Ever since John Carpenter's horror classic film, Halloween (link is external) first premiered in 1978, the slasher film has been a familiar staple for horror movie viewers. In the decades that followed, there have been an astonishing number of slasher films though they all tend to follow the same basic formula.
This includes scenes of graphic violence, usually featuring a (typically female) protagonist attempting to stay alive while a faceless evil stalked and killed all the other victims, often in bizarre and creative ways. Despite the gratuitous violence and stereotypical cliches relating to sexism, slasher films have a strange popularity with movie audiences and have even made unlikely film stars out of relentless killers such as Freddy Krueger (link is external) and Jason Voorhees (link is external).
It is hardly surprising that movie producers keep coming out with new releases considering how profitable slasher films have been over the years. The original Friday the Thirteenth (link is external) movie was produced in 1980 with only a $550,000 budget but went on to become a cult classic that would spawn multiple sequels.
One recurring theme of these slasher films that has taken on a tongue-in-cheek fame all its own involves the Final Girl (link is external) (or, sometimes the Final Boy). In these films, there tends to be a double-standard involving sexuality with male characters usually being portrayed as promiscuous and sexually aggressive while female characters are often either "good girls" or "bad girls" depending on their own sexual behaviour.
To read more, check out my new Psychology Today blog post.