With Halloween coming in a few weeks, what better way to get into the spirit of the spooky season than by watching some horror movies?
However, horror branches out into many sub-genres, and the focus of this article is to take a look at some of the best movies in the slasher genre.
Psycho is about Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), who leaves after stealing money from her employer to run away with her lover (John Gavin).
However, she makes a stop at the Bates Motel, run by the polite and quiet Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), apparently dominated by his ruthless mother.
Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological horror may not have been the father of slasher films, but it’s often touted as one of the pioneering slasher films.
Psycho is easily one of the most recognizable films, and the shower scene has become one of the most iconic moments in film history.
The film’s music has also become synonymous with the slasher film genre.
Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th follows a group of teenage camp counselors as they try to fix and reopen an abandoned summer camp.
Aside from the challenge of renovating the old summer camp, they have to survive as someone tries to kill them.
Although there have been several slasher films, Friday the 13th is arguably the most influential of them all.
The cliché of a group of teenagers killed one by one in a field began with this 1980 slasher film.
Friday the 13th was responsible for initiating the “stalker” subgenre in slasher films that show the killer’s perspective as he follows his victims.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Five hippies embark on a journey through rural Texas to investigate a case of grave vandalism.
Along the way, however, they arrive at a farm where they must survive a family of cannibals and a chainsaw maniac.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential films in the horror genre.
For many, it raised the bar and introduced the public to blood that wasn’t as common at the time.
One of the most iconic horror characters, Leatherface, is the archetype of the hulking silent killer with no personality.
Many horror directors have credited The Texas Chain Saw Massacre as a huge influence on their works, including Alien, The Hills Have Eyes, and House of 1000 Corpses.
On Halloween night in 1963, six-year-old Michael Myers brutally murdered his 15-year-old sister, which led to him getting confined in an asylum.
Fifteen years after his murder, Myers manages to escape from the psychiatric hospital and the riots in his hometown.
Before Jason Voorhees, there was Michael Myers, who laid the groundwork for the masked silent killer who walked silently as his victims tried to escape.
The movie helped take the slasher genre to the next level and introduced the latest female trope.
Halloween also paved the way for others in the genre to follow.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
The Elm Street teenagers say they’ve all had nightmares and, surprisingly, dream of the same character.
After one of them dies in his sleep, they realize that in order to figure out how to defeat Freddy Kreuger (Robert Englund), it’s important to uncover the truth.
Before Vecna from Stranger Things, Freddy Kreuger was the character that haunted people’s nightmares.
He is easily recognizable by his burnt flesh, his beige fedora, his red and green sweater, and, of course, his metal claws.
A Nightmare on Elm Street also introduced the eerie use of surreal settings, with a haunting nursery rhyme about the villain.
Child’s Play (1988)
After being shot, a killer (Brad Dourif) uses dark magic to transfer his soul into a nearby doll.
A woman (Catherine Hicks) unknowingly purchases the possessed doll for her son (Alex Vincent).
When it comes to the slasher genre, it’s impossible to exclude the biggest killer doll from the list.
Chucky has given many children nightmares by bringing the killer doll concept to life on screens.
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
The sequel to Friday the 13th will hit theaters a year later.
However, the storyline takes place five years after the event, with much of the same storyline.
The main difference is that this film marked the debut of the iconic character Jason Voorhees as the antagonist.
In this film, Jason remains the behemoth he knows today, but it wasn’t until Friday the 13th Part III (1982) that he wore his iconic hockey mask.
If there was a movie that took every element of the horror genre and created something new.
Filled with meta references, Scream makes countless references to the unspoken rules of the slasher and horror genres.
Scream spawned six sequels and a short-lived series, redefining the horror genre from the 1990s to the early 2000s.
I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
Urban legends have been the source of many horror films, and in the case of this film, they certainly cemented the hookman as a horror staple.
Four friends driving to the beach accidentally hit a pedestrian and dumped him in the harbor, vowing never to talk about the accident.
A year later, they are chased one by one and killed by an unknown attacker who uses a hook as a weapon.
I Know What You Did Last Summer, along with Scream, helped revive the horror genre in the 1990s.