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Thursday, 12 July, 2001, 06:05 GMT 07:05 UK
Student investigates scary Buffy
Buffy: Part of a thesis on screen fear
A postgraduate student is planning to spend the next six years watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer videos as part of a thesis on screen monsters.

I will have to watch hours of videos back to back - it's a hard life

Ian Stratton
As part of his PhD thesis Ian Stratton, 24, from Bath in the UK will sit through hours of his favourite horror movies and scary TV series.

"I will have to watch hours of videos back to back. It's a hard life," said the part-time arts and humanities student, who is studying at Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education.

"As well as watching lots of videos, I will be reading very thick, dusty books on theoretical psychoanalysis by Freud as you can't really do one without the other," he added.

Stratton has until 2007 to research the psychology behind fictional monsters.

"My main topic of interest will be monsters in film and television over the last decade and researching why civilised 21st century society still needs these creatures," he said.

Hannibal: A more human kind of monster
"I want to find out about different kinds of monsters, from the bug-eyed kind in classic 1950s films to the more human kind like Hannibal Lecter.

"I have also been reading Gothic literature like Frankenstein. It reflects social and cultural issues at the time as Frankenstein was a reaction against science.

"I am particularly interested in Buffy as it has got some good, very real characters who do amazing things for the greater good.

"I like the TV series because the good guys don't always win - and besides anything, it's got great special effects."

Stratton graduated from the Gloucestershire college a year ago with a first in media communications.

He lists his top five scary films and TV shows as:

  • 1. Halloween - "Jamie Lee Curtis can't be beaten."
  • 2. Silence of the Lambs - "The scariest monster is the kind that could be sitting next to you in the cinema."
  • 3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer - "It looks fantastic."
  • 4. Angel - "The darker spin-off from Buffy."
  • 5. Dr Who - "I remember how much those plastic creatures terrified me as a seven-year-old."

See also:

04 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Buffy draws children to witchcraft
23 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Buffy swoops onto new network
28 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Buffy episode 'too explicit'
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