1. | The origins of slasher
If a film could be designated as the proto slasher excellent, it’s good Psychosis ! This movie ofAlfred Hitchcock released in 1960 presents a motel manager with a troubled personality who murders the young women who have the misfortune to take a room in his establishment. The cult scene where Norman Bates appears behind a shower curtain, knife in hand, to coldly murder his victim will be emulated and above all mark the imagination of a very large number of filmmakers.
The same year, released in Great Britain The Voyeur. This movie of Michael Powell plays with the same themes since we follow a solitary photographer who takes extreme pleasure in taking pictures of young women on the verge of death. Unhealthy and frightening, he shares with Psychose this character of serial killer who seems fine in all respects but who hides a mental imbalance that pushes him to murder, preferably with bladed weapons, his victims.
If these films laid the first stones on which the slasher genre would be founded, it was the Giallo (Italian horror cinema) with directors like Dario Argento and Mario Bava as well as BlackChristmas which will define its characteristics. This last film, made in 1974 by Bob Clarklays the foundations of slasher by bringing together many of the elements that serve to define this category of horror film.
We thus follow a group of young girls who are gathered in a boarding school during the Christmas holidays, foreshadowing all these groups of adolescents who will be the targets of licensed killers. They will all disappear one after the other, gradually raising an almost palpable anxiety. Above all, we will discover in this film what allows at first glance to know if it is a slasher or not: the boogeyman !
the boogeymanwhich is translated as croque-mitaine in French, is this masked killer (in BlackChristmas he has no mask but always hides in the shadows) who will kill his victims, with a preference for bladed weapons, those that cut cleanly and clearly. Often, understanding the motivations of the boogeyman, which can be a childhood trauma or a revenge to accomplish, will allow you to discover how to overcome it. Another recurring aspect of slasher appears here: even if he seemingly gets rid of the killer, the hero, who is moreover often a heroine, has not really succeeded in defeating him.
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