What are some good slasher movies

Slasher films are not for the faint of heart: The horror film subgenre is dedicated to (serial) killers who (re) discover their bloody killer instinct, often on the anniversary of an earlier act of violence or on a holiday. The characteristics of the genre also include the fact that the bodies of the victims are slashed open by the film villain with sharp objects; hence the name "slasher film". Often the last victim of the killer in slasher films is a young woman, the so-called "final girl", which gives the genre an often criticized misogynous undertone.

Even if some films of the genre often lack logical storylines, there are also some good to outstanding works within the slasher film. ROLLING STONE is presenting ten films that scored particularly well on the IMDb film portal.

Overview of popular slasher films

Eyes of fear (Original title: "Peeping Tom") (1960)

In "Augen der Angst", better known under the original title "Peeping Tom", Karlheinz Böhm plays the psychopathic voyeur, hobby filmmaker and woman murderer Mark Lewis, who tortures and kills his victims in front of the camera while filming their facial expressions. One day Lewis befriends his neighbor Helen (Anna Hassey), whom he spied before and to whom he unexpectedly opens up. For Böhm, who shortly before rose to the audience's favorite with the “Sissi” films, the controversial “Peeping Tom” led to a career turnaround in Germany, just as it did for director Michael Powell in the United Kingdom. The film has since been rehabilitated by critics; directors like Martin Scorsese also rate the film as an absolute masterpiece.

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Blood Court in Texas (OT: "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre") (1974)

Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) is traveling through the Texan hinterland with her brother Franklin and three other friends. The group is looking for the grave of Sally and Franklin's grandparents, which has apparently been desecrated. They run out of fuel on the way there. The gas station is also experiencing a delivery bottleneck, so the group walks to a remote house to ask for gas. There, however, the cannibal family of the killer Leatherface awaits them, who covers his face with a mask made of human skin, including his notorious chainsaw. In its brutality and intoxicating aesthetics, the film by director Tobe Hooper, who was later to shoot another horror classic with “Poltergeist”, was groundbreaking for the slasher genre. In 2003 a remake of the film of the same name was released.

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Editor's recommendation

Dressed to Kill (1980)

Kate Miller (Angie Dickinson) is a sexually frustrated housewife who regularly visits a psychologist (Michael Caine). After an affair in a hotel, she is killed in an elevator by a tall, blonde woman wearing sunglasses with a razor blade. The luxury call girl Liz (Nancy Allen) observes the crime and can also see the perpetrator's face in a reflection. But because of her job and her presence at the time of the crime, she is now under police suspicion herself. A puzzle game is unleashed. To search for the perpetrator, Liz gets help from Kate Miller's son Peter (Keith Gordon), who has a great fascination with video cameras. The erotic thriller was nominated for no less than three Golden Raspberries at the time, but is now considered one of Brian De Palma's best films - and rightly so: “Dressed to Kill” is brilliantly filmed, visually breathtaking and convinces with unexpected twists and turns.

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Friday the 13th (OT: "Friday the 13th") (1980)

Twenty years after two bloody murders occurred at Camp Crystal Lake, it is set to reopen for a summer camp for the first time. When a group meets on site to work on the reconditioning of the camp facilities, a series of murders ensues, from which Alice Hardy (Adrienne King) can barely save. She learns that not only were two children killed at the camp, but a boy also drowned in the nearby lake. His name was Jason Voorhees - and she got the information from his mother (Betsy Palmer). “Friday the 13th” also developed into a long series of films with numerous sequels to the original.

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Halloween (1978)

It is probably the slasher classic par excellence: John Carpenter's “Halloween”. The film not only shows Jamie Lee Curtis in her first film role, but also became the basis for numerous sequels and a remake. About the plot: Michael Myers escapes, exactly 15 years after he murdered his sister on a Halloween night as a child, from custody and thus from the care of his psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance). He returns to the suburban idyll of Haddonfield, again on Halloween, where Myers has this time targeted the young Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends. In Carpenter's atmospherically dense horror film, danger is omnipresent: “Halloween” is a masterpiece that founded the slasher film hype that lasted into the 80s and that also earned Curtis the title of “Scream Queen”.

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Jessy - The stairs to death (OT: "Black Christmas") (1974)

During a Christmas party in a college dorm, an intruder enters college student Clare's (Lynne Griffin's) room and kills her. When the search for Clare begins, Jess (Olivia Hussey) and her friends notice that more and more women have disappeared. At the same time, a killer threatens his college friends with a series of phone calls; his series of murders doesn't seem to be over yet. "Black Christmas" is considered to be the style defining for the slasher film. Director Bob Clarks set standards here in his staging and also established the motif that slasher films often take place on public holidays such as Christmas in this case.

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Nightmare - Murderous Dreams (OT: "A Nightmare on Elm Street") (1984)

On the eponymous Elm Street, the young Tina Gray (Amanda Wyss) is haunted in her dreams by a murderer with knife blades who first injures her and then kills her in her sleep one night. Tina's entourage believes that she was murdered by her friend Rod Lane (Nick Corri), who was in her room that night. But Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) also has nightmares about the same knife-blade killer and believes that the person in her dreams is also responsible for Tina's death. A hunt for the returned child killer Freddy Krueger (played by Robert Englund) unfolds, which horror master Wes Craven directs as a slasher film with supernatural borrowings. Craven created a horror universe that was to result in numerous sequels and remakes. Fun fact by the way: Johnny Depp can be seen here as a friend of Nancy in his first film role.

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Psycho (1960)

The mother of all slasher films - by the master Alfred Hitchcock: "Psycho" is about Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), a secretary who is frustrated on a love and professional level, who has a car and $ 40,000 in her luggage, which she embezzled from her boss , disappears from Phoenix. Crane, who behaves very conspicuously during the escape, decides to check into a remote motel. What happens to Crane there is just as much film history as the character of the uptight motel owner Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), who lives in the house next door with his mother. Even almost 60 years after its publication, Hitchcock's black and white classic is still convincing due to its clever entanglement of elements from horror films, psychological thrillers and “Whodunit”.

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Scream! (1996)

After the slasher film had passed its zenith in the late 80s, the success of "Scream" revived a genre believed to be dead. Director Wes Craven, who was responsible for other horror classics with “The Hills Have Eyes” and the aforementioned “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, used post-modern tricks, scattering numerous cross-references to other horror films and interwoven elements of the horror genre in “Scream” those of the black comedies as well as the "Whodunit". The end result is an exciting, entertaining and extremely brutal puzzle game that perfectly captured the zeitgeist of the 90s and that has now become a piece of pop culture - not only because of the iconic "Scream" mask.

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Terror in the Opera (OT: "Opera") (1987)

During the dress rehearsal for an opera performance of Verdi's “Macbeth” at La Scala in Milan, the first occupation of the leading role is captured by a car; the substitute singer Betty (Cristina Marsillach) jumps in. A stage worker dies at the premiere, later a friend of Betty is brutally murdered - and the singer has to watch the bloody act. For Betty, the dream of the great operatic role has become the beginning of a nightmare from which she cannot escape anytime soon. Despite various cuts, Dario Argento's film was indexed in Germany for a long time and only celebrated its official cinema premiere in Germany in 2017 in a new version. Argento, who shot a classic slasher film in 1975 with “Rosso - The Color of Death”, is considered the grand master of horror - and his very own horror vision culminates in “Opera”: the feverish color scheme, the restless tracking shots, the blood freezing suspense. And because Argento is often compared to Hitchcock: birds, in this case ravens, play an important role in “Opera”.

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