Is A24 Bringing Back the Slasher?


Solana Arriondo

Everyone knows the classic slasher movie setup: A group of not-so-smart teenagers, an isolated location, and a masked killer. The teenagers make some not-so-smart decisions, chaos and gore ensue, usually leaving one girl standing. These types of movies made a clear rise and fall in popularity over the 60(ish) years. After many years of being generally ignored by the critics and most of the film community, they are back. But before we look at how they are now, we have to look back at their initial rise and fall.
Often considered the first slasher movie, Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological thriller film Psycho was released in 1960, and became a source that many future horror movies pulled inspiration from. The first full-fledged slasher movie, Black Christmas, was released in 1974, setting many precedents for future movies of the same genre, including long-running killer, the troupe of young people, the classic point-of-view shot from the killer, the girl running up the stairs instead of out the front door, and of course the “final girl.”
Kicking off the slasher genre’s time in the spotlight was John Carpenter’s 1978 film Halloween. Grossing $47 million dollars at the box office and coronating a 20 year old Jamie Lee Curtis as the “Scream Queen,” with only a 17-day shoot and a $300,000 budget, Halloween became one of the most prosperous independent films of all time and created both a franchise and a phenomenon that would last for decades.
The slasher genre had its heyday in the ‘80s with now-classics like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street, many franchises have been continued into the 21st century, but their success is nowhere near the success of the initial movies.
By the late nineties, the gore became more purposeful and the plotlines became less flimsy as the novelty of the slasher began to wear off. There were still a few franchises to be had like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Wes Craven’s witty, self-aware Scream movies, but more and more movies of the genre were flops.
Much like many iconic killers, the slasher movie genre appeared to be dead, but has now come back with a vengeance. In the last year A24 (a movie production and distribution company) delivered the movies Bodies, Bodies Bodies (directed by Halina Reijn), X (directed by Ti West) and its prequel Pearl (directed by Ti West). These three movies proved to be loved by fans and critics alike. Here are some of the stats:

Pearl was the highest rated horror movie of 2022 according to the Letterboxd Year in Review, with X placing #7 and Bodies, Bodies, Bodies being #9.

X placed at #6 on Rotten Tomatoes Best Horror Movies of 2022 list, Pearl was #15, and Bodies, Bodies, Bodies was #26.

Though X proved to be a very successful movie when it was released in March, Ti West didn’t stop there. He and one of the stars of X, Mia Goth, went on to write the prequel movie Pearl with West. The sequel to X, entitled MaXXXine, has officially been announced making this a trilogy of movies. Though we have not yet gotten a release date, it has been confirmed that Goth will be starring as she had in the previous two films, as well as being the executive producer, and Ti West will reprise his role of writer and director.

So, if you ask me, I would definitely say that A24 will have an instrumental role in the revival of the slasher genre.

If you believe the hype, go check those movies out! If you don’t, I will leave you with this Letterboxd list ( with some other recommendations for recent slasher movies.