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13 May 2015

SLASHER FILM RULES - Analysis: List 2 [Part 2]

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  Why do the Slasher Film rules exist?



Although I'm calling these Slasher Film Rules, the can apply to a range of horror sub-genres.

Ten films were tested:

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.   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.

See here for part 1.



Rule #6 - Especially When They Are Most Needed, The Following Things Cannot Be Relied On…

A:  Communications devices.

None Available:  And Then There Were None; Friday the 13th Part III.
Destroyed/disconnected by killer:  Halloween II; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Saw; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.
  • Jigsaw supplied and controlled the phones of his victims in Saw.
Destroyed/disconnected by someone else:  Jaws.
Unknown:  Leprechaun
  • The line was working then stopped.
N/A:  Peeping Tom; Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge.

Non-working phones were an issue in 80% of the films.  In half of those films it was because of deliberate actions of the killer (and in another case the location was chosen because of it.)  In one case it was the deranged actions of another potential victim and in only one case was it just "luck."


B:  Lighting.

Issues caused by killer:  And Then There Were NoneHalloween II; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Leprechaun; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.
No real issues:  Peeping Tom; Jaws; A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge; Saw.


C:  Vehicular Transport


None Available (Deliberate): And Then There Were None.
Sabotaged by killer:  Halloween II; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. 
Mixed:  Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Leprechaun.
No Issues: Peeping Tom; Jaws; Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge; Saw.

D:  Your own legs

A lot:  Leprechaun.
A little:  Halloween II; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.
Not:  Peeping Tom; Jaws; Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge; Saw.

E:  The Authorities

Previous & planned failure: And Then There Were None.
Fail:  Halloween II; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Leprechaun.
Successful (to a degree):  Peeping Tom.
Annoyance: A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge.
Turn up at the end: Friday the 13th Part III.
Mixed: Jaws; Saw.
  • The local sheriff is the hero but the local mayor keeps undercutting him in Jaws.
  • In Saw the police try real hard but get killed.

F:  Weapons

Deliberately Sabotaged: Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.
Mostly Ineffective:  Halloween II; Jaws; Leprechaun; Saw.
Effective: And Then There Were None.
Not Applicable:  Peeping Tom; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge.

G:  Escape routes

None Available:  And Then There Were None; Jaws;
Sort of:  Friday the 13th Part III; 
Not Applicable:  Peeping Tom; Halloween II; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge; Leprechaun; Saw; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.


Rule #7 - The Final Girl

  • Vera Claythorne (And Then There Were None)
  • Helen Stephens (Peeping Tom)
  • Brody (Jaws)
  • Laurie Strode (Halloween II)
  • Chris (Friday the 13th Part III)
  • Trish & Tommy Jarvis (Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter)
  • Jesse Walsh & Lisa Webber (A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge)
  • Tory Redding & Alex (Leprechaun)
  • Taylor Gentry (Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon).
Saw has no final girl.

A:  Final

The final character: Vera, Laurie, Chris.
One of the final characters:  Helen, Brody, Trish & Tommy,Jesse & Lisa, Tori & Alex, Taylor.

B:  Girl 

Girls:  Vera, Helen, Laurie, Chris, Trish, Lisa, Tori, Taylor.
Boys:  Brody, Tommy, Jesse, Alex.

C:  Masculine

The guys:  Brody is masculine.  Tommy and Alex are prepubescent.  Jesse is slightly effeminate.
The girls (feminine):  Vera, Chris, Trish, Tory.
(not glamorous):  Laurie, Helen
(feminine but tough):  Lisa
Only Chris, Taylor (and Jesse) have ambiguous names.

D:  Well-drawn

i.  Intelligent: Brody; Laurie; Tommy; Lisa.
Partial: Helen; Jesse; Chris.
Grows into it:  Tory; Alex; Taylor.
Not really: Jesse.
Stated as not:  Vera.

ii.  Curious & Vigilant: Helen (her mother moreso); Laurie; Brody; Lisa; Alex; Taylor.
Possibly:  Trish; Tommy; Tory.
Not: Vera; Jesse; Chris.

E:  Virginal & innocent

See venn diagram.

Brody

F:  Will be reborn

Was:  Brody; Laurie (again); Chris; Tommy; Lisa; Tory; Alex; Taylor.
Mildly:  Vera; Trish
Not:  Helen; Jesse (although almost literally was).



Rule #8 - The Killer has a connection to...


A:  The Location

Yes:  (3)  And Then There Were None; Peeping Tom; A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge.
Partially:  (2)  Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.
  • Jason's no longer at (and never killed at) Camp Crystal Lake, but is still in the Crystal Lake area.
Maybe:  (3)  Jaws; Halloween II; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.
  • Jaws:  It is noted that sharks are territorial.
  • Halloween II:  Michael moves from his neighbourhood to the local to the local hospital.
  • Behind the Mask:  Leslie claims a connection the the house, but that is disputed.
No:  (2)  Leprechaun; Saw.

B:   The Final Girl

Yes:  (2)  Peeping Tom; Friday the 13th Part III.
No:  (7)  And Then There Were None; Jaws; Halloween II; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge, Leprechaun; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.
No Final Girl:  (1)  Saw.

It is rare for there to be a real connection in this set of films.

C:   The Protector

Yes:  (2):  Halloween II; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.
  • In Halloween II, Loomis was Michael's psychiatrist.   The same applied to the protector in Behind the Mask, although that was a reference.
Partially: (3)  Jaws; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge.
No:  (3)  And Then There Were NonePeeping Tom; Saw.
No Protector:  (2)  Friday the 13th Part III; Leprechaun.

D:   The Other Victims

Yes:  (2)  Peeping Tom; Saw.
No:  (8)  And Then There Were None; Jaws; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final ChapterHalloween II. .A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's RevengeLeprechaun; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.

E:   Femininity

Unknown:  (1)  Jaws. 
No:  (9)  And Then There Were NonePeeping Tom; Halloween II; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge; Leprechaun; Saw; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.

Not looking good.

F:   A Specific Look
Yes:  (8)  Halloween II; Friday the 13th Part III;  Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge; Leprechaun; Saw; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. 
No:  (2)  And Then There Were None; Peeping Tom.
Not listed:  Jaws

Seems to be true.

G:   A Specific Weapon

Yes:  (8)  Peeping Tom; Jaws; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge; Leprechaun; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.
No:  (2)  And Then There Were None (Rhyme); Halloween II.

80% although many also use any weapon handy.

Rule #9 - Evil Never Dies...

A:   Always Kill the Bad Guy Twice

Not Thought Dead:  (2)  Peeping Tom, Jaws.
Faked Death:  (1)  And Then There Were None
Undead:  (1)  A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge.
Falls/Assumed Dead: (6) Halloween II; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Leprechaun; Saw; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.

The killer-killed fake-out exists in 60% of the films.

B:   Even Then

Killed:  (6)  And Then There Were None; Peeping Tom; Jaws; Halloween II; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.
  • Friday the 13th Part III:  Once again the final girl dreamt the killer was still alive.
Not Killed:  (3)  Leprechaun; Saw; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.
Disappears:  (1)  A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge.

Surprisingly, the death was actually final (for the film covered) in 60% of the films.  Although, one used a dream to deliver the "final scare."

C:   Evil Is Immortal

Killed:  (4)  And Then There Were None; Peeping Tom; Jaws; Friday the 13th Part III.
Killed/Immortality Mentioned: (1)  Halloween II.
Survived:  (1)  Saw; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.
Immortal:  (1)  Leprechaun.
Undead:  (2)  Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter;  A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge.

Actually immortality is only referenced in 4 of the films, although in at least one of those the killed is still assumed to be killed, despite previously coming back from the dead.

Rule #10 - The Sequel Will Be Bigger/More Formulaic

Only one sequel was tested, Friday the 13th Part 2 , as tested on that page showed the two films seemed about equal.

Franchises

  • Friday the 13th:  Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.
  • Halloween:  Halloween II.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street:  A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge.

A:  Follow the Rules

Follow them more:  (2)  A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge;  Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.

About the same:  (2)  Halloween II Friday the 13th Part III

B:  Follow the Franchise Formula

Follows the formula:  (1)  Halloween II.

Mixed:  (2)  Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

Breaks the formula:  (1)  A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge

C:  More T&A

More T & A:  (2)  Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter;  A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge.
Less T & A:  (2)  Halloween II; Friday the 13th Part III.


D:  More & Bigger Death

More & Bigger Deaths (4):  Halloween II; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge.

Extra rules and thoughts
  • Killer POV - Although occurred in Psycho, much more apparent in Peeping Tom.
  • Limited duration (over a single night/weekend) - Not so in Peeping Tom.
~ DUG.
Please do the survey below to determine future rule sets.

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