The slasher movie was a very popular sub-genre of horror during the 1980’s. In its heyday, these films were highly profitable and churned out a large number of sequels each year. A slasher film typically features a group of characters who are isolated from the outside world and murdered by the villain one by one.
Slasher films are known for the graphic violence shown on screen and the bloody/ gory special effects employed for these death sequences. One common trope of these movies is the “final girl” where a female protagonist survives until the end where she is chased by the killer.
The Friday the 13th series of films helped to popularise the sub-genre. It also marked the emergence of summer camps as the setting for a plethora of copycat films. This includes the Sleepaway Camp series which took the slasher elements into a more comedic direction. The Friday the 13th series was so popular that it spawned over ten sequels.
The Nightmare on Elm Street series was a competing slasher franchise that has supernatural elements. It features a badly burned murderer called Freddy Krueger who kills teenagers in their dreams. His iconic look includes a red and green sweater as well as a glove with knives for fingers. He has become one of the most well-known villains in all of cinema and a pop culture icon.
The success of a slasher film can be judged by how well received the villain is. Afterall, each franchise is propelled by the popularity of the killer. After all, for a sequel to work, it is the villain that must capture the audience’s imagination. Successful slasher villains include Chucky the killer doll in the Child’s Play films, Michael Myers in the Halloween franchise and Leatherface who features in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series.