2. Conventions of a Slasher Film
• Thriller conventions: are used to create suspense and tension, this is because it makes the film more exciting to
watch and understand better before it get to the climax of the film.
• Hero: Another convention of a Slasher film is that they always tend to have a hero for example: they are usually;
female, sensible, senses killer, last woman standing and may or may not be killed at the end.
• Victims: Teens (preferably college students, rebellious or terribly out of control, unaware of there surroundings.
• Villain: Mysterious psychopathic killer, known or unknown, serial killer, stalker or killer of victims, mentally
deranged, violent or brutal, physically deformed and gets some form of twist at the end.
• Horror/Slasher sub-genre: The different forms of sub-genres Stimulates the viewers mood, heightened, level
off, anticipation, fear, anxiety, surprise and terror.
• Location: Most locations in Slasher films are mainly based in Isolated and usually set in a college/ campus this is
because they are all modernized and have a group of teenagers in them.
• Props and Iconography: Every horror film has a main prop or villain prop/for of iconography; for example:
Masks, puzzles or games, knifes, chainsaw, meat cleaver etc…
3. Narrative Structure of a Slasher Film
1. The Opening: The opening of horror films/trailers always normally shows Establishing shots which set the
scene, this shows equilibrium has been established.
2. Build up of problem or crisis.
3. Introduced to the villain and a shift of equilibrium.
4. Teaser trailer: doesn’t reveal the full extent of the problematic event.
5. Further complication are shown throughout a climatic end, this makes the audience want to watch more and go
see the film, this creates a cliff hanger.
This form of narrative structure always leads throughout a lot of horror/Slasher films, this is because it builds a large
amount of tension for the audience/viewers who enjoy watching climatic films which builds up from beginning to end.
4. Slasher Trailer 1: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Identifying the conventions
The opening of the film shows an establishing shot of an elderly woman singing a lullaby to a teenage girl. There is then
a sudden flash which then reveals the gruesome parts of the film.
Disturbance of the equilibrium begins when the elderly woman is comforting the girl who's tied up to a table.
There is then another flash shot which is then followed by strange noises to create tension at the mid of the trailer.
The film has a group of deranged characters ‘The Sawyer Family’ including Leatherface who captured most of the
victims. Then there is the group of teenager who get captured and killed off one by one.
Weapons are revealed with heart wrenching sound effects added to create suspense, for example: they show a quick
snap shots of the chainsaw in a low cut angle so it was less recognizable at first until the depth of field focus was
location is on isolated grounds which resembles ordinary house until the group of teens enter the house and notice
Sound effects: Loud heartbeats to make the audience feel even more scared also to split the terrifying scene from one
another they have used a flash-bulb sound which is used in a lot of horror/Slasher film trailer and films.
Then there is a sudden fade to black flash with wielding sound effect of a knife slicing through something; after there is
then another heavy beating sound which resembles a womb or birth sound(Juckster posing sound/contrapuntal
5. Slasher Trailer 2: Urban Legend
Equilibrium/beginning: reveals a College campus, party with lots of young student enjoying themselves.
The trailer uses a lot of fast paste music to build up to the end of the trailer, there is also narrative vioce3 leading you
through the trailer
The main character is viewed as an Axed murder and has an unknown identity, this creates a good view for audience to
understand the film properly.
The main setting of the film/trailer is a College Campus which can also be isolated, because of the size of it and the
large amounts of space around it.
Heartbeat sound effects create creates tension of what is yet to come in the gruesome end which you hear a blood
curdling scream. Realistic sound effects including the scream have been used to make the audience feel as if they are
apart of the movie.
The characters shown in the trailer are: A Serial killer, suspects who are teenagers and a stalker victim (Typical horror
Quick editing/ flashes are used so the trailer doesn’t give away any hidden gimmicks of the film to the
viewers/audience. These edits also makes the film more enticing to watch because you are wanting more to happen
within the space of the 2 minutes trailer.
6. Slasher Trailer 3: Halloween (2007)
Equilibrium: The trailer begins with a normal Halloween night, kids out tick or treating etc…
There is a narrative voice leading you throughout the trailer, explaining what is happening or what is going to happen.
Flash scenes/ quick editing are used to combined with what is happening within the the trailer, in terms of a killing
scene running fast the audience don’t realize what is happening at first.
The sound effects of heartbeats make the audience want to watch the film more because the follow on with the fast
paste flash scenes.
Characters: Victim: Young girl and Villain/ deranged character/ unknown face are classed as the main focus of the film
because of there character status and views in the trailer. There is also a slight reveal of the villain near the end of the
Flashes of the murder weapons similar to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, this is used a lot in slashers because of what the
film plot is trying to portray.
Creepy background voices and sounds are used to scare the audience/viewers so they want to see what happens in the
rest of the film, also the use of loud background voices/sounds makes the film seem as it is real and you as the
audience are apart of it. there is also a terrible shunned sound which runs throughout the trailer to create the sense of
pain and suffer.
Lots of different camera angles (close- ups, extreme close-ups, wide shots etc…)+Cuts, snap shots and shock shots, this
has been used because the creators wanted to make the trailer as exciting as well as watching the film itself. Low and
dark key lighting was used to create suspense throughout the trailer, it was also used to make the villain less
Setting: Normal suburban home
Moment of equilibrium: Friendly town becomes becomes deserted and a lot of people are staying in there houses.