Despite characters being in different scenarios, locations and being hunted by different killers, the classic horror trope will generally follow a particular route, showcasing the hunting and the deaths of the five main characters.
These characters are generalised to fit stereotypes and include "The Slut", "The Jock", "The Brain", "The Fool" and "The Final Girl". We've looked at the best Final Girls out there, but what about The Sluts? They are iconic in horror flicks, regularly being the ones who are topless, running away from the killer with their boobs bouncing away. She's the character who usually dies first, most of the time after having sex with the Jock character, She is seen as ditzy, some kind of cheerleader or homecoming queen type, and is usually the Final Girl's best friend despite their differences.
I love the character of The Slut, having fit into it seemlessly, and there are some great characterisations out there:
Tatum Riley, Scream
Played by Rose McGowan, Tatum Riley was the best friend of Final Girl Sidney Prescott, and sister to the bumbling Fool Dewey in the first Scream movie. Pretty, popular, and in no way a virgin, Tatum lived up the Slut stereotype with visible nipples and a feisty attitude, delighting in Sidney punching reporter Gale Weathers in the face with "Damn, bitch went down!" Eventually Tatum bites by trying to go through a cat flap in the garage door of a party trying to escape the Ghostface killer.
Despite the stereotype, Tatum is quite a compassionate and feminist character, proving to always have Sidney's back when she needs it. She was very much so not the classic ideal of The Slut, never seen having sex or going full nude, but she certainly helped pave the way for the fun-loving and carefree best friend.
Helen Shivers, I Know What You Did Last Summer
Another 90's darling, the character of Helen Shivers in I Know What You Did Last Summer is played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, who sets aside her badass Buffy roots to play the helpless Slut character. Hanging out with virginal Final Girl Julie James and their boyfriends, Helen is a quintessential ditzy character, featuring in not one but two Beauty Queen Pageants in which she wins first place. Regularly seen in gowns and a tiara on her head, Helen has dreams of being an actress, which are cut down when she is killed by the fisherman after her pagent.
While Sarah Michelle Gellar keeps it tasteful, avoiding the nudity and the sex scenes that are so rampant for the character of the Slut, she transforms into the iconic role with her ditzyness and her ambitions to be involved in beauty pageants, suggesting a strong vanity that the Sluts portray.
Jules Louden, Cabin in the Woods
Played by Anna Hutchison, Cabin in the Woods' Jules is yet another more dimensional character that turns the stereotype of the Slut on it's head. Opening up the movie as a pre-med student in college who had literally only just died her hair blonde, Jules is simply a nice, sweet best friend to Final Girl Dana. However, in order to live up to the hype, the Chem Department treated her blonde hair due with a slow acting toxin that reduced her cognative ability, making her a dumb blonde. They also forced the Slut hand by spraying a pheromone mist on her and her boyfriend Curt in order for them to have sex. However, in classic vibes, Jules is the first one killed by the zombies when she is decapitated in a shirt that is open to reveal some breast.
Jules is very obviously depicted as the Slut with a truth or dare game that features her making out with the stuffed head of a wolf, as well as her sexy dancing in the cabin prior to her death. She is the only person to appear topless in the film, as the architects say "It's not just us who are we watching. They need to be appeased."
Paige Edwards, House of Wax
The character of Paige Edwards in the remake of House of Wax is so iconic for the Slut stereotype because they actually cast someone who is the embodiment of the idea - Paris Hilton. The socialite party queen with blonde hair and a penchant for pink took on the role of the Final Girl Carly's best friend. While on their way to a football game, the friendship group all stop to camp for the night and end up being stalked by a wax-masked killer and his family. While all of this is going on, Paige's underlying characterisation is that she thinks she is pregnant - something only "slutty unwed people" do - and she is trying to tell her partner.
The ultimate Slut characterisation though happens just before her death, where she and her boyfriend are kissing in a tent and she does a strip tease for him. When they are uncovered at the camp, she is forced to flee from the killer in nothing but an oversized sweatshirt and a very revealing red laced bra.
Marcie Stanler, Friday the 13th
The Friday the 13th series has a huge influence when it comes to discussing the roles of sex and death in horror films, as the whole point is that the character of Jason died while the counselors were off "having filthy sex", sparking the whole killing spree of the series. This is shown in the original with the character of Marcie Stanler, played by Jeannine Taylor, who works at Camp Crystal Lake with her boyfriend Jack. Jack and Marcie have sex in their cabin before she attacked by Pamela Voorhees swinging an axe into her face, the whole time she is in nothing but tiny underwear.
It is debatable that Marcie's death in Friday the 13th actually started the whole Slut stereotype, perpetuated by similar slasher flicks that don't give the characters much depth beyond their vaginas. Her role in this classic movie went on to inspire many almost identical characters, including the Friday the 13th reboot, where the slutty Amanda (played by America Olivo), complete with big fake bouncing boobs, glistening skin, tiny short shorts and lacy bra, has sex with her boyfriend in her tent before she is killed.