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No One Gets Out Alive: The Odds of Surviving in a Slasher Movie

Updated on May 14, 2017

Introduction

This sub-genre of horror called the Slasher movie prides itself with the body count. For there are more people killed in slasher movies than any other genres of horror, the numbers become a measuring stick. Unlike the Splatter or Gorefest horror sub-genres, Slasher movies follow certain recurring themes or tropes (i.e. plot devices) most notably, that the killer was abused in the past and returns to have his revenge on the people that did him wrong. This is the common plot shared by most movies like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Friday the 13th and Scream.

Another one is the “Final Girl,” the female character that survives until the end credits. Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode in Halloween (1974) is regarded as the premiere “Final Girl.” The term was coined by Carol J. Clover in her book Men, Women and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. The Final Girl and the recurring theme of the returning killer are staples of the Slasher movie, the one-two formula for success. Today, horror filmmakers are finding clever ways to use these tropes, like in Cabin in the Woods and The Final Girls (both from 2015), and also the manners to which characters are killed and how they will survive. Which brings us to the point of this article.

The Scenario

The question is, what are the odds of surviving in a Slasher movie? Consider this scenario: You wake up and find yourself in Camp Crystal Lake, or as the father of a boy with the creepy looking doll, or on Halloween and an eerie soundtrack is playing in the air.

How the odds are calculated: Sample computation

Survivor
Victims
Result
Total: 14
Total: 46
14/46
Average: 2
Average: 5
2:7
 
 
28.6%
Numbers source: wikia.com

We look at the top horror/slasher movie franchises and give you the odds of surviving in them, together with tips on how to survive. We consider deaths done by the killer(s), accidents that resulted from being pursued, and suicides out of necessity, for these are all part of surviving in a slasher movie.

All 9 Nightmare movies grossed $457 million worldwide
All 9 Nightmare movies grossed $457 million worldwide

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

Movies: 9 A Nightmare On Elm Street Movies (1984-2010)
The Killer: Freddy Krueger

The Lowdown: The dreamworld is Freddy's domain. There, he has incredible powers like shapeshifting and matter manipulation. He can subdue you in a number of ways and finish you off with his trademark razor glove. He is that powerful. But, surprisingly, many have survived the ordeal with the odds at 2:7. This is because Freddy takes his time by playing with his prey. He likes to taunt and the thrill of the chase affording his victims the chance to get away, even look for ways to kill him, albeit temporarily. If you find yourself in a nightmare on elm street, pull some courage, for there is:

28.6% CHANCE OF SURVIVAL

How to survive: Falling asleep is the kiss of death. Survival really depends on how long you can stay awake. There are helpful ways to do so like drinking coffee, playing video games, or taking a walk. If you do fall asleep and find yourself being stalked by Freddy, gather your wits, there are three manners of survival. 1) Freddy feeds on fear. If you show no fear, he has no power over you. 2) Pull him into the real world where he's just an ordinary person. You can do this by forcing yourself to wake up with him in tow. 3) Look for or create fire, his known weakness. This will keep him at bay until someone in the real world wakes you up.

Fight bladed glove with bladed glove, BUY:

The 10 Halloween movies' box office take is $366,893,444 worldwide.
The 10 Halloween movies' box office take is $366,893,444 worldwide.

HALLOWEEN

Movies: 10 Halloween movies (1978-2009)
The Killer: Michael Myers

The Lowdown: Michael Myers is one of the most indestructible manifestations of pure evil. He has survived every desperate attempt to kill him. He has been gunned down, stabbed, burned alive, run over, electrocuted, hanged, you name it, Michael never dies. And when he gets to his victims, the chance of surviving is close to nil. If its not the kitchen knife, Michael can kill you in many ways, like forcing your head through iron bars, or even kill you with his thumb. But, however effective Michael is in killing, his slowness appears to be a silver lining to his victims, offering a:

23.5% CHANCE OF SURVIVAL

How to survive: The odds of surviving in a Halloween movie is 4:17, which is good. Really good. But, there's a catch. You must be underage. Most who survived a Michael Myers attack were children. Like Frankenstein, Michael kind of sees children as non-threats. If you're not, then there are ways you could prepare. A month before Oct. 31, start doing cardio exercises. While doing so, survey your neighborhood for big open spaces. Consider also buying a gun that shoots more than six. There are also effective ways to immobilize Michael, so ask your neighborhood nerd for ideas. It is vital to plan ahead. With that, I bid you good luck.

The Child's Play franchise took home $289 million in box-office receipts worldwide
The Child's Play franchise took home $289 million in box-office receipts worldwide

CHILD'S PLAY

Movies: 6 Child's Play movies (1988-2013)
The Killers: Chucky, Tiffany, Glen/Glenda

The Lowdown: All Chucky ever wanted was to be human again. In six movies, Charles Lee Ray, the spirit trapped inside the doll has been trying to transfer his soul to a human body, and along the way created for himself, a doll wife and a doll son. This family that plays together and slays together, will kill anyone that stands in their way. They are smart, ingenious and employ the elements of surprise. If they don't stab you while you are sleeping or throw a live wire in the bathtub, they'll find other means to kill you, and even make it look like an accident. The survival odds are 1:5, giving a:

20% CHANCE OF SURVIVAL

iHorrortv: Real doll that inspired Child's Play

How to survive: Seeing a 2' doll spring to life will creep you out. But, after a while you'll realize that you outweigh it by a hundred pounds and could surely out muscle it. But, remember this important rule of the game: NEVER UNDERESTIMATE CHUCKY. Which a lot of his victims found out...too late. Survive by not making the same mistakes they did. If you get the upper hand, take it. He's just made of plastic (although he bleeds), so it won't be hard thinking of ways to kill him. Just make sure he doesn't come back. If you can, blow him to bits, and make sure every bit is blown to even tinier bits.

The Scream franchise has a worldwide box office gross of $609 million.
The Scream franchise has a worldwide box office gross of $609 million.

SCREAM

Movies: 4 Scream movies (1996-2011)
The Killer: Ghostface

The Lowdown: In the 2nd movie, a slasher flick inspired by the events in Woodsboro is introduced. Its called Stab, and for good reason. The Halloween garbed Ghostface likes to stab and stab and stab and stab. A big percentage of the victims, according to coroner and Sheriff department reports, were either stabbed, gutted, or their throats slit. Ghostface averages 10 victims per movie making the odds at 1:6, putting also in consideration that some of the original characters made it through the final movie, leave us with a:

16.6% CHANCE OF SURVIVAL

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How to survive: Even Randy Meeks, the slasher movie addict (played by Jamie Kennedy), who follows the strict rules of what-not-to-do-in-a-slasher-movie gets brutally murdered. If you find yourself in a supporting role in the movie, its best to keep your distance from Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) as far away as possible. The Ghostface killahs seem to target people who are close to her. Oh, and don't answer the telephone.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre family of movies took $250 million worldwide.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre family of movies took $250 million worldwide.

TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE

Movies: 7 Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies (1974-2013)
The Killer: Leatherface and family

The Lowdown: Several families have carried on the tradition of murder and cannibalism and Leatherface is their poster boy. With his patented chainsaw, Leatherface is a force of evil hungry for blood. Victims are young, healthy, sweaty wayward travelers, most of them, hot chicks. The family operates systematically. The brood, masquerading as normal helpful folks, lead the victims to the slaughterhouse while Ma and Pa act as the brains of the operation. There are more than 50 victims in the series, tortured and eaten piece by piece, with fewer than 6 survivors—those “Final Girls.” It’s a living hell with only:

12.5% CHANCE OF SURVIVAL

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How to survive: If you find yourself in an arid, lonely part of the state of Texas, get your shit out of there, Because unless you're a hottie like Jessica Biel, there's no such thing as a "last boy" here. Males are usually the first to go. Once you're caught, chained, and marinated, then abandon all hope. Like the poster says, what matters is what's gonna be left of you. Escape only leads to capture and more torture, as everyone in that sorry part of Texas seems to be in cahoots with each other. You ask help from someone and they later turn out to be their relative! The odds: 1:8. The only way to survive is to fight to the death.

The franchise grossed worldwide with $465 million
The franchise grossed worldwide with $465 million

FRIDAY THE 13th

Movies: 12 Friday the 13th movies (1980-2009)
The Killer: Jason Voorhees

The Lowdown: In 12 Friday the 13th movies, the hockey mask-wearing, superhuman butcher known as Jason Voorhees killed over 200 people. He averages 17 victims per movie, and leaves only 2 survivors. The victims die mostly by being hacked to death or decapitated by a machete. Some die in other painful means. Jason has been known to get a little creative at times. But, the most damning fact is, he could get to you whenever he wants, wherever you hide...even up there in space. He just keeps coming and coming like an Energizer bunny from hell. There is little to no escape. In a Friday the 13th movie, its a paltry:

10.5% CHANCE OF SURVIVAL

All Friday the 13th deaths in one video

How to survive: Two things. One, get your butt out of Camp Crystal Lake. Two, Water. In Freddy vs. Jason (2003), Jason showed a fear for water, so you could try that as a last resort. But, I wouldn't count on it. The sad truth is: JASON DOESN'T FEAR ANYTHING. So, if its any consolation, Jason doesn't play with his victims unlike other movie maniacs. Death is instantaneous. The 2:19 odds is a real killer. So, just hope for the best and if you have a gun, save the last bullet for yourself.

THE RECAP

Movie
Odds
Percentage
A Nightmare on Elm Street
2:7
28.6%
Halloween
4:17
23.5%
Child's Play
1:5
20%
Scream
1:6
16.6%
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
1:8
12.5%
Friday the 13th
2:19
10.5%

Looking at the chart, the lowest chance of survival is in Friday the 13th, owing to the fact that Jason Voorhees is the most effective and persistent in getting to his victims. In Texas Chainsaw Massacre, survival is near as low. As explained, once the cannibal family catches you and put you in chains, there is no escaping, unless the Final Girl, comes back for you. Statistically speaking, Texas Chainsaw Massacre has the most number of Final Girls, maybe because Leatherface tends to fall in love with them, and that opens some possibilities of escape or…just delay your inevitable death.

At 1:6 odds, surviving in a Scream movie is likewise very difficult. Although the Ghostface killers are only human, they are vicious, relentless and most especially, intelligent. They plan their kill with expertise. Chucky on the other hand, is not a mindless little devil, he too, strategizes. And with a bride and a seed on his side, that’s triple the trouble. Even if you kill Chucky, he just comes back another day.

The promising 23.5% survival rate in Halloween points to the slowness of Michael Myers. Have you ever seen Michael run like Ghostface? The answer is no. The guy walks as if he has peed himself. So, you could just play the running game and wait until Halloween is over. It is very unlikely that Michael Myers will stalk you during Christmas. It’s just not his style. Same goes for Freddy Krueger. There are ways to wait it out and not fall asleep. Fighting it out with Freddy is also not a bad idea. The dream warriors did so with some effectivity.

WATCH GUIDE: RATING THE SLASHER MOVIES

Below is a ratings table for all slasher movies featured based on average ratings from IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. The highest the average, the better the movie, so you'll know what to watch and avoid.

RATINGS TABLE

(click column header to sort results)
Movie  
Year  
IMDB Rating  
Rotten Tomatoes Rating  
Average  
Halloween
1978
79
92
85.5
A Nightmare on Elm Street
1984
75
94
84.5
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
1974
75
88
81.5
Scream
1996
72
79
75.5
Scream 2
1997
61
81
71
Wes Craven's New Nightmare
1994
67
77
70.5
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
1987
66
74
70
Curse of Chucky
2013
56
81
68.5
Child's Play
1988
65
68
66.5
Friday the 13th
1980
65
58
61.5
Scream 4
2011
62
59
60.5
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
1988
56
56
56
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
1986
59
52
55.5
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
1998
57
51
54
Freddy vs. Jason
2003
58
41
49.5
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
2003
62
36
49
Child's Play 2
1990
57
40
48.5
Bride of Chucky
1998
53
44
48.5
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
1986
55
42
48.5
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
1985
54
42
48
Freddy vs. Jason
2003
58
37
47.5
Halloween II
1981
65
29
47
Friday the 13th Part 2
1981
61
32
46.5
Scream 3
2000
55
36
45.5
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
1988
59
29
44
Halloween
2007
61
25
43
A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child
1989
51
33
42
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
1984
59
25
42
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
1982
45
37
41
Seed of Chucky
1998
49
32
40.4
Friday the 13th
2009
56
25
40.5
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
1988
53
26
39.5
Child's Play 3
1991
49
23
36
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
2006
59
12
35.5
Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III
1990
51
19
35
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
1994
49
20
34.5
Friday the 13th Part III
1983
57
12
34.5
A Nightmare on Elm Street
2010
52
15
33.5
Halloween II
2009
49
19
34
Texas Chainsaw 3D
2013
48
19
33.5
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
1993
43
24
33.5
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
1989
52
14
33
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
1985
47
16
31.5
Jason X
2002
44
19
31.5
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
1995
49
6
27.5
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
1989
45
9
27
Halloween: Resurrection
2002
41
12
26.5
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation
1994
31
17
24

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