October 20, 2021
The return of Halloween, I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream is just the beginning of a bullish comeback for the subgenre that will never die
Look who’s stalking: how the slasher movie screamed its way back
Like the bloody, bullet-strewn killer at the end of a frenzied high body count climax making one medically impossible last-gasp attempt to kill the final girl, the slasher movie is lurching its way back to life with a dramatic jolt. The easily maligned subgenre had shown brief flashes of reanimation in recent years but we’re now in the thick of a full resurgence and this time it’s taking over both the big and small screen. There’s nowhere to hide.
Earlier this year, Netflix unspooled its ambitious Fear Street trilogy (acquired from Fox during the pandemic), adaptations of RL Stine’s teen novels about a town gripped by a killer curse and earlier this month, it also released There’s Someone Inside Your House, a tale of high schoolers targeted by someone who knows their darkest secrets. Friday saw the launch of David Gordon Green’s Halloween Kills, the second in his new retconned trilogy which made a whopping $50m in the US over the weekend, the same week that Amazon kicked off its Gen-Z remake of I Know What You Did Last Summer, the 1997 slasher now transformed into an eight-part series, and SyFy launched a new sequel series to Child’s Play called Chucky as well as an update of Roger Corman’s Slumber Party Massacre. We’ve also just seen the first trailer for January’s return of Scream, back after an 11-year absence with the original trio onboard, released months before a reboot of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on Netflix, A24’s “socially subversive” Bodies Bodies Bodies, written by the Cat Person author Kristen Roupenian, pandemic slasher 18 & Over and then, of course, Halloween Ends. There’s also a “social media remake” planned of 90s schlocker Urban Legend, a new take on the evil Santa horror Silent Night, Deadly Night and Charlize Theron is producing a HBO Max series based on self-referential summer novel The Final Girls Support Group which will compete with Universal’s adaptation of the similarly themed Final Girls.
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