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The slasher film (sometimes referred to as bodycount films and dead teenager
movies) is a sub-genre of horror film typically involving a psychopathic killer
(sometimes wearing a mask) who stalks and graphically murders a series of
adolescent victims in a typically random, unprovoked fashion, killing many
within a single day.
What are Slashers ?
Characteristics
The Killer
โ Every slasher has a killer. He's usually male, and his identity is often concealed
either by a mask or by creative lighting and camerawork. Even if his identity is
known, as in the case of Halloweenโ€™s Michael Myers, he still tends to mask his
face. This, combined with the fact that he's usually mute and seemingly
unstoppable, heightens his ominous, threatening nature. His back story often
includes a childhood trauma (atomic wedgies and the like) that turned him into
the homicidal maniac he is today, thus creating a level of sympathy in the
viewer. After all, the real star of a slasher is the killer, not the hero.
Characteristics
The Victims
โ In slashers, the victims tend to be young, attractive and often nude.
They're typically high school- or college-aged adolescents who engage in
vice-ridden activities: sex, alcohol, drugs, crime, football. Rarely does the
killer pick these kids explicitly because of their misdeeds, but there is an
unwritten moral code in these films that punishes bad behavior. As nihilistic
as they might seem, slasher fans like to know that the people who die
somehow "deserve" it.
Characteristics..
The Heroine
โ Although slashers are often criticized for being misogynistic, they're one of
the few film genres that primarily feature strong, independent female leads.
The heroine is almost always a peer of the victims, but unlike her cohorts,
she's virtuous. She doesn't go along with all of the sexual hijinks and drug
usage, and if she doesn't outright stop her pals from bullying the geeky
outcast who may someday grow into a homicidal killing machine, she at
least feels really bad about it. The heroine is also known as the "final girl"
because by the end of the movie, all of her friends are dead, and she's left
alone to deal with the killer.
Characteristics
The Violence
โ One thing that separates slashers from thrillers and murder mysteries is the level of violence.
Slashers shift the focus of the film from such trivialities as "plot" and "character development"
and instead concentrate on the killing. Storylines are basically constructed around giving the
killer reason and opportunity to do what he does best: murder and mayhem. The deaths are
violent and graphic, and the more originality shown in the methods and tools used, the better.
Weapons ..
โ In a slasher film, the killer almost always uses
unconventional weapons, such as blades,
chainsaws, cleavers, and blunt objects; rarely, if
ever, does the killer use guns. There is often a
backstory that explains how the killer developed
his (the killer is usually, though not always, male)
violent mental state, and why he focuses
primarily on a particular type of victim or a
particular location.
Golden Age of the Slasher
โ The three films most often charged with igniting the slasher film "craze" of the 1980s are John
Carpenter's Halloween (1978), Sean S. Cunningham's Friday the 13th (1980) and Wes Craven's
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), all of which spawned numerous sequels and countless
imitators that endlessly recycled their predecessors' character archetypes and plot. Halloween,
though not the first film of its kind, was the first to introduce the concept of the slasher as an
indestructible evil force and is often considered the film responsible for the rise of the slasher
trend, popularizing many of what would become key elements in the genre. Black Christmas
(1974), released four years earlier, had introduced many of the elements that were used in the
higher-profile Halloween and many subsequent films. Directed by Bob Clark, the film featured
point-of-view shots from the killer's perspective and threatening phone calls made from inside
the victim's house, which would be reused by later filmmakers for decades to come.

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As media

  • 1.
  • 2. The slasher film (sometimes referred to as bodycount films and dead teenager movies) is a sub-genre of horror film typically involving a psychopathic killer (sometimes wearing a mask) who stalks and graphically murders a series of adolescent victims in a typically random, unprovoked fashion, killing many within a single day. What are Slashers ?
  • 3.
  • 4. Characteristics The Killer โ Every slasher has a killer. He's usually male, and his identity is often concealed either by a mask or by creative lighting and camerawork. Even if his identity is known, as in the case of Halloweenโ€™s Michael Myers, he still tends to mask his face. This, combined with the fact that he's usually mute and seemingly unstoppable, heightens his ominous, threatening nature. His back story often includes a childhood trauma (atomic wedgies and the like) that turned him into the homicidal maniac he is today, thus creating a level of sympathy in the viewer. After all, the real star of a slasher is the killer, not the hero.
  • 5. Characteristics The Victims โ In slashers, the victims tend to be young, attractive and often nude. They're typically high school- or college-aged adolescents who engage in vice-ridden activities: sex, alcohol, drugs, crime, football. Rarely does the killer pick these kids explicitly because of their misdeeds, but there is an unwritten moral code in these films that punishes bad behavior. As nihilistic as they might seem, slasher fans like to know that the people who die somehow "deserve" it.
  • 6. Characteristics.. The Heroine โ Although slashers are often criticized for being misogynistic, they're one of the few film genres that primarily feature strong, independent female leads. The heroine is almost always a peer of the victims, but unlike her cohorts, she's virtuous. She doesn't go along with all of the sexual hijinks and drug usage, and if she doesn't outright stop her pals from bullying the geeky outcast who may someday grow into a homicidal killing machine, she at least feels really bad about it. The heroine is also known as the "final girl" because by the end of the movie, all of her friends are dead, and she's left alone to deal with the killer.
  • 7. Characteristics The Violence โ One thing that separates slashers from thrillers and murder mysteries is the level of violence. Slashers shift the focus of the film from such trivialities as "plot" and "character development" and instead concentrate on the killing. Storylines are basically constructed around giving the killer reason and opportunity to do what he does best: murder and mayhem. The deaths are violent and graphic, and the more originality shown in the methods and tools used, the better.
  • 8. Weapons .. โ In a slasher film, the killer almost always uses unconventional weapons, such as blades, chainsaws, cleavers, and blunt objects; rarely, if ever, does the killer use guns. There is often a backstory that explains how the killer developed his (the killer is usually, though not always, male) violent mental state, and why he focuses primarily on a particular type of victim or a particular location.
  • 9. Golden Age of the Slasher โ The three films most often charged with igniting the slasher film "craze" of the 1980s are John Carpenter's Halloween (1978), Sean S. Cunningham's Friday the 13th (1980) and Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), all of which spawned numerous sequels and countless imitators that endlessly recycled their predecessors' character archetypes and plot. Halloween, though not the first film of its kind, was the first to introduce the concept of the slasher as an indestructible evil force and is often considered the film responsible for the rise of the slasher trend, popularizing many of what would become key elements in the genre. Black Christmas (1974), released four years earlier, had introduced many of the elements that were used in the higher-profile Halloween and many subsequent films. Directed by Bob Clark, the film featured point-of-view shots from the killer's perspective and threatening phone calls made from inside the victim's house, which would be reused by later filmmakers for decades to come.