The Horror Honeys: Honey Buzz ~ When the Fourth Wall Breaks...

Honey Buzz ~ When the Fourth Wall Breaks...


Once upon a time, "breaking the fourth wall" is a term that was used exclusively in theatre when a character in the play broke away from the action to directly address the audience. Shakespeare used this effect a lot, usually for comedic purposes to inform audiences of character traits they might not be aware of. Eventually, directors starting working the unconventional narrative tool into their films, but it was generally seen in more satirical films. But that all changed with a scamp named Ferris Bueller...




After Ferris, it became significantly more standard for characters in a film to address the viewers: mostly in comedies, as Shakespeare did it, but sometimes in more intense movies to make us a part of the drama. Personally, this has always been my favorite fourth wall break:

Can't explain it... cracks me up every time!
Now, Vimeo user Jacob T. Swinney has compiled a supercut of the best breaks of the fourth wall in film of all time. Now, I love a good supercut as much as the next film geek, but I DO have a bone of contention with many of the choices in this montage. First, when the camera acts as POV for a character, as it does in the famous Silence of the Lambs, "liver and fava beans" scene, that is not breaking the fourth wall. We are a stand-in for Jody Foster's Clarice Starling, but Anthony Hopkins's Lecter is not addressing the audience: he's speaking to Clarice. It's a thin line, but it's a very bold, italicized thin line that this supercut doesn't entirely seem to understand.

So while it does include some classic fourth wall breaks, see if you spot the number of times a POV shot is used versus a true break of the fourth wall. I'm a nerd... so I counted too. Let's be nerds together!