Slasher Horror

What is Slasher Horror?

Slasher is a very popular horror film subgenre, but it is also a term used to describe books of the same nature. Slasher Horror often involves a large cast of victims that are slaughtered one by one. The antagonist is usually a psychopathic murderer that acts alone. The deaths are brutal and graphic. Torture is also common in Slasher stories. The psycho in the Slasher subgenre mostly prefers cutting tools. A knife, axe, chainsaw, machete, etc. Other methods could be used as well though: meat hook, pick axe, baseball bat. A lot of gore and sexual themes are common in these novels.


Characteristics of Slasher Horror

Level of Characterization
Low. A lot of the characters are slaughtered too quickly to be fully developed.

Level of Plot Complexity
Low level. One killer, high body count. Some of the books contain twists and turns.

Level of Supernatural
Varies. The killer can sometimes be a human with supernatural qualities.

Level of Scary
High level. High tension and fast paced stories. Contains gore, torture, high body count, and eerie settings.

Level of Violence 
High level. Splatterpunk level of violence and gore. Sexual themes and rape are common as well.

Typical Setting
Any remote area. Cabin in the woods, a high school, or a suburban area.

Related Fantasy Sub-Genres

Contains Splatterpunk level gore.


Bodies are mutilated and altered like in the Body Horror subgenre.

Slasher Horror Isn’t For You If You Dislike

Graphic violence and gore. Slasher Horror movies. Survival stories.


    1. The Drive-In: A Double Feature Omnibus, Joe Lansdale. Four friends in Texas go out for an all-night marathon at the local drive-in and all hell breaks loose. A huge dome forms over the theater and nobody can get in or out.

    2. The Last Final Girl, Stephen Graham Jones. When Lindsay chooses a host of virgins, misfits, and former final girls to replace the slaughtered members of her original homecoming court, it's not just a fight for survival-it's a fight to become The Last Final Girl.

    3. The Lost, Jack Ketchum. Ray Pye, sociopath extraordinaire, kills a camper and puts another one on life support in 1965, then waltzes off scot free.

    4. Child of God, Cormac McCarthy. Lester Ballard, a violent, dispossessed man falsely accused of rape, haunts the hill country of East Tennessee when he is released from jail. 

    5. The 13th, John Everson. In a sleepy town, the old haunted hotel has started functioning again as an asylum for battered and insane pregnant women. But a few residents from the town are not so sure that the women are mad or that the place is actually an asylum.

    6. The Island, Richard Laymon. Eight people take a yachting cruise in the Bahamas and find that they are not alone.

    7. The Killing Kind, Bryan Smith. Roxie is the goth girl with a fetish for murder.

    8. Survivor, J.F. Gonzalez. Lisa is kidnapped and brought to a remote cabin where she will be the star of a snuff film.

    9. Dark Places, Gillian Flynn. Libby Day is the sole survivor of a horrendous massacre that left her mother and two sisters brutally murdered. The murders were attributed to Libby's older brother Ben, an alleged active Satan worshiper.  

    10. The Kult, Shaun Jeffrey. A serial killer known as 'The Oracle', is killing his victims in gruesome ways, and displaying his victims' bodies as works of art.

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