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Slasher film

The slasher film is a sub-genre of the horror film, also referred to as a splatter film. Typically, a masked, psychotic person stalks and graphically kills teenagers who are away from adult supervision.

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. (Although Tobe Hooper[?]'s Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) could be seen as the true origin of the form.) The simple plots, minimal special effects and potent combination of sex and violence made it an easy choice for low-budget filmmaking in the 1980s.

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.

The slasher genre broke into the mainstream in the 1990s, being extensively parodied in Wes Craven's Scream trilogy, but with also many "straight" imitators.



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