By Gustavo Buenrostro
John Carpenter’s “Halloween” was one of the first films to be considered a slasher and set trends that caused the genre’s downfall.
Many of the horror tropes and clichés stem from “Halloween” that most horror film since then still exessive use.
One of the most annoying clichés that came from “Halloween” is the jump scare.
The scene starts off with a character going into a creepy house. There is no background music and suddenly something appears that frightens the character.
Only it’s not the killer or monster, it’s something mundane.
“Halloween” began this trend when Dr. Loomis, played by Donald Pleasence, went into the Michael Myers house and was frightened by a falling gutter.
The difference between “Halloween’s” jumpscares and horror films that followed is that “Halloween” didn’t have a loud, piercing sound when the gutter fell.
For some reason, sound editors in horror films like using those sounds to emphasis the scares.
But it really doesn’t make it scary.
If anything, it makes the scene annoying.
But horror films have done better with its jumpscares even if they still don’t let the scary thing be scary on its own without using annoying sounds.
Myers is a character that is designed for one purpose: to kill people who get in his way.
He is a one-note type character but not without reason.
Jason Voorhees from “Friday the 13th” kills teenagers because the audience likes when Voorhees killed people.
The filmmakers just made the deaths more creative and entertaining.
No real rhyme or reason for him to do it.
But it’s because of what “Halloween” did with Myers that propelled characters like Jason to exist in slasher films and became staples in them.
The only time it ever changed was with Wes Craven’s film “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Scream”, but those films were designed to turn the slasher genre upside down.
“Halloween” also made the trope of the good girl virgin surviving the killer.
It wasn’t until “Scream” where the trope was broken.
But that never stuck and some films today still have that character type survive the killings.
Some may not see these clichés as bad and would argue that they give the slasher genre it’s charm.
However, there aren’t any more new slasher films.
It’s because of those tropes that slasher films became stale.
The only reason anyone gets excited for slasher films is if they are remade from an original.
Horror films today are becoming something new, and while they still use some of the old same tricks that began with “Halloween,” films like “Get Out” and “A Quiet Place” have more meaning than the slasher films.
“Halloween” started the slasher trend, but it can be argued that it was also the death of it.