ByTodd SuperGinger Smith, writer at

What makes a great slasher film?

Is it the gore, or special make effects? Or what about the characters and story? What about a little "TNA"?

Maybe a little bit of all the above.

Reminder: I will not be spoiling any plots for those of you that haven't seen any of these films! (or some)

This is my first post, so bare with me as I good through my top 10 favorite slasher films, which is my favorite sub-genre of horror!

10.) April Fool's Day(1986)

Even though many horror fans hated the ending, (I did too at first) the atmosphere, character development and story really let me enjoy a little bit more each time I watch.

Why It's Number 10:

From a pure watch-ability stand point this film kicks ass, its got some great characters and some fun shenanigans to go along with it. Very fun and enjoyable slasher! Also some great performances from Deborah Foreman, Jay Baker, and many others sneak this film in the top 10 for me.

9.) Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning(1985)

YES YES YES. I know. The one with the fake Jason. But have you actually sat down and gave Part 5 an actual real solid look without being pissed? If not, I suggest you put it in again with a fresh set of eyes and give it another look, it might surprise you.

Why It's Number 9:

BOOBS. Yes. Who doesn't love boobs? And while you're at it throw in some crazy, wacky, and down right entertaining characters, you got yourself a great slasher film. It also doesn't hurt that their are some very memorable kills.

8.) Friday The 13th Part 2(1981)

Another great Friday film, (and no, not the hilarious movie with Ice Cube and Chris Tucker) that features an amazing performance from Amy Steel, who already appeared in the top ten with April Fool's Day, This film is a down right cut and dry slasher film, but has something to it that gives it a little flavor. I don't know, maybe it's potato sack Jason.

Why It's Number 8:

This is film as we know it, that put our beloved Hockey masked killer, Jason, on the big screen. It's very cool to see where he started and where he ended up. But really, for me, it's Amy Steel's performance that steals the show. Just a fun, fast-paced, and entertaining slasher.

7.) Scream(1996)

Wes Craven revitalized the horror genre with this instant classic. This film deserves much more credit than it receives. I love everything about this film, the opening is one of the greatest sequences in horror movie history. Great performances all around from a really solid cast and some very cool and unique kills. (All I'm saying is garage)

Why It's Number 7:

This film saved the horror genre and saved the slasher sub-genre. It's Wes Craven at his best, it's the creation of a horror series and creation of a new slasher icon(which in the 90's was very few and far between). Fun, great pace and a high re-watch ability factor.

6.) The Burning(1981)

This film might just have the most watch ability out of them all. VERY entertaining, great characters, and some brutal kills, thanks to the man himself Tom Savini (the special make-effects king). The cast is LOADED with some great performances by: Jason Alexander, (yes, George from Seinfeld) Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Holly Hunter among many others.

Why It's Number 6:

This film is one of the most underrated horror movies of all time, it literally has everything you want to see in a great slasher flick. Memorable characters, great story, great atmosphere and I personally love the back story when it comes to the killer.

5.) Friday The 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter(1984)

It's funny to sit here and think that Paramount wanted to make this the final Friday the 13th film. This is an example of a perfect slasher movie. It literally has it all: great characters, TNA, (not the wrestling company) great kills, and just very well-written overall. It's no wonder why this is the majorities favorite Friday film, it's that good.

Why It's Number 5:

This film is the complete package when it pertains to enjoyment and entertainment value. A great performance from Cory Felman and awesome special make-up effects by the man himself, Tom Savini. It's a very well-made and polished film; it's a lot of fun.

4.) Candyman(1992)

This is, in my humble opinion, the most underrated horror of all time. Horror is the key word there because when I first saw this film, it scared the living shit out of me. I still don't know why this flick doesn't get the credit it deserves. I understand it came out in a lost time for horror, (1992) but still, it's definitely a must-watch.

Why It's Number 4:

The overall atmosphere, and back story is absolutely incredible. The score by Philip Glass is some of the most bone-chilling music in horror cinema. An absolute watch for all horror fans, this is a classic. Great performances from Tony Todd and Virginia Madsen really puts this movie over the top for me. One of my all-time favorite horror films. IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THIS WATCH IT NOW!!!!

3.) A Nightmare On Elm Street(1984)

This is Wes Craven at his very finest. If you haven't seen this film, then you need to stop what you're doing and check it out. The effects in this movie are very bold for a movie with such a small budget. Not only a great horror film, but just a great film overall.

Why It's Number 3:

This film is a classic and is so dark and creepy. I remember watching it around 9-10 years old and I couldn't go to sleep for days. (haha, poor kiddo me) It has everything you want in a great slasher followed up by great direction, atmosphere and character development. Such an iconic film that truly kept the slasher going in the 80's.

2.) The Texas Chain Saw Massacre(1974)

Tobe Hooper's Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Do I need to say more? This film is in my opinion, one of the most scary flicks ever. The raw and brutal tone is this film gives you chills running up and down your spine and, yet, in the end you're wanting more.

Why It's Number 2:

Everything about this movie screams atmosphere, the gritty, hot summer of Texas, the low-budget production and set designer that's really good at making a couch out of bones for some reason. (Hmmm.) This film will leave you scared and thinking twice about eating any meat. Everything about this film I love. An absolute classic. 10/10

1.) Halloween(1978)

John Carpenter's Classic takes the number one spot and even though it may not be a surprise to some people, it's hard to argue. My favorite horror film of all time and second favorite overall (The Crow with Brandon Lee is my favorite but sometimes it's a toss up with Halloween) This film created the standard for what makes a great slasher film and created the horror revolution that was the 80's slashers. It's no wonder this film gets played on multiple cable stations around and on Halloween, just the Christmas Story does around and on Christmas. (another one of my favorites)

Why It's Number 1:

If there are any aspiring horror movie directors/writers, you need to watch this movie multiple times to see how it's done. The overall atmosphere of bringing the horror and mayhem to the suburbs was excellent move. It puts the common, middle-class family in a very uncomfortable, strange place because the suburbs are suppose to safe, right? The suspense and character development are done masterfully by the trio of John Carpenter and Debra Hill. Also, how can you forget the masterful performances of Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis. It's not only a great slasher, but a GREAT movie in general. Very watchable and entertaining.

That's my list folks, what do you think?

Leave your own list below!!!!


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