Although I'm calling these Slasher Film Rules, the can apply to a range of horror sub-genres.
Ten films were tested:
- Psycho (1960)
- Night of the Living Dead (1968)
- Halloween (1978)
- Alien (1979)
- Friday the 13th (1980)
- Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
- A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
- Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
- Scream (1998)
- Wolf Creek (2005)
Of course, these films say nothing about the genre as a whole. Certainly things can be said about the films, though. They are usually bigger name films, smaller low-budget or less successful films may rely on the rules more. They are mostly early films, and may have helped develop the rules rather than following them. One is a post modern film in which the characters know the rules. About half may not be purely "slasher" films and may not need to follow the rules. Most are first films in a series and thus may follow the rules less.
Victims not killed in the narrative (previous victims in Psycho or Wolf Creek for example) are not being counted. An extreme example of this is Paul Holt in Friday the 13th Part 2 who "disappeared" during a fight with Jason and who will be counted as alive since his death or body was never shown on-screen. I'm not calling that a definitive answer for what happened to him, but rather, I need to make a call one way of the other.