10 Slasher Movie Clichés And What They Mean

horrorcliche-isolatedsetting Slasher movies are often seen as the poor cousins of the horror genre - they're dime a dozen, something actors do to pay the rent and which provide quick thrills and cheap spills as we follow a group of people who by the end are slain by a vicious, usually insane killer with means and mind focused solely on slaughter. But then again, slasher movies are a brilliantly unique brand and subset of the horror genre, influencing much of thriller and horror movies in their own respects. Slashers rely largely on the areas of suspense, surprise and shock, something that has become both honed over the years and really easily to spot. Something that hasn't changed, however, are the many cliches that litter any slasher script. Normally cliches get challenged in a genre but in slashers they've survived, perhaps down to some underlying psychology or template that the vast majority of slashers conform to. As to what these cliches actually mean in the bigger context, here are my thoughts on some of them...

10. The Killer Is Masked

horrorcliche-maskedkiller This one is a basic cliche of all slasher movies - the villain is always masked, always hidden in shadow or with a mask in place. This is largely an aesthetic and story-driven choice - there's only so many well-angled shots you can give of a victim being chased or killed (or chased and killed) without a mask without revealing the identity of your murderer and giving the whole game away ten minutes into the film. As to a deeper reason as to the masking - maybe it's a symbol of death itself being mysterious and unknowable. The killers are snatching away life without closure, ceremony or peace, as darkly and abruptly as it happens in real life. Maybe slasher films' killers are really symbolic of Death, the inevitability - we don't know what it will look like or how it will take us, but it will, in whatever guise or mask it happens to.
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