Anatomy of the Slasher Film

A Theoretical Analysis


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About the Book

The term “slasher film” was common parlance by the mid–1980s but the horror subgenre it describes was at least a decade old by then—formerly referred to as “stalker,” “psycho” or “slice-’em-up.” Examining 74 movies—from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) to Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)—the author identifies the characteristic elements of the subgenre while tracing changes in narrative patterns over the decades.
The slasher canon is divided into three eras: the classical (1974–1993), the self-referential (1994–2000) and the neoslasher cycle (2000–2013).

About the Author(s)

Sotiris Petridis is an adjunct professor at Hellenic Open University, Greece. His research interests are about film and television genres, audiovisual horror, screenwriting theory and practice, viral marketing, and the new ways of film and television promotion and has written academic books and articles on cinema and audiovisual narrative. He is a member of the European Film Academy and the Greek Film Academy.

Bibliographic Details

Sotiris Petridis
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 178
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, filmography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7431-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3567-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Introduction 1
1. A Theoretical and Historical Approach to Slasher Films 5
Slasher Films: A Horror Subgenre 5
The Semantic/Syntactic Elements of Slasher Films 18
The Cycles of the Slasher Film Subgenre 34
An Epilog to the Theoretical and Historical Approach 45
2. The Classical Cycle of Slasher Films 47
The Normality of the Classical Cycle 48
The Other of the Classical Cycle 55
The Final Survivors of the Classical Cycle 60
The Victims of the Classical Cycle 64
An Epilog on the Classical Cycle 65
3. The ­Self-Referential Cycle of Slasher Films 67
The Normality of the ­Self-Referential Cycle 69
The Other of the ­Self-Referential Cycle 74
The Final Survivors of the ­Self-Referential Cycle 79
The Victims of the ­Self-Referential Cycle 84
An Epilog on the ­Self-Referential Cycle 87
4. The Neoslasher Cycle of Slasher Films 89
The Normality of the Neoslasher Cycle 90
The Other of the Neoslasher Cycle 105
The Final Survivors of the Neoslasher Cycle 112
The Victims of the Neoslasher Cycle 122
An Epilog on the Neoslasher Cycle 128
Conclusions 130
Appendix A: Films Referenced 135
Appendix B: Semantic Elements 141
Chapter Notes 145
Filmography 155
Bibliography 159
Index 167