people.  
  • Struggle: This would appear later on in the film. (I think) We decided that Jess would act as the 'hero' in the end, as she would kill herself, getting rid of Hannah and ending the killings. This struggle could be foreshadowed by a part we have in the dream scene, where Jess is seen running through the forest (her mind), trying to escape, and Hannah saying 'don't leave Jess'.
  • Victory: Jess getting arrested at the end, leaving her alone in a cell with Hannah, realising that Hannah isn't 'real', and is just in her head. Jess eventually kills herself whilst in prison, which ends the murders. 
  • Unfounded claims: The police take the credit for ending the murders, as they arrested Jess, although it was Jess who 'got rid' of Hannah.
We also looked at Vladimir Propp's 8 character types which he found in the stories he analysed. 
  • The Villain: Hannah. 
  • The Victim: The people who get killed/Jess. 
  • The Hero: We weren't really sure, but Jess would be the closest thing to a 'hero' as she was the one who destroyed the villain and stopped the killings. 
  • The False Hero: The police. 
On a highly irrelevant side note:
I need to post this video... I can quote the whole thing word for word, I'm not even joking. This was the highlight of year 9..

Oh, the video has been removed. Just going to cry now, yep okay bye.

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