We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Slasher Genre Essay Sample

essay
The whole doc is available only for registered users OPEN DOC
  • Pages:
  • Word count: 918
  • Category: gender

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

Slasher Genre Essay Sample

The slasher genre started in the late 70’s as a sub-genre to horror. It began with a very specific target audience: teenage boys who were able to experience safe, vicarious thrills through the consumption of slashers as a media product. However, this relationship between the slasher genre and its demographic has since greatly evolved thanks to concepts such as post modernism, gender neutrality and audience sophistication. With the introduction of a female demographic, the relationship has morphed to incorporate their larger audience.

Slasher films were first designed as a ‘safe scare’ – in which their audience could experience the rollercoaster of fear of a crazed killer massacring sinful teenagers without any of the danger. A set of conventions were developed, creating a formula for slasher films to follow, including stereotypical, gendered roles – the male psycho murderer, the virginal final girl, the promiscuous best friend. There was also the constant of the ‘peaceful setting’, such as a quiet neighbourhood, where the masochistic murders would be carried out. Slasher films as a genre play on the common demonian of society’s morbid curiosity and their audience’s fascination with brutal killings. They also play on the audiences fear that this could be my neighbourhood’, and worked at making the films directly relatable to their target audience.

For example, in Wes Cravens ‘Halloween’ of 1978, the final girl and her two best friends are babysitters, a role to which many teenagers can relate. Slasher utilise the idea of person identity, and the ways in which their audience can relate to the genre. The success of this choice of audience relationship can be quantified through the commercial success of the genre – especially in the first 20 years of the genre, production costs were low and box office returns were considerably higher. For ‘Halloween’, a slasher from cycle 1, while production costs were only $320,000, $70 million was made overall. These returns of around 100% proved the success of the way in which slashers films were being designed to appeal to their target audience. However, as time went on and the second cycle of slashers was introduced, production costs made a great increase as there became a higher demand from the audience for a higher quality of production.,

Towards cycle 2, there became a slight shift in the demographic. The rise of TV shows such as ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as a strong female lead, ‘weaned’ females onto the slasher genre. This saw an increase of females in the target audience, meaning no longer could the slashers be based on a teenage male demographic. This somewhat forced an amount of gender neutrality in to the genre, with 1996’s ‘Scream’ seeing Neve Campbell portray an empowering final girl – a far cry from Laurie of ‘Halloween’. This continued the idea of personal identity – the female portion of the demographic were able to draw inspiration from the female leads and the slasher genre was no longer purely about providing an outlet through which the teenage male population could experience their thrills. This was further reinforced by a slight shift in conventions.

While in ‘Halloween’, Dr. Loomis must come to Laurie’s rescue, in ‘Scream’ it is instead Gail who comes to Sidney’s rescue, even using the Killers phallic weapon against him and exclaiming ‘Not in my movie’. The idea of the final girl being left in a quivering heap come the end of the film was gone, replaced with someone who the new female audience could draw from. This success was again quantified with a skyrocketing box office return of $173 million for ‘Scream’, whose production cost was only $15 million. The slasher genre began to recognise its audience’s intelligence and knowledge of the genre and began marketing to this. The idea of post modernism also comes into this, again specifically in Scream, where in the audience is somewhat rewarded for their knowledge of Slasher films. This understanding furthered the relationship between the target demographic and the genre as the audience was made to feel as if they were being acknowledged, appreciated and directly marketed to.

However, the idea of post modernism could only be taken so far and limited the franchises – while slashers from cycle 1 were franchises including up to eight films, in cycle 2 franchises were limited to two or three. This causes the inevitable fade out of post modernism in slashers in the 00’s, only to be restarted by the reboots such as ‘The New Nightmare’ in 2012. However, cycle 3 lacked the understanding between the audience and then genre that cycle 2 had established. Some conventions were disregarded, with films failing to follow the formulaic layout of the genre. The audience become somewhat ignored and seeked other ways in which they could experience the same thrills which first made the slasher genre so popular. With the decrease of popularity of slasher films, with new movies going straight to DVD as opposed to being box office hits, came the increase in popularity of the first person shooter games and PRGs. Although not quite the same, games such as ‘Call of Duty’ and ‘World of Warcraft’ allowed the male teenage demographic to experience the same ‘safe scare’ 0 enjoying all the thrills of guns and killing but from the safety of their bedrooms. Slasher films struggled with new ides and creating original material and because of this lost a large portion of their audience and therefore, their once roaring popularity.

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Cycle of Gender Identity

In my English class last week we read an article, “Guys and Dolls No More” in which Elizabeth Sweet argues about the extreme use of gender stereotyping within children’s toys. Sweet explains the difference between toy advertisements in the past and the advertisements of today, saying that in the 1970s, toy advertisements showed nearly no overt expression of gender, but by 1995 the gendered advertising...

Definitions, concepts, and measures of disability

The problem is not to wipe out the differences but how to unite with the differences intact. Rabindranath Tagore. The WHO defines disability as Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action while a participation...

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood overview

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is based on the anxieties of the 1980’s impending nuclear war and the issues of gender and reproduction. Atwood portrays a dystopian society based in a republic called Gilead, which is run by a theocratic and misogynist dictatorship. The society distorts the hierarchy of its citizens from the modern world, to one that characterizes males as the ruling class,...

Definition of Gender Mainstreaming

“Gender mainstreaming is a process not a goal” The UN Women training centre defines Gender mainstreaming as the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels. They further emphasize that it is a strategy for making women\'s as well as men\'s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of...

Gender differences in Self-perception

This is to certify, that the project submitted by me is an outcome of my independent and original work. I have duly acknowledged all the sources from which the ideas and extracts have been taken. The project is free from any plagiarism and has not been submitted elsewhere for publication. Acknowledgement I would like to express my deepest appreciation to all those who provided me the possibility...

Get Access To The Full Essay
icon
300+
Materials Daily
icon
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
icon
Free Plagiarism
Checker
icon
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access
immediately?

Become a member

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!

logo

Emma Taylor

online

Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Couldn't Find What You Looking For?

Get access to our huge knowledge base which is continuously updated

Next Update Will Be About:
14 : 59 : 59
Become a Member