I’ve done these “favorites” lists for a while, as a way for you guys to get to know me and my taste levels of the genre. This one was a bit more difficult because the subject is quite oversaturated in my opinion. Especially when we break it up into decades and the 80s is right up there in the forefront of slashers. I think a huge part of it is that a lot of the bigger franchises jump off into the 80s and continue on and then you get a lot of “copycats” and the market is overwhelming.
I also thought that I don’t enjoy a lot of slashers because I love supernatural or psychological horror a lot but listing ones I’ve enjoyed or recommend was very different from what I expected to put down. I also excluded Friday the 13th because it’s not a favorite franchise of mine though I like some of the movies and some of the final girls and Kane Hodder is pretty cool and there are iconic music scores in it but if I had to choose, it wouldn’t be my first choice so do not expect that film in here!
I have an equal amount of honorable mentions to my list and if I did a top 20, these would be included and the list would change quite dramatically. But I had to be firm and limit to 10!
Let’s talk about my favorite slashers.
10. My Bloody Valentine (1981) – I’ve seen it a couple of times, second time being last year and I think because I wasn’t distracted and I couldn’t remember the first watch, I was heavily invested. It takes place in a mining town and is a huge part of the plot. And our antagonist, our villain, I like that too.
09. Haunt (2019) – A not so typical slasher taking place at a haunted house experience but I like the twist that this isn’t exactly a normal experience of just spooks and scares. I also like the arc of our lead protagonist, her past seeping into her present and confronting her present.
08. Sleepaway Camp (1983) – This movie is just fun, I had so much fun with this 80s cult favorite. The ending is infamous but the lead up and watching it come together was enjoyable for me.
07. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006) – Unexpected fun watch. It’s one of the few mockumentary slashers that I’m aware of but what makes this movie work is Leslie Vernon is charismatic and likeable. We’re not supposed to be rooting for him but dang it, he’s got charm.
06. Dario Argento’s Opera (1987) – I love 70s into the 80s Argento, it has a lot of his best work, even as a producer or writer in some cases. Opera, I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. The needles on the eye thing is traumatizing, I cannot imagine surviving that.
05. Alice, Sweet Alice (1976) – This movie holds a sweet spot in my heart. I LOVE this movie. It’s not fun, I mean, we have a child that dies but the killer, the yellow coat, the dynamics of sister relationships, parent to child, religion, all of these things build up to a climax and ending that I still don’t understand.
04. American Psycho (2000) – Great movie, Christian Bale makes this movie. I love the additional actors like Chloe Sevigny, Jared Leto, Reese Witherspoon but this movie is really Bale’s movie. The character of Patrick Bateman is the archetype of yuppie, health obsessed, anger issues and I haven’t really seen a character like him in a long time.
03. Black Christmas (1974) – I want to own Black Christmas on vhs SO BAD but I’ll settle for dvd cos I can watch this on repeat. The kills are brutal, you as a watcher feel so bad for these sorority girls and the performances are great. This is a good holiday themed movie if you’re in the mood for something more sinister.
02. Blood and Black Lace (1964) – I’ve spoken highly about this movie recently in another post, this is one of the early few Italian horror films I saw and was amazed at how different this movie was compared to anything else. It reminded me of a classic Hollywood vibe but the color scheme, the lighting, the tension, everything about it was an unique experience on screen and after.
01. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – When I think slasher, I think of this. I think of that one scene where we first see Leatherface standing in front of that vibrant red wall and it’s silence… so silent that we hear the weapon hit a head, the body twitches and squealing noises in the background. And then the door shuts behind Leatherface and it’s just silent. That scene played in my head and I didn’t realize that this movie doesn’t rely on music as a cue. It’s tense, silent but well written and acted.
If I had a top 20 or 30, these fellow movies would be included. These were written down as potentials but shoved into the HONORABLE MENTIONS category: Tenebrae (1982), Deep Red (Profondo Rosso) (1975), Terrifier (2016), The Strangers (2008) , Child’s Play (1988), Scream (1996), Candyman (1992), Halloween (1978), Psycho (1960), A Bay of Blood (1971).
What are some of your favorite slashers? What did I miss? Let me know in the comments below! See you next week!