A supernatural serial killer stalks a teenage girl after she smokes pot, drinks beer, dances half-naked and has casual sex.
It’s an image that’s moved beyond cliché and into the realm of “meta-horror,” when the genre comments on its own obsessions with slut-shaming and male power fantasies. Meta-horror may have reached its ultimate expression in Joss Whedon’s “Cabin In The Woods” (2012), which reimagines the tropes of horror films as a dark, Lovecraftian ritual that also implicates the viewer, wagging a finger at us for enjoying the gore and the terror quite so much.
Shant Hamassian’s 2015 short film “Night Of The Slasher” (2015) is also meta-horror, but it takes place on a more personal, even intimate scale. Jenelle (Lily Berlina, expressing a great deal with almost no words) works through a literal checklist of horror tropes to deliberately attract the killer. The scar on her neck tells us she’s encountered him before, and we soon realize she’s out for vengeance.