4. Toying With Some Victims (But Not Others)

Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode being chased by Michael Myers in Halloween

Take any of the most iconic slasher villains: Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Leatherface… what do they all have in common? Well, yes, an unbridled bloodlust, but also, they’re weirdly inconsistent. Often, they kill their victims quickly and efficiently, but there are always occasions where they take their time to torment someone a little more, and it almost always backfires.

These horrifying movie villains may seem real in many ways, but as serial killers, they should, as a rule, be inherently ritualistic. Although the first five or six victims are subjected to relatively quick and especially painful deaths, there’s usually only one (or sometimes two) who are given much more of an opportunity to escape. Within the film’s own logic, this is presumably the killer’s way of taunting their victim, but why are they doing it for that character in particular?

This is where the lines between movie logic and real logic get blurred. It’s clearly to give the more important characters a realistic chance of escaping death, but when the movie villain is examined logically, it just undermines their character. Thinking of Michael Myers as emotional enough to want to toy with his victims actually makes him considerably less scary, particularly when it results in their escape. It’s pretty dumb, and it doesn’t really make sense.