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Slasher Movie

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Here, we can see a slasher movie killer in their natural habitat: stalking the Final Girl.

"Zombie movies are about groups: outside, the zombies are legion; inside, the humans struggle to work together. Slasher movies are about individuals: one man is doing all the killing, and only one girl will outwit him and survive."
Sara Bickley, reviewing The Ruins

Movies about near-indestructible Serial Killers stalking attractive young women, a combination that allows for buckets of gore and enough flesh to titillate.

The killers, mostly driven by revenge, are also typically somewhat Made of Iron, at a minimum, and frequently Implacable to boot. Slashers prefer melee weapons that let them get up close and personal with their victims and almost never use firearms. Many are borderline (or explicitly) supernatural, having the ability to appear and disappear as if by magic. The corpses of their victims tend to be equally elusive; a slasher killer can whisk away a fully-grown adult's body in seconds, leaving not a single drop of blood behind, or swiftly arrange all their victims into an elaborate tableau, without ever being seen lugging the dead bodies around. The more explicitly supernatural killers will have powers that range from Super-Strength (all the better to pull their victims through walls), the ability to appear in dreams and attack the dreamers, or other ghostly abilities. Slasher movie killers are always human or entities that were human at some point who have been transformed into remorseless killers and their actions can be seen as pure evil.

The victims are usually teenagers or young adults, all usually guilty of some minor to moderate vice, which may tie into motives of revenge on the killer's part. Once the audience has had a convincing demonstration of their (usually sexual) misdemeanours, they are spectacularly slaughtered. If there's more than one sin or minority to pick from then the Sorting Algorithm of Mortality comes into play.

Eventually, there will be only one girl left standing, the Final Girl, normally the only "morally pure" member of the main cast. With varying levels of luck, learning or knowing how to survive, and, often enough, considerable help from her death battle exemption, she will kill the killer.

Come the next sequel, it will be revealed that the killer was actually Not Quite Dead, or in some cases, inspired someone to take up their mantle.

A subset of the Horror genre, slashers usually also contain at least a few Thriller elements, although the schlockier examples replace suspense almost entirely with gore. They are often considered B-movies.

The history of slashers can be divided into several distinct waves. Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and Michael Powell's Peeping Tom, both released in 1960, are frequently cited as early forerunners to the genre, which had a direct influence on subsequent films by introducing sympathetic characters who are unexpectedly murdered during the course of film, along with pushing the boundaries of sex and violence. The genre also has its roots in giallo films, a genre of Italian murder mysteries which rose to popularity in The '60s and The '70s, best known for their then-groundbreaking use of bloody violence and steamy sexuality. Many famed Italian directors, like Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, and Mario Bava, began their careers in the giallos, directing classic horrors like A Bay of Blood and Deep Red. The earliest American (and Canadian) slashers, including The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Black Christmas (1974), Alice, Sweet Alice, and The Town That Dreaded Sundown, were carved directly from the giallo mold.

After steadily rising in popularity throughout the 1970s, slashers finally exploded into the mainstream in 1978, when the genre's Trope Codifier in the form of John Carpenter's Halloween landed in movie theaters and became a massive smash hit. Looking to cash in on its success, film producer Sean S. Cunningham created the original Friday the 13th (1980), and once it too hit the big time, slashers were here to stay. A deluge of copycats, including sequels to Halloween and Friday the 13th, flooded theaters throughout the first half of the 1980s, from Prom Night (1980) to My Bloody Valentine to The Burning, and just when the craze seemed ready to die, A Nightmare on Elm Street arrived in 1984 and brought in a supernatural element to the proceedings. It wasn't until the final years of the 80s that slashers finally burned out, as the established franchises grew stale and the ripoffs grew more desperate, but it wouldn't be for long.

1996's Scream, directed by Nightmare on Elm Street creator Wes Craven, satirized the genre—while remaining a genuinely scary thriller—and became a big hit. Once again, studios sought to cash in on the film's success, and began the second wave of slashers, with films like I Know What You Did Last Summer, Urban Legend, and Valentine. These movies stood in rather stark contrast to their '80s brethren; good writing and characterization, considered disposable (and usually nonexistent) in the first era, were now all-important, as the plots now focused on the heroes trying to stay one step ahead of the criminals (who often based their murders on famous stories or past events in the good guys' lives) while also navigating their personal relationships, which—as teenage lives tend to be—were fraught with conflict and melodrama. The genre again petered out by the end of the 90s, due to parodies like Scary Movie as well as the sudden tragedy of Columbine and the rise of the J-Horror and Torture Porn flicks that dominated the following decade, but once again, it wouldn't be for long.

By the back half of the '00s, nostalgia for the original era of slashers began to rise (piggybacking on the usual way pop-culture nostalgia tends to be Two Decades Behind), and with nostalgia comes remakes. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Halloween (2007) and Friday the 13th (2009) all returned, and a whole flood of new slashers, both remakes and original movies, followed once again in their wake. Now, in The New '10s, it seems as though slashers are here to stay, with films like A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), You're Next, Hatchet, and Tucker & Dale vs. Evil able to safely co-exist with the more popular ghost- and demon-themed chillers of the decade. Time will tell if it stays that way.

Roger Ebert called these movies "Dead Teenager Movies" due to their focus on teenagers getting killed. Another popular nickname is "Bodycount Films/Movies".

Keep in mind that, while every slasher movie features a serial killer or a spree killer, not every serial killer or spree killer movie is a slasher movie. Films with non-human antagonists who lack a conscience and vengeful motivation, e.g. killer robots, fate, aliens hunting for sport, and animals acting off instinct, are generally not categorized as slasher movies even if they closely emulate their structure. Also note that a slasher film is quite different from a Psychological Thriller, which tends to emphasize the Sympathy for the Devil part using a Freudian Excuse or two (and possibly a few Pet the Dog moments in the killer's favor), and de-emphasize the Final Girl, often killing off all characters. Many slasher movies are Exploitation Films, especially ones focusing on the gore and girls.

Also not to be confused with Hack and Slash video games, which are occasionally referred to as "slashers".

Want to write your own slasher flick? We have a handy writer's guide for anybody looking to do just that.

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    Tropes Applicable to the Genre: 
  • Adults Are Useless: Parents, teachers, police or any other kind of authority figure are either blissfully unaware of what's happening or being obstructive and denying it. In the case of the Nightmare on Elm Street series, they're almost villains themselves.
  • Anyone Can Die: Obviously, nearly nobody is safe from the death by the hand of the slasher killers. Expect decently high body counts and survivors falling further into this trope come sequels.
  • Asshole Victim: Particularly noteworthy in more than enough of them, with enough here and there among simply clueless usual victims in Halloween (the later entries at least) and Friday the 13th; averted in A Nightmare on Elm Street, where almost every victim is made to be sympathetic.
  • Ax-Crazy: The killer is often this, though in literal terms, axes are far from their only weapons.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: The killers in these kinds of films have the ability to punch through walls and doors to grab their prey, be it with aid of a weapon, tenacity, or strength rivaling that of Dr. Frankenstein's monster.
  • Black Dude Dies First/Bury Your Gays: Character who is a part of a minority is usually as good as dead.
  • Cool Mask: On quite some number of the killers. Usually leads to Dramatic Unmask.
  • Creepy Basement: You can always expect at least one death in here.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: At least one death in many of these movies will qualify for this.
  • Dark Secret: One of these lies at the core of most of these films, usually as the reason that the killer is on the rampage.
  • Deadly Prank: Some slasher movies have one of these as the way that one of the victims is killed. This can also be the original wrong that drives a revenge-motivated slasher (see The Burning for an early and influential case, and Urban Legend for a recent example).
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Very, very common for both the villain/monster (after all, there's usually some reason they've become merciless killers) and some of their potential victims (possibly to justify why the killer is hunting them, to try and broaden out their character, or even to make the audience feel like their death was partly deserved).
  • Death By Genre Savvy: Ran into the ground by lesser filmmakers when Scream (1996) made it popular, and mostly set aside during the age of Torture Porn.
  • Death by Pragmatism: You wouldn't have a very long movie if everyone did the intelligent thing and stuck together.
  • Determinator: Both killers and even final girls are well known for enduring wounds and, in any case, not giving up.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: Typical slasher movie opens with a kill or two, and then use the next thirty minutes to establish the main cast for the grand slaughter to come. Since these people are, overall, more often meant to be expendable enough to the audience, they can come across as annoying, clueless, outright foolish, and/or outright jerks.
  • Don't Go in the Woods / Summer Campy: Summer camps and backwoods are a popular setting, owing to Friday the 13th's use of these locales.
  • Dwindling Party: Many slashers begin with a group of six to 10 teen-agers or young college students, often representing a cross section of interests and so forth. One by one, the antagonist (often a deeply troubled individual, but just as often someone who is with an unclear motive, possibly just pure evil) will kill off the kids in the most brutal way possible. Usually, only or two will survive in the end ... sometimes to help defeat the bad guy (usually by luring the villain into one of his own traps or by holding him off long enough for the hero to arrive), other times just leave to feel fortunate to survive. More than once, it is the villain who reigns supreme in the end by killing the last remaining opponent, often in a one-sided fight that ends with the most brutal, elaborate death.
  • The End... Or Is It?: A common ending twist, especially where the makers are hoping to get a franchise started.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect: In movies where the killer's identity isn't known.
  • Fanservice: One of the reasons why the genre became popular.
  • Final Girl: The Trope Maker. The trope was named by Carol J. Clover in her examination of the genre.
  • Follow the Leader: These films tend to follow the path shown by the most successful entries.
  • Gorn: The name of the game in these movies (although some of the most famous examples, such as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) and Halloween (1978), are rather pointedly not very explicit - not to mention how censorship had removed a lot of vicious effects from theatrical releases in films).
  • Guns Are Useless: If you could just shoot the villains/monsters and kill them, that'd be pretty anticlimactic.
  • The Heavy: Most of the films have the killer as the center of the story.
  • Hockey Mask and Chainsaw: Although in references to these films rather than in the actual films.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: These films usually take place on holidays and such.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: It's not uncommon for many slasher victims to meet this fate, whether by the killer's knife or through some other unfortunate circumstance.
  • Implacable Man: Killers in these movies are rather hard to kill, if not nigh-indestructible.
  • Improvised Weapon: To provide creative deaths, the killers will use whatever they can get their hands on to kill their victims.
  • Invincible Villain: An unstoppable killer involves Acceptable Breaks from Reality since if the killer was easy to kill and never got up again, they wouldn't be a threat and you wouldn't have a franchise.
  • Job Title: Some of the more gimmicky movies have a killer of a profession that will provide thematic kills and quips.
  • Joker Immunity: These films have tons of sequels for a reason.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: A lot fans honestly watch to see the killer doing his thing and really don't care much about the actual story.
  • Kill the Cutie: Many slashers have several white-hot nova babeilicous girls ... and they are among those who are killed in the most violent of ways, and the end result is you won't see them lying in a casket, looking like an angel. Read: bludgeoned, disfigured, mutilated, burned, etc., sometimes several of these before the onset of death ... to the point where dental and/or DNA records (if there's anything left) are required to identify their remains.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The killer often wears a mask, both to hide his/her identity and look more menacing. They are quite ruthless indeed, but once in a while they leave a few people alone if they don't feel a need to kill at that time.
  • Mauve Shirt: In enough of these movies, a few soon-to-be-victims will have a trait of theirs showcased, such as a talent or way of acting. It's not unquestionable that these movies' writers could be trying to make at least unfamiliar viewers guess which people will get offed or not. Who knows? - One of them might seem dead and pop up during the film's final struggle...
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Slashers tend to blur the line between fantasy and reality. Even if the killer is an explicitly normal human, his seemingly superhuman speed, strength, and stamina or just implausibility thereof via Ruleof Scary will rarely be given an explanation.
  • Menacing Stroll: It is rare to see the killer run after their victims; they simply walk after them, only to somehow reach their victims when they are about to elude them.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Male deaths are usually sudden and without struggle; it's incredibly rare to have a chase scene with a male character being chased. And in 99% of slasher movies, being male is practically a death certificate, because no matter how Too Dumb to Live the Final Girl is, she will live despite being a complete moron (examples are Friday the 13th Part III, The Strangers, Mother's Day (2011)).
  • Monster Misogyny: The other side of the coin. While men can and do die in these movies, the favorite victims of many slasher killers (and the ones that usually get the more elaborate deaths) are women. The Slasher is often misnamed as a serial killernote  and 70% of serial murderer victims throughout history have been women.
  • Monster Threat Expiration: When everyone but the Final Girl is dead, oftentimes the killer will abandon the tactics that enabled him to rack up the killcount in favor of going after her directly.
  • My Car Hates Me; If you're running from the killer, expect your car to let you down at the worst possible time.
  • No Budget: One of the reasons slasher movies are so numerous is because they generally cost so little to make they are basically guaranteed to make their money back, so they're seen as low-risk (for example, Halloween (1978) only cost $325,000 and made $70 million at the box office).
  • Not Quite Dead: Expect this to happen when it appears the killer has been slain. If a slasher movie goes into sequels, chances are this applies to the killer as well.
  • Off with His Head!: One of the most common deaths you'll see in these types of movies.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: To make seem the killer seem like an omnipotent force of nature, they'll simply appear when needed to.
  • Our Slashers Are Different: The titular monsters tend to follow their own specific natures, rules and laws about how they operate. Some are explicitly supernatural beings or creatures, normal humans, and everything in between.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Count on at least one of these to show up at some point to freak someone out. Slasher killers especially love using previous victims this way.
  • Phallic Weapon: Mileage may vary, but some viewers point out that the often male killers sticking women's bodies with sharp, long objects is a representation of sexual frustrations.
  • Police Are Useless: The cops, the guys we normally expect to be able to deal with psycho killers, are especially useless in these kinds of movies - often by getting killed off or not being informed or believing the situation in time. As always, it's up to the Final Girl to actually stop the killer.
  • Popularity Polynomial: The slasher genre was looking dead in the water by the end of The '80s, though some big franchises had sequels in the early years from The '90s, before it was resurrected by Scream (1996). Ironically, it was a Springtime for Hitler for Wes Craven.
  • Red Shirt: Yes, even in these. Before the main cast gets it, several minor (and usually unnamed) characters will get it early on.
  • The Reveal: Usually coupled with the unmasking.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Most of the killers of these movies are on a vendetta of some sort.
  • Sackhead Slasher: A sackcloth mask will be readily at hand for a rural killer or someone invoking the imagery.
  • The Savage South: Slashers have some tendency take place in the southern regions. Ex: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
  • The Scourge of God: Many slasher killers target the "bad" people among the cast while generally leaving the "good" ones alone for the most part.
  • Screaming Woman: An (over)used stock character in every slasher movie.
  • Serial Escalation: What's an easy way to top a slasher movie with a big body count? A sequel with an even bigger body count!
  • Serial Killer: The one doing all the killing, it wouldn’t be a slasher work without one.
  • Sex Signals Death: If you have sex in one of these movies, rest assured that you will die. Horrifically.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story/Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The surviving protagonists generally don't get any reward for their trials. Oftentimes, their victories over the killers are completely undone in Sequel Hooks, even if the given movie doesn't have a planned sequel yet. It gets worse in that the survivors may, be it for factors like acting less intelligent or running out of luck, be the one to get taken out in the opening to a sequel.
  • Shrouded in Myth: An easy way to make the killer seem larger than life and more like a man-shaped monster than just a lunatic in dirty clothes is to make details of their past a mystery or Urban Legend (ex. Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street).
  • Silent Antagonist: Most of the killers rarely talk, if ever (Exceptions include Freddy Krueger and Chucky the Doll).
  • Slashers Prefer Blondes: Blonde girls in slasher films tend to get offed a lot, usually with more elaborate deaths. The Final Girl is almost always brunette, in contrast to the blonde. Though of course there are exceptions.
  • Small Reference Pools: Judging by the number of parodies that feature the Hockey Mask and Chainsaw trope, it's as if Friday the 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre were the only slasher flicks ever made.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Before the carnage truly unfolds, a character or two might get a peek on the killer spying on the proceedings.
  • Stock Slasher: The archetypal Nigh-Invulnerable, masked and/or deformed killer.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Final Girls of previous movies who sign on for sequels are especially at risk of dying, usually very early on in the movie. The Final Girl of the original Friday the 13th was famously the very first victim of Jason Voorhees.
  • Theme Serial Killer: As slasher movies proliferated, many creators tried to distinguish their films from the pack by coming up with increasingly bizarre gimmicks for their killers.
  • Toilet Horror: Unsuspecting victims may be taken out in the bathroom.
  • Tomboyish Name: A common attribute of the Final Girl.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Some victims just might not be particularly Genre Savvy, but the first victim is usually in a class of his/her own. After all, if the victims were smart, chances are they wouldn't be victims.
  • Trauma Button: A killing spree is usually a result of a potential slasher being reminded of a traumatic event from his/her past.
  • Villain-Based Franchise: Especially popular with slashers.
  • Wild Teen Party: One of the most common set ups.
  • The Worf Effect: Often one of the killer's early victims will be athletic or tough in some way to show one or several things about how effective a killer he is - that he masters stealth and sudden attacks from seeming nowhere, or, in some cases at least, that simply trying to match his brute strength is hopeless.

Slasher Films with TV Tropes Articles:

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Homages, Parodies, Other Stuff Regarding the Genre:

  • There was a Nike commercial where a woman outran the chainsaw-toting psycho during a chase scene. Some of the viewers clung on to the fact that it had a half-naked woman running around and it eventually got banned.
  • Another commercial had a couple pick up an Obviously Evil man because, along with a giant axe, he had a case of beer with him. The guy at the wheel's sure he has a good reason for the axe, and lets the hitchhiker in when he says it's a bottle opener. Then, further down the road, they see another guy with a mask, a chainsaw, and another case of beer.
    Driver: Look! He has Bud Light.
    First Psycho: And a chainsaw!
  • Yet another ad had a masked and machete-totting maniac barge in on a cabin full of partying teenagers, who are unable to emit anything louder than forced whispers because they've been saving their screams for the Much Music Video Awards.
  • A Geico ad mocked the stupid decisions made in these films, with the teens opting to hide behind a row of hanging hooks and saws instead of getting into a running car, much to the killer's bewilderment.
    Teen: (while being chased by the killer) Head for the cemetery!
  • An ad made by Latin American channel Space had an attractive blonde Talking the Monster to Death with a thinly disguised Leatherface, trying to analyze him through things such as Freudian Excuse. As the camera cuts to the slogan "Not Everything Is Solved By Talking", a chainsaw revving and screams are heard.

    Anime And Manga 
  • Bloody Maiden: Juusanki no Shima is a Slasher Movie in manga form, involving thirteen young women slated to be "sacrificed."
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: The series is known for its gorn and oftentimes, the murders are committed by people seeking revenge against presumed wrongs.
  • Kichikujima- Based around Texas Chainsaw Massacre and other movies. Kaoru is based on Leatherface but with powers.
  • Pumpkin Night: The manga follows the structure and plot of one, where a strange killer terrorizes a group of high school students. It does, however, have a very sympathetic killer, and makes various references to horror movies of the genre, like having an opening chapter mimicking Scream.
  • Several of Kindaichi's casefiles in... The Kindaichi Casefiles
  • A rabbit-masked killer locks a group of young people in an abandoned asylum and begins picking them off as they try to find a way out and discern who among them is the murderer in Doubt.

  • Hack/Slash stars a former Final Girl who hunts down slashers. Essentially, every distinct story arc is its own 'movie' — Cassie even refers to the return of Father Wrath (actually a copycat) as a "sequel".
  • The genre is played with in Andrea Mouse-themed storylines from Bob The Dog. Given the comic's style, it teeters between straight example and Affectionate Parody.
  • The Shadowline/Image Comics miniseries Gutwrencher, explicitly stated to be inspired by classics like Prom Night and Slaughter High.
  • Frank deals with a demented cannibal hillbilly clan straight out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre et al. in The Punisher MAX story Welcome to the Bayou.
  • Chaos Campus: Sorority Girls vs. Zombies is a horror Genre Mashup with two slashers named Kurtis Kasey the Body Snatcher and Mikhail the Meat Man.
  • A desperate producer tries to resuscitate his floundering career with a slasher film called "President's Day" (it's about someone who switches between President masks while rampaging through a car lot on President's Day weekend) in The Auteur. Things go a bit awry when he bribes a jury to acquit a serial killer so that he can hire the psycho to be his "murder consultant."
  • The one-shot Batman villain Gorehound went on slasher-inspired killing sprees, though in her crazed personal narrative Batman was "the monster" while she was the Final Girl. Her MO in conjunction with her slightly Gothic appearance made her come off as some kind of evil version of Cassie Hack from the aforementioned Hack/Slash.
  • Even Chick Tracts did this, with the anti-Halloween tract Boo!
  • The Hill House Comics book Basketful of Heads is something of a spin on the slasher story. It has a similar tone and story, with a young woman as a main character, a storm and killings committed with a big Viking axe, but with the twist that the main character is the one running around with the axe, killing people who are targeting her in self-defense.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Boy (2015) is a psychological character study that plays with the "killer kid" variation of the genre, actually showing the budding twistedness of the titular boy. While we see him gradually become more fascinated with violence over the course of the film, only one person is actually shown dying by his hand on-screen, and it's in a flashback filling in the blanks from an earlier point, revealing what he did. Upon this reveal, he creates a crown for himself, signifying his birth into a killer, and proceeds to kill all his victims at once in the last few minutes of the movie by setting his hotel on fire, bringing the body count from one to at least a dozen in a flash.
  • Cabin by the Lake centers around a serial killer who performs his murders to write a more "sophisticated" horror movie script than the usual slasher fare he puts out.
  • Camp Cuddly Pines Powertool Massacre, a porno-slasher notable for sharing its set with Hatchet. Amusingly, the villain's origin is mish-mash of Freddy, Michael and Jason's respective backstories.
  • Christmas Evil is often mistaken to be one, but it really is more of a character study/psychological horror than a full-blown slasher. Nonetheless, many horror fans still refer to it as one.
  • Cry_Wolf is worthy of mention here for being a "faux-slasher". Only two people die. And neither of them really dies in a particularly brutal fashion as has become accustomed to the genre.
  • The Elf: The movie has a lot of the genre's trappings. While the killer may not be a Stock Slasher like most movies have, the killer elf doll certainly acts like one, utilizing Offscreen Teleportation to move about the house, ambushing the occupants and killing them one by one.
  • In Fear, Inc., the eponymous company stages many of its simulated (or are they real?) murders in the style of slasher movies. So much so that Genre Savvy protagonist Joe is identifying specific films as he comes upon the 'corpses' (Friday the 13th, Scream, Saw, etc.).
  • The Final Girls is a fourth wall bending Deconstructive Parody of the genre crossed with drama about a girl's attempt to overcome the grief of her famous actress mother's passing while she and her friends are trapped in the film that made her mother famous.
  • Fish & Cat is an Iranian film that has the template of a slasher film, but does not feature any on-screen violence or death; its scares instead come from the implications brought on by what the killers say, do, and how they interact with the other characters. Director Shahram Mokri states that he intended to make a film about why the bad guys do what they do, rather than how.
  • Freaky combines the genre with a body swap between the standard Final Girl and the serial killer. It's a race against the clock for the former to switch back while also tackling her insecurities.
  • Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers is a ridiculous parody of slashers about Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Hot Fuzz, the second of the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy. It may be classified as an action-comedy, but the film features a cloaked serial killer murdering people using over-the-top gory methods. Add in that one of the characters literally name drop the term "slasher" at one point, and it's clear that part of the movie parodies slasher films, much like the other two films in the trilogy (Shaun of the Dead and The World's End) parody other genres of horror.
  • Pitchfork is about a killer with a really rusty pitchfork in place of one of his hands killing people on a farm during a party.
  • The comedy film Psycho Beach Party is an homage to old slasher movies, and beach movies from the 1960s.
  • Scary Movie parodies the genre, mostly Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. Its sequels venture into other genres.
  • Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th, which also heavily parodied Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer.
  • Stage Fright (2014) is an Affectionate Parody of slashers that's also a musical.
  • Stan Helsing features Captain Ersatzes of various horror icons, including ones from slasher movies.
  • Student Bodies and Wacko predate Scream and Scary Movie by more than a decade.
  • Tragedy Girls is a Perspective Flip of the slasher movie, as our protagonists are two teenage Serial Killers who pick off members of their community for fame.
  • Tucker & Dale vs. Evil parodies the 'degenerate hillbilly' variation on this genre by flipping it; the two main characters are a pair of sweet-natured but not very bright hillbillies who, through a bunch of misunderstandings, are mistaken for psycho killers by a group of college students camping in the woods. Very Gory Hilarity Ensues.
  • Unmasked Part 25 is an existential British satire of the Friday the 13th series, in which a deformed slasher named Jackson tries to leave his life of meaningless slaughter for his love of a beautiful blind woman. It's somewhat reminiscent of The Toxic Avenger.
  • You Might Be the Killer has the dorky protagonist living out a classic summer-camp slasher, the one where camp counselors are brutally murdered by a masked man. To make sense of his situation, he rings up his horror Genre Savvy friend and through her insight, they discover he's the masked man all along. The story is told in unchronological order as he tries to remember what happened prior to calling his friend.

  • Agatha Christie's 1939 masterpiece And Then There Were None is essentially a slasher written decades before the genre was established.
  • Stephen King's The Dark Half, which was adapted into a 1993 film directed by George A. Romero.
  • The Final Girl Support Group is a slasher in itself where the famous Slasher Movies of the past are real and actually happened.
  • There are some slasher novels, like Kill River and its two sequels, Disco Deathtrap, Golf Curse, Slay Bells, Joyride, Deadly Detention, Apeshit, and Under the Blade.
  • Where The Bodies Are Buried and sequels by Kim Newman are about a series of slasher movies of the same name, whose slasher, Rob Hackwill, has a nasty habit of becoming real.
  • A group of phobophages (shapeshifters who feed on fear) attack a convention while disguised as horror film characters (including slasher villains like "Hammerhands" and "The Reaper") in the The Dresden Files novel Proven Guilty.
  • My Heart Is A Chainsaw and the other books in Stephen Graham Jones' Indian Lake Trilogy feature a host of slashers who make their way through a small mountain town in Idaho.
  • Played with in the satirical comedy horror Larry by Adam Millard, which sees a slasher in a pig mask return to his old campsite stomping ground for a fresh round of slaughter after a long time off. Problem is, he's in his 60's now and just not as spry as he used to be...

    Live-Action TV 
  • Attempts at bringing the genre to television include Harper's Island, Scream: The TV Series, Scream Queens, Slasher, and Dead of Summer.
  • The Boy Meets World episode "And Then There Was Shawn" parodied slasher movies. It involved the main characters getting killed off one by one by a masked killer while trapped in detention after school (it was All Just a Dream, of course). The episode came out during the revitalization of the genre in the late 1990s and even guest-starred Jennifer Love Hewitt, who had recently starred in I Know What You Did Last Summer.
  • The Charmed episode "Chick Flick" had a Monster of the Week who could travel in and out of films; he brought a pair of slasher villains, Bloody Mary and Axe Husband, to life to help him kill the Charmed Ones. And in a later episode, Phoebe starts having slasher film-based nightmares in which she is chased around the manor by a lunatic with a Hockey Mask and Chainsaw.
  • Criminal Minds can often feel like one, especially with episodes where the actual stalking and murder scenes are shown. A couple examples:
    • The beginning of Season 2's "North Mammon" where three teenage girls are stalked and subdued by a masked man.
    • Season 5's "Exit Wounds" where the BAU are stranded on an island in Alaska while hunting for a serial killer wearing an Urban Legend-esque hooded parka. The cold open has the killer stalk and stab a woman with an arrow.
    • Season 6's "The Stranger" begins with a woman being murdered by a serial killer with a hunting knife. That in itself is not slasher-like, but the killer toying with his victim by turning on her stereo and then attempting to swipe at her while she blocks the door are very much like something out of Scream. What seals the deal is prior to the murder, the BAU were discussing the aforementioned movie.
    • Season 8's "#6" is more like a Saw film, but there is a scene where the masked unsub uses a remote control to activate a victim's car stereo, then pops up from the backseat behind her.
    • Season 9's "Blood Relations" features a deformed woodsman with superhuman strength using barbed wire to kill people. The episode even ends like a slasher movie with a Cliffhanger where the killer escapes and ends up in a couple's home.
    • Season 10's "Hashtag" deals with a serial killer that bases their murders around an internet urban legend dubbed "The Mirror Man".
    • Season 14's "Sick and Evil" features a masked Psycho Knife Nut targeting people living in supposedly haunted houses.
  • The Farscape episode "Eat Me" is an Out-of-Genre Experience into horror that starts off with Zombie Apocalypse tropes, but becomes a Slasher Movie once its primary bad guy appears.
  • The opening of The King of Queens episode "Prints Charming" had Doug and Carrie watch Slaughter Beach, a slasher flick which had a boy be cut in half by a surfboard by a killer with the catchphrase, "Surfs up!"
  • In Monk, the victim of "Mr. Monk and the T.V. Star" was an actress whose only credit was an in-universe slasher flick called "Frat Party Massacre".
  • Jessica Fletcher is dismayed to learn that the film adaptation of one of her novels, The Corpse Danced at Midnight, is a gory, T&A-filled slasher film that has next to nothing to do with the original story in the Murder, She Wrote episode "Hooray For Homicide."
  • The Tru Calling episode "Valentine".
    Harrison: Can you believe we're in a motel with a cemetery next door, and a freaking psycho on the loose? Can it get anymore Friday the 13th, huh?
    Tru: That was a summer camp.
  • The Sopranos has Cleaver, Christopher Moltisanti's Film Within a Film.
  • Weird Science: "Bikini Camp Slasher" opens with the main trio watching the latest installment of the in-universe series (where a catcher mit-masked killer stalks victims at a summer camp). Even though he's never seen it before, Gary predicts every development, due to his knowledge of slasher tropes and rules. When he remarks he'd like to match wits with a slasher and see who'd come out on top, Lisa zaps them into the movie. They can only leave once the movie is over, so to survive, they'll have to fend off Mittface, abide by the various rules that Gary knows by heart, and (much to Gary and Wyatt's disappointment) avoid two scantily clad, willing women.
    Wyatt: This is your idea of fun?! Being stalked by a homicidal, kill-crazy maniac?!
  • The "Dead Air" (a late-night radio show host is stalked by a psychopath) and "Rest Stop" (a carload of students is picked off one by one at the eponymous locale) segments of the horror anthology show Night Visions.
  • The 2021 Murdoch Mysteries Halloween Episode "I Know What You Did Last Autumn" is, as the title suggests, a slasher pastiche, as a Monster Clown hunts down a group of teenagers, while Detective Murdoch tries to find out who is behind the costume and what their motives are. The following year's Halloween Episode is "I Still Know What You Did Last Autumn", which is set during the making of a movie about the Clown Killer, thereby adding some Scream 2 style meta.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Hunter: The Vigil has... Slashers, who are people influenced by the supernatural into becoming perfect Serial Killers. They range from Rippers, who have abnormal, but still theoretically possible abilities, to Scourges, who are obviously supernatural. The types are: Avengers & Legends, Brutes & Masks, Charmers & Psychos, Freaks & Mutants, and Geniuses & Maniacs. It is possible, though difficult, to play one as a Type IV or V Anti-Hero, targeting people, or supernatural beings, who deserve it.
  • The Last Friday is basically Friday the 13th the board game. Players take on the role of the killer or campers repairing an old, abandoned summer camp as they alternate between hunting each other down and trying to survive until the end.
  • Similarly, Mixtape Massacre is premised around archetypal killers running amok in a small town in 1986.
  • Spectrum Games' flagship RPG Slasher Flick essentially has the players and GM creating and acting out their own slasher movie.

    Urban Legends 

    Video Games 
  • Camp Sunshine
  • Clock Tower, released in 1995, is very similar to a slasher movie, with a near-indestructible slasher villain who murders young women off-screen. It's immediate sequel, released in 1996, also follows the formula of a slasher movie sequel, with Final Girl Jennifer returning and a host of new characters being added to the mix, as they investigate the new killer.
  • ''The Crawford Family', is a freeware horror game where the player is a trucker kidnapped by a family of lunatics straight out of the texas chainsaw masscace.
  • Chzo Mythos the freeware horror adventure games series by Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw has elements of this genre.
  • Dead by Daylight pits a group of player-controlled survivors against one of several unique masked (or unmasked) maniacs. Some of the game's DLCs even adds characters from slasher films such as Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream.
  • Friday the 13th: The Game pits a player-controlled group of stereotypical teen camp counselors against a player-controlled Jason Voorhees.
  • Hotline Miami is a little more on the action movie/psychological thriller side of things, but there's something to be said about the main character being a silent, masked killer that murders droves of criminals using a variety of sharp implements.
    • The follow-up, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, has a Show Within a Show (based on the events of the first game) called "Midnight Animal" that is a more straight-forward example of a slasher film. Ironically, the protagonist of the first game has two representations within the film. The first is a pudgy and gruesome killer that mimics his actual actions years prior, except here he is actually insane and targets helpless teens instead of the Russian Mafia. As the protagonist himself is modeled after Ryan Gosling in his role in Drive (2011), the second is a handsome blonde boy that looks exactly like him unmasked, but suffers from Sex Signals Death by the killer within the film after making out with his girlfriend.
  • Killer Bear is an RPG maker Parody of the genre.
  • Killer Frequency fashions itself as an interactive version of this genre, through the perspective of a radio host named Forrest Nash, who has to double as Gallows Creek's 911 operator. The long-dead killer known as the Whistling Man has seemingly reemerged on Whistling Night, picking out various targets in the small town to maim them. Nash, with his producer Peggy, has to save callers from classic horror scenarios set up by the killer, while trying to uncover the mystery of the town that triggered this occurrence.
  • Lakeview Cabin and its sequel Lakeview Cabin Collection are homages to these films. The basic setup of every level is a group of characters must prepare for the arrival of a slasher that must then be defeated.
  • Last Year: The Nightmare is a game where the players control a group of stereotypes pitted against a masked murderer, also player-controlled. It shares more than a few similarities with Friday the 13th: The Game, and legal battles between the two games have even happened.
  • The Manhunt games have often been compared to slasher movies, only with you playing as the killer.
  • Naughty Bear is explicit about its slasher influence, albeit in a much Lighter and Softer form (mostly in that there's no blood and gore due to your victims being teddy bears).
  • ' Northburygrove'' featues many of these elements found in puppet combo(see below)games
  • Slayaway Camp is a voxel-animated sliding puzzle game with the twist that you control a serial killer hunting down and killing victims in gruesome fashions. It pays homage to many slasher films of the 1980s, especially the original Friday the 13th. The different sections of the film are all represented by an ever-increasing number of sequels, each featuring different killers and different obstacles/traps.
  • Puppet Combo/Pig Farmer Games makes game that combine mid 90s PS1 graphics and 80s slasher aesthetics.
  • Resident Evil 7 has a Hillbilly Horrors slasher movie feel to it as the protagonist is stuck in a situation where he's constantly hunted by nearly invincible immortal rednecks. .
    • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and its 2020 remake also counts, as it features a female protagonist, Jill Valentine, being violently pursued by an Implacable Man antagonist, Nemesis, in a zombie infested city. Nemesis also attempts to kill anybody who gets in its way of eliminating Jill, including her allies.
  • Until Dawn, in which eight young friends go to a secluded hotel in the mountains and get attacked by (what are implied to be) supernatural killers. But this is actually an Invoked Trope - the mastermind behind the slasher attacks is actually pulling a very cruel — if harmless — prank on the other characters as revenge for a prank they performed in the intro. However, he isn't the Big Bad and neither is the other strange man you meet. However, this soon goes Off the Rails because there actually is something up in the mountains...
  • The South Park: The Fractured but Whole DLC "Bring the Crunch" is a Slasher parody that has you attempting (and mostly failing) to save camp councilors of a summer camp from dying to a mysterious threat. The DLC even introduces an unlockable Final Girl class which invokes the "powers of luck and survival" of the trope.

    Visual Novels 


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy: The Season 9 premier episode "And Then There Were Fewer" features the Griffins and other various residents of Quahog being invited up to James Woods' large mansion where people start getting murdered one by one.
  • Total Drama Island: With the show's setting, it was pretty much a given that one episode would come along and reference/parody the genre. Episode 19, titled: "Hook, Line and Screamer" begins with the contestants being shown a slasher flick (Gwen even refers to it as such) and then with no explanation whatsoever, a scared Chris and Chef speed away from the island in a boat, leaving behind a newspaper that mentions an escaped hockey mask-wearing psycho killer with a chainsaw and a hook for a hand. Everyone thinks it's for real and as the night goes on, the killer does hunt them down, but... it's actually just Chef and the challenge of the day is to not get caught by him. Even by slasher flick standards, the cast are all "killed off" quick due to outright ignoring the rules explained to them by the Genre Savvy Gwen and Duncan. So, it's no surprise that the two end up being the only ones left. As it turns out, Duncan planned for this, so he could confront and take down the killer himself, which nearly wins him immunity... at least until Gwen is forced to defend herself against the real deal.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Slasher Flick, Slasher Film


Thanksgiving (2023)

In the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts, the fourth Thursday of November is the most celebrated day of the year. The table is set, the festivities have begun. But this year, the town finds itself under siege from a most uninvited guest; a killer in a pilgrim mask, who's coming after those that were involved in a tragedy on Black Friday the year prior, as well as anyone who gets in his way. White meat, dark meat... all will be carved.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / SlasherMovie

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