Horror films have been popular with audiences since the early days of film. As much as people like to laugh and cry, sometimes they like to be scared, too. Like any other genre, horror films changed and evolved, and by the '70s and '80s, the slasher film became the dominant representation of horror. When this genre was first introduced, people were lining up on opening night to be the first to see these gruesome tales brought to life. As time progressed, and more and more formulaic movies were made, the genre started to parody itself and people lost interest. These terrifying films became a joke and a laughing stock.
According to Paste, a slasher film is defined by specific parameters that set it apart from movies involving similar themes. The killer has to be a human being (not just an alien or animal), they have to be aware that their actions are evil, and they have to leave a significant body count in their wake. These rules still apply, even if they only follow one person throughout the film. This feels like an apt description, as most of the fun of watching a true slasher film comes from watching the bad guy kill a group of people in amazingly creative ways.
But did every one of these films follow the same formula? Was every one of them exactly like the other? The answer, in short, is no. While many did, there were several films that offered viewers social commentary, compelling imagery, and even a few deliberate laughs.