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The Best Slasher Movies 

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Updated December 12, 2019 90.7k votes 4.5k voters 114.8k views 181 items

List Rules Top slasher flicks and horror splatter films

A list of the best slasher movies. These are some of the best slasher films ever made, but if you feel we've missed one, please feel free to add it to the list yourself. Some of the films listed here could well be considered among the greatest horror films ever made. Which ones are your favorites? Vote them up, and don't forget that you can always re-rank this list, too.

Slasher films took off like a fire storm after the late 70s when Halloween became the highest grossing independent film of all time. Few thinly sliced genres can boast the sheer amount of icons slasher movies have given us: Freddy, Jason, Mike Myers. In a lot of cases, these slasher films have become incredibly successful movie franchises, raking in millions over a period of decades.

From A Nightmare on Elm Street to Friday the 13th to the wildly popular Scream series, these films have some serious staying power. Fans of slasher films are pretty darn loyal. Once you find a great horror movie franchise they love, they rarely waver from it.

Most of these movies are horror films, but there are a few on this list of the best slasher films that are comedic. That said, they're still not for kids... unless your kid enjoys blood, guts, and inappropriate amounts of gore. So put down your knife and grab your popcorn, because if you like slasher films then the movies on this list are for you. If you're looking specifically for splatter film, we have a list on that too.

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Wes Carpenter added Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence

Released: 1978

Directed by: John Carpenter

Halloween is a 1978 American independent slasher horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with producer Debra Hill, and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her ...more

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Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal

Released: 1974

Directed by: Tobe Hooper

This movie is a 1974 American slasher film, directed and produced by Tobe Hooper, who cowrote it with Kim Henkel. It stars Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow and Gunnar ...more

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Wes Carpenter added Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp

Released: 1984

Directed by: Wes Craven

A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American supernatural slasher horror film written and directed by Wes Craven, and the first film of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film stars ...more

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Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer

Released: 1980

Directed by: Sean S. Cunningham

Friday the 13th is a 1980 American slasher film directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller. The film concerns a group of teenagers who are taken out one by one while attempting ...more

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BrandonMachado added Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins

Released: 1960

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Psycho is a 1960 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers on an encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane, who ends up at a secluded motel after taking money from ...more

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ChangesDownClub added Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Vanessa A. Williams

Released: 1992

Directed by: Bernard Rose

Candyman is a 1992 American horror film written and directed by Bernard Rose, based on the short story "The Forbidden" by Clive Barker, though the film's scenario is switched from ...more

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Jamie Lee Curtis, Dana Carvey, Kyle Richards

Released: 1981

Directed by: Rick Rosenthal

Halloween II is a 1981 slasher horror film directed by Rick Rosenthal, and written and produced by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. It is the second installment in the Halloween series and is a ...more

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Charley Feldman added Sharni Vinson, Barbara Crampton, Amy Seimetz

Released: 2011

Directed by: Adam Wingard

You're Next is a 2011 American independent action-horror slasher film directed by Adam Wingard, written by Simon Barrett, and starring Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, A. J. Bowen, ...more

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Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Courteney Cox

Released: 1996

Directed by: Wes Craven

Scream is a 1996 American slasher film written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven. The film stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Drew Barrymore, and David Arquette. Released on ...more

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Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon

Released: 1988

Directed by: Tom Holland

Child's Play is a 1988 American horror film directed by Tom Holland, written by Tom Holland, Don Mancini, and John Lafia, and starring Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, and Brad ...more

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Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell

Released: 1986

Directed by: Robert Harmon

The Hitcher is a 1986 action horror film directed by Robert Harmon and written by Eric Red. The film stars Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jeffrey DeMunn.

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caretaker797 added Holly Hunter, Jason Alexander, Fisher Stevens

Released: 1981

Directed by: Tony Maylam

The Burning is a 1981 slasher film directed by Tony Maylam and written by Peter Lawrence and Bob Weinstein. It is based on an original story by Maylam, Weinstein, and Brad Grey, with a musical ...more

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Malcolm McDowell, Danny Trejo, Danielle Harris

Released: 2007

Directed by: Rob Zombie

Halloween is a 2007 American slasher film written, directed, and produced by Rob Zombie. The film is a remake/reimagining of the 1978 horror film of the same name; it is a reboot of the ...more

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Jamie Lee Curtis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michelle Williams

Released: 1998

Directed by: Steve Miner

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, is a 1998 American slasher film and is the seventh installment in the Halloween film series. It is directed by Steve Miner and starring Jamie Lee Curtis, LL Cool ...more

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Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Anne Heche

Released: 1997

Directed by: Jim Gillespie

I Know What You Did Last Summer is a 1997 American slasher film based on the 1973 novel of the same name by Lois Duncan. The film changes many aspects of the book, which was not a slasher novel. ...more

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caretaker797 added Mike Kellin, Katherine Kamhi, Robert Earl Jones

Released: 1983

Directed by: Robert Hiltzik

Sleepaway Camp is a 1983 exploitation slasher film written and directed by Robert Hiltzik who also served as executive producer. The film came at a time when slasher films were in their heyday, ...more

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Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Shawnee Smith

Released: 2004

Directed by: James Wan

Saw is a 2004 horror film written by Leigh Whannell and directed by James Wan, in Wan's directorial debut. In the film, Adam (Whannell) and Lawrence (Cary Elwes) awaken chained in a large ...more

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Dee Wallace, Michael Berryman, John Steadman

Released: 1977

Directed by: Wes Craven

The Hills Have Eyes is a 1977 American exploitation-horror film written and directed by Wes Craven and starring Susan Lanier, Michael Berryman and Dee Wallace. It is about a suburan family on a ...more

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Charley Feldman added Daniella Alonso, Madeline Zima, Andrea Roth

Released: 2009

Directed by: Marcus Dunstan

The Collector is a 2009 horror film written by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton and directed by Dunstan. Originally titled The Midnight Man, the script was originally intended to be a Saw ...more

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Martin Kove, Steve Miner, Fred J. Lincoln

Released: 1972

Directed by: Wes Craven

The Last House on the Left is a 1972 American exploitation-horror film written, edited, and directed by Wes Craven and produced by Sean S. Cunningham. The story is inspired by the 1960 Swedish ...more

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21
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Charley Feldman added Robin Stille, Michael Villella, Debra Deliso

Released: 1982

Directed by: Amy Holden Jones

The Slumber Party Massacre is a 1982 American slasher film directed by Amy Holden Jones and written by Rita Mae Brown. In the film, an 18-year old is left alone by her parents and plans on ...more
22
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dee123 added Robert Englund, Zelda Rubinstein, Scott Wilson

Released: 2006

Directed by: Scott Glosserman

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is a 2006 American mockumentary horror film and black comedy directed by Scott Glosserman. It stars Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals and Robert Englund. ...more

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Liv Tyler, Gemma Ward, Scott Speedman

Released: 2008

Directed by: Bryan Bertino

The Strangers is a 2008 American horror film written and directed by Bryan Bertino and starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman as a young couple who are terrorized by three masked assailants, who ...more

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Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins, Dan O'Herlihy

Released: 1982

Directed by: Tommy Lee Wallace

Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a 1982 American science fiction horror film. The film is the third installment in the Halloween franchise and notable for being the only entry in the series ...more

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ChrisTanakis added Cécile de France, Philippe Nahon, Maïwenn Besco

Released: 2003

Directed by: Alexandre Aja

High Tension is a 2003 French psychological suspense and slasher film that was later released in 2004 in the UK and 2005 in the US and Canada. The film, directed by Alexandre Aja, stars ...more

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