Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The slasher film is a sub-genre of the horror genre and is also known as a splatter film. Typically, a masked, psychotic person stalks and graphically kills teenagers who are away from adult supervision. Slashers are often followed by multiple sequels which steadily decline in quality and fan interest.
The genre may have had its origins in three early 1960's horror films, Michael Powell's Peeping Tom, Herschell Gordon Lewis ' Blood Feast, and, most notably, Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Another early example can be seen in a sequence in Mario Bava's Reazione a catena (1971, known by a dozen titles in English, including Carnage and Twitch of the Death Nerve) and Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974).
However, the two prototypical examples of the genre were John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) and Sean Cunningham 's Friday the 13th (1980), both of which spawned numerous sequels and even more imitators. Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) also generated an enduring series.
Carol J. Clover , in her book Men, Women and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film, identified what she called the Final Girl trope, the heroic young woman who ultimately survives and defeats the Killer (at least until the sequel). The Final Girl almost invariably has an androgynous name (e.g. Teddy, Billie, Georgie, Sydney) and does not partake of the sex and drugs the other teenagers do. Often, she has shared history with the Killer. Also exploring the history of the slasher film is Mikita Brottman in her book Offensive Films : Toward an Anthropology of Cinema Vomitif.
The slasher genre resurfaced into the mainstream in the 1990s, being extensively deconstructed in Wes Craven's Scream trilogy and parodied in Keenen Ivory Wayans' Scary Movie series, but with also many "straight" imitators.
Famous slasher movies
- I Know What You Did Last Summer & I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
- A Nightmare On Elm Street
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
- Urban Legend &
- High Tension
- Friday the 13th
- Freddy vs. Jason
- Child's Play
- Black Christmas
- Prom Night
- Terror Train
- Sleepaway Camp
- The Hills Have Eyes
- Silent Night, Deadly Night
Parodies of slasher movies
- Scream, Scream 2 & Scream 3
- Scary Movie
- Saturday the 14th
- Shriek if You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th
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