Spooky Cinema: Slashers are the best way to break the cycle of reboots and sequels in horror

With ‘80s trends returning and Halloween being on everyone’s minds, it’s time to revive the slasher.


Jenna Post, Arts Reporter

After the massive popularity of Stranger Things and the It films, there’s no denying that the ‘80s have made a comeback as a fan-favorite horror setting, but it also raises a question: Where are the slashers?

In the ‘80s, slasher films were in their prime. Halloween premiered in 1978, and caused a surge of ‘80s slashers to follow, including Friday the 13th, My Bloody Valentine, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Child’s Play.

Despite the ‘80s and horror being at peak popularity amongst younger generations, slashers haven’t made much of a comeback.

There was the 2018 Halloween, and American Horror Story’s current season, simply titled “1984,” but a reboot and one season of a horror anthology that’s clearly running out of ideas feels a bit underwhelming. There should be a higher demand for original slashers.

Slasher films almost always follow a specific set of tropes. In fact, the “rules of slashers” were explained explicitly in one of the most iconic slashers of all time: Scream.

According to Scream, the rules are as follows — you can never have sex, drink, do drugs, or say “I’ll be right back” or you will inevitably get killed by whichever masked/deformed man happens to be the murderer.

The last, and possibly most iconic trope, is the “survivor girl.”

Aside from not engaging in punishable-by-death behavior, the “survivor girl” is smart. Sure, luck comes into play too, but the killer is almost always defeated because she managed to outsmart him in the end.

While I enjoy yelling at the screen when characters make horrible decisions, the one thing I love most is when the killer is outwitted.

After countless horror movie reboots and sequels, isn’t it time to finally see a smart survivor on screen again? I want a new Sidney Prescott to root for. It’s been 23 years since the first time she bested Ghostface, and that’s far too long to wait for a new heroine that I actually want to live.

Slasher fans are also desperately in need of a new iconic killer. After all, they’re the reasons why everyone is inside the theater.

I’m pretty sure all of my friends think Child’s Play is called “Chucky,” and it’s not hard to understand how they got that idea. The killers make the movie.

You can think of making a slasher like making a cake. You have to follow the recipe to actually get a cake, but you can make the cake whatever flavor you want.

The killers are the flavoring. It’s why people in the ‘80s kept going back for more. The tropes remain the same, but all the fun comes from seeing how this killer is going to kill them off.

The slasher formula has everything it needs to make a good original horror movie in 2019: a clear structure, a hero you want to root for, and an easily marketable villain that brings it all together.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand how slashers fell out of the limelight for so long, but now is the time to bring original slashers back to the screen.

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