For many of us, slasher films pretty much define the horror genre. There really is nothing better than kicking back with a few beers and watching some unsuspecting teen get decapitated while her friends are partying in the cabin over. Slasher flicks range from extremely comical to downright disturbing, but they always manage to entertain. Everybody has their favorite killer and/or kill scene and nobody can ever seem to agree on which is best, but I think we can all agree the following films deserve a top spot in the horror hall of fame.
10. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon(2007)
This extremely clever mockumentary gives us a behind the scenes look at the real life of a slasher style serial killer in a world where our favorite movies are a reality. Jam packed with references to all the great films that came before it and the various rules that seem to stick to the sub-genre, "Behind The Mask" turns out to be a solid, albeit comical slasher film in its own right. A definite must see for the true horror geek.
9. My Bloody valentine(1981)
A huge early 80's cult favorite, "My Bloody Valentine" tells the story of a sleepy mining town with a violent past that appears to be repeating itself on......you guessed it....Valentines Day. Very much a standard slasher flick for its day, it does manage to throw a few twists in there to keep you guessing. If you have never seen this film, or have only seen the remake, then SHAME ON YOU. Make sure you check out the uncut version released in 2009 to catch a couple scenes that had initially given this film an X rating in 1981.
8. Child's Play(1988)
Dolls are creepy. FACT! "Child's Play" sets the standard for killer doll movies. It is not necessarily scary (anybody reading this that can't kick a 2 foot tall doll's ass needs to seriously consider hitting the gym), but is certainly an entertaining addition to the slasher family. Keep your eyes open for the remake supposedly coming up soon.
7. The Burning(1981)
One of my favorite of the early 80's slashers, "The Burning" is basically your standard slash and hack film following a bunch of kids away at camp that start disappearing one at a time. While not long on plot, "The Burning" offers an excellent cast, including early performances by Fisher Stevens and Jason Alexander, as well as the makeup and special effects of Tom Savini.
Just when we thought the slasher film was dead, "Hatchet" came along and brought things right back to the roots. A bunch of people poking around where they don't belong, getting picked off one at a time by a disfigured madman with an ax to grind. Starring horror legend Kane Hodder and with cameo appearances by Robert Englund and Tony Todd, "Hatchet" is an awesome throwback to the days when the slasher was king.
5. A Nightmare on Elm St(1984)
The first slasher to include a supernatural edge, "A Nightmare On Elm Street" was an instant classic. Following the already tested formula, the deranged killer returns from beyond the grave to seek revenge on high school students. Freddy immediately became an icon in the horror world and managed to scare a whole generation.
4. Black Christmas(1974)
This 1974 classic is the one that started it all. Based on real life crimes committed around Christmas, "Black Christmas" set the stage for the sub-genre as we know it. Slightly dated by today's standards, still definitely still an enjoyable watch and belongs in any serious collection.
3. Friday the 13th(1980)
What can really be said about this one? "Friday the 13th" was an instant success spawning 10 sequels and a remake. Jason Vorhees has managed to be a household name and a part of all of our lives for 30 years now.
2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre(1974)
Another major influence on modern horror movies, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" still manages to frighten audiences to this day. This timeless classic may lack the gore that we are used to these days, but manages an extreme amount of tension without ever showing much of anything. Along side "Black Christmas", this film managed to pave the groundwork for everything that came after it.
This is definitely the one that started the craze. Unlike the slasher films to come before it, "Halloween" managed to bring that terror right to our door. The masked sociopath stalking our streets and killing indiscriminately , Michael Myers sets the standard by which all other horror movie villains should be judged. Perfection in every way, this movie has it all. The score alone can manage to evoke a reaction from people. Anybody who says that Michael Myers doesn't scare them, even a little, is lying.