The celluloid highway has some interesting intersections and junctions, some are unjustifiably overgrown, others deserve to be riddled with potholes. The slasher film is a road that is very well travelled, but deserves the utmost neglect. If one is a fan of genre films, one must inevitably accept that derivation is something the genre fan not only accepts, but is comfortable and happy with. The genre fan searches like a gold prospector for those rare genre films that attempt to do something radical within a highly commercialised and derivative form. My reason for dismissing slasher films is that, in my view, this is the one subgenre that has the least amount of imagination. Few subgenres hold so rigidly to a template as the slasher film. The mean spirited nature of the films are fine with me, the wonderful make up effects and scenes of graphic violence are also fine, the rampant misogyny that masquerades as gender equality through the insulting device of the ‘final girl’ is also fine with me too. But the singular lack of revisionism makes this subgenre a wasteland of creativity. The slasher film represents the horror genre at its most juvenile and moronic. This has nothing to do with the adolescent concerns of the screenplay, but it has everything to do with a mindlessly literal attitude to the propagation of a genre. I’m sure my esteemed readership will offer individual examples that may challenge this reading, but in the main the slasher film remains such a stupid, hollow and vacuous experience because of the inability of filmmakers to think even slightly outside of the box.
© Shaun Anderson 2011