The slasher genre is a sub-genre of the Horror film genre, this usually involves a psychotic killer stalking and killing a sequence of victims in a graphic manner. The murder weapon is often a bladed weapon such as; a knife, an axe and a chainsaw etc.
This is a link to a page on Slasher films
The first film that can be recognised as a slasher is 'Thirteen Women' (1932), however despite this being the first it was by not the most important. 'Peeping Tom' was released in (1960) and three months after that Alfred Hitchcock released 'Psycho' this was the first 'true' slasher film and is highly regarded as 'the mother of all slashers'. The famous shower scene was described as a masterpiece with a stalking camera technique as well as a chilling soundtrack. A knife wielding mentally disturbed killer was portrayed including a twist at the end of the film.
This is a link to the IMDb page of 'Psycho'
Many films came after 'Psycho' but nobody could replicate Hitchcock's masterpiece until the huge success of John Carpenter's 'Halloween' in 1978. This is the film that made slasher big! There were countless remakes of this film, and it was 'Halloween' that sparked a long succession of holiday related slashers. Such as; Friday the 13th, April Fool's day, Christmas Evil, New Year's Evil, My Bloody Valentine etc. 'Halloween' created many codes and conventions that are now used in slasher films today.
This is a link to the IMDb page of 'Halloween'
The most recent popular slasher films were the 'SAW' series, in this they created new gruesome ways of people getting killed.
Many characters that are famous for their killer roles are; Leatherface, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Jigsaw and Norman Bates.
From all these films we can take many codes and conventions and apply them to our production.