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7 Greatest Slasher Movies of All Time

Written By

July 18th, 2011

Horror movies have been around since the dawn of the cinema, slasher movies since a certain escaped mental patient donned a painted William Shatner mask and stalked pretty females in the middle of the day.  Since that time, countless filmmakers have driven the formula of a deranged, unseen killer hunting promiscuous teens until only one is still alive all the way to the bank.  Here’s a look at the seven greatest slasher movies ever made.
1 – Halloween

The movie that started it all.  John Carpenter took a chance shooting so much of the plot during the day and only on one street.  Jamie Lee Curtis turns is this into a brilliant performance and the John Williams score is perfection.  The opening five-minute tracking shot from the point of view of a young Mike Myers makes the audience feel culpable and is the most brilliant in the genre.


2 – Scream

Wes Craven helped write the rules of the slasher movie then wrote a movie that referenced those rules with tongue firmly in cheek, and broke quite a few of them along the way.  Scream is funny, smart, and quite scary.  What more could you want?


3 – Friday the 13th 

Forget the TV show and the countless sequels, the first Friday the 13th was a great slasher flick with one heck of a “reverse-Psycho” twist ending.  Camp counselors with too much sex on their minds fall one by one to a revenge-seeking psychopath at Camp Crystal Lake.  Even the dude in the wheelchair can’t get any love.


4 – A Nightmare on Elm Street

Freddy Krueger is one of the more memorable killers in slasher history with his striped sweater, fedora, and bladed gloves.  Like Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street uses a cozy suburban street and a lot of daylight to amplify the creepiness of the deranged plot.


5 – The Funhouse

This is an underrated selection in the slasher genre.  Four friends decide to hide out in the funhouse after the carnival has closed.  They find a deformed, mistreated outcast with anger issues to keep them company for the night.  Claustrophobic and creepy with one of the better, confined settings in horror film history.


6 – Saw

Saw may be a stretch for a straight slasher film, but for outright terror it’s one of the best scary movies ever filmed.  Jigsaw fits the classic killer mold with more imagination about how to off his victims than all other killers combined.


7 – Prom Night

Forget the crappy 2008 remake, the 1980 original is slasher royalty.  Jamie Lee Curtis stars as one of a group of friends who are a part of a fatal childhood accident of a classmate.  Years later, on prom night, penance must be paid.  Am I the only one that loves a darkened, deserted school campus for a film setting?

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