ComScore

The 35 Best Slasher Movies to Watch on Halloween and Beyond

best slasher movies mobile 1
Universal Pictures

Depending on who you're talking to, Halloween isn't quite complete without a certain thing. For some, it's that first pumpkin spice latte of the season, whereas for others, it's the fact that they get to hate on that same pumpkin spice latte for a good month. But for the hardcore fans, there's a good chance that it's simply the movie, Halloween, or one of the other best slasher movies of the past 70 years.

1. 'Halloween' (1978)

Who's in It: Jamie Lee Curtis, Nick Castle, Donald Pleasence, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Nancy Kyes, Kyle Richards

Rating: 96% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 31m

In her film debut, Jamie Lee Curtis quickly established herself on the horror scene with her role as Laurie Strode in one of the most well-known, best slasher movies of all time—Halloween. The film follows the now-iconic villain, Michael Myers, as he searches for babysitters to kill on Halloween.

Watch now on Prime Video

2. 'Psycho' (1960)

Who's in It: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, John Gavin, Vera Miles

Rating: 96% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 49m

Even if you’ve never seen Psycho, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen its iconic shower scene in some sort of iteration in the years since the movie was first released. Hitchcock's film—based on the novel of the same name—centers around Norman Bates, the owner of the Bates Motel, and Marion Crane, who stops by one night.

Watch now on Prime Video

3. 'Child's Play' (1988)

Who's in It: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, Dinah Manoff, Brad Dourif

Rating: 71% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 27m

Before there was Chuckie on Rugrats, there was Chucky the insane, serial-killer doll from Child’s Play. When pre-doll, human Chucky is killed by a police officer, he performs voodoo to reincarnate as a popular doll to take revenge on his enemies. Given that Chucky was also a serial killer before he was killed, this ends up including more than just his enemies.

Watch now on Prime Video

4. 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' (1984)

Who's in It: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, John Saxon, Johnny Depp, Ronee Blakley, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri

Rating: 95% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 31m

Written and directed by Wes Craven, A Nightmare on Elm Street is more of a supernatural slasher, as the villain, Freddy Krueger, claims his victims in their dreams. Johnny Depp also makes his film debut, playing the role of Glen Lantz in what would eventually become one of the most iconic, best slasher movies of all time.

Watch now on Prime Video

5. 'Scream' (1996)

Who's in It: Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Drew Barrymore, Skeet Ulrich, Roger L. Jackson

Rating: 79% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 51m

Set at a high school, Scream is similar to Halloween in that the main antagonist is after teenagers, which makes sense given that the screenplay was greatly influenced by both the horror movies that came before it, as well as the real-life story of the Gainesville Ripper. Its masked antagonist, Ghostface, has become a well-known villain over the years, with its mask never going out of style on Halloween.

Watch now on Prime Video

6. 'Friday the 13th' (1980)

Who's in It: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Jeannine Taylor, Laurie Bartram, Kevin Bacon, Ari Lehman

Rating: 63% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 35m

In the first of what would become 12 movies, Friday the 13th follows the hockey-masked Jason Voorhees at Camp Crystal Lake, a summer camp, where he goes after a group of camp counselors. In the years prior to this, many people have been stalked, killed, and drowned; despite this, teenagers keep coming back—and so does Jason.

Watch now on Prime Video

7. 'Happy Death Day' (2017)

Who's in It: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken

Rating: 71% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 36m

Happy Death Day is what happens when the concept of Groundhog Day meets a classic slasher film. Even though this movie looked slightly corny judging by its commercials, it was received fairly well with its time loop concept. In the film, Tree, a student at college, is killed on her birthday, but when she wakes up, she realizes it's the previous day. Given this knowledge, she uses each looped day to figure out who her murderer is.

Watch now on Prime Video

8. 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre' (1974)

Who's in It: Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain, William Vail, Teri McMinn, Edwin Neal, Gunnar Hansen

Rating: 88% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 23m

Though it was filmed on a very limited budget, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was at the forefront of the slasher genre with its plot and infamous villain, Leatherface. The story involves a group of teenagers who drive to a farmhouse and end up encountering a family of cannibals, including one who wears a mask out of human skin—Leatherface. The film has seen tons of iterations in the years following and many have credited it as being one of the best slasher movies of all time.

Watch now on Prime Video

9. 'Black Christmas' (1974)

Who's in It: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon

Rating: 71% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 38m

Black Christmas is another classic slasher that has been remade a few times, one in 2006 and another in 2019. In this first film, threatening and mysterious calls are made to a sorority house's Christmas party, but only one of the girls is concerned. However, when the calls don't stop and victims start surfacing, it becomes clear that the threats are serious and that the killer is closer than they realize. Given its legendary status, it's no surprise that Black Christmas is one of the best slasher movies ever created.

Watch now on Prime Video

10. 'Candyman' (1992)

Who's in It: Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Xander Berkeley, Vanessa Estelle Williams, Kasi Lemmons

Rating: 79% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 38m

This slasher film borders on a supernatural theme as the plot is based on an urban legend about the power of saying the name, "Candyman." The legend goes that if you say "Candyman" five times while facing a mirror, it will summon him to kill whoever said his name. The main character, Helen, expresses her disbelief in the myth, and because of that, the Candyman takes it as an opportunity to prove her wrong.

Watch now on Prime Video

11. 'Strait-Jacket' (1964)

Who's in It: Joan Crawford, Diane Baker, Leif Erickson, Howard St. John

Rating: 88% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 29m

Around the time Strait-Jacket was released, Joan Crawford was in a bit of a slump in the years following What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, which had been a huge hit. As a way to get herself on the map again, Crawford took this film, and while the movie didn’t do well critically, she was praised for her performance in the main role of Lucy Harbin. The film is set 20 years after Harbin killed her husband and his mistress, following her subsequent stint in a psychiatric facility.

Watch now on Prime Video

12. 'Saw' (2004)

Who's in It: Leigh Whannell, Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Ken Leung, Dina Meyer

Rating: 50% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 43m

Jigsaw, the antagonist of the film, has become a quick classic in the years since Saw was first released in 2004; in less than 20 years, the franchise has had seven sequels, each in some way revolving around Jigsaw and his tests. After surviving a suicide attempt, he decides to dedicate his life to get others to have the same newfound, positive feeling about life.

Watch now on Prime Video

13. 'The Cabin in the Woods' (2011)

Who's in It: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Sigourney Weaver

Rating: 92% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 35m

The Cabin in the Woods is definitely a freaky take on the modern slasher movie. Whereas previous horror movies had one main antagonist acting alone, this film features an engineered situation, with everything at the house controlled remotely. The lab engineers who are overseeing the house use different methods to control the group of college students who are staying at the cabin, including drugging them to cloud judgment, as well as sending in antagonists.

Developing a cult following after its release in 2011, The Cabin in the Woods became one of the best slasher movies we've seen in recent years.

Watch now on Prime Video

14. 'Deep Red' (1975)

Who's in It: David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia, Macha Méril, Eros Pagni

Rating: 93% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 2h 6m

An Italian horror movie, Deep Red combines a few themes of film into one, including mysteries, thrillers, crime, and slashers. It fits into the classic genre of Italian Giallo horror films, turning out to be one of the most successful films of the genre in the years since its release.

The movie centers around a person only seen in silhouette who carries out several murders, and Marcus—one of the main characters—attempts to solve the case. Not only is this an incredible entry in the Giallo film genre, but it's also one of the best slasher movies, period.

Watch now on Prime Video

15. 'Ma' (2019)

Who's in It: Octavia Spencer, Diana Silvers, McKaley Miller, Corey Fogelmanis, Juliette Lewis, Luke Evans

Rating: 55% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 39m

Octavia Spencer does much of the heavy lifting in this light slasher, and because it has received a bit of the meme treatment since its release, Ma has quickly become a horror favorite. When a group of teenagers asks Spencer's character, "Ma," to buy them liquor, she starts to develop an odd relationship with the group. She eventually invites them over to party in her basement, but when Ma starts to become too much of a part of their lives, things go awry. While it might not be super high-brow, Ma has quickly established itself as one of the best slasher movies that has been released in recent years.

Watch now on Prime Video

16. 'Halloween' (2018)

Who's in It: Jamie Lee Curtis, James Jude Courtney, Nick Castle, Judy Greer, Will Patton, Andi Matichak, Haluk Bilginer

Rating: 79% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 46m

Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role as Laurie Strode in this installment of Halloween, and even though there have been 10 iterations prior, this is the technical sequel to the original film. Taking place 40 years after the first movie, Michael Myers escapes from the institution he had been locked in and makes his way back to town. During this time, Strode has remained worried about Myers and has become a slight agoraphobe as a result of her fear.

Watch now on Prime Video

17. 'My Bloody Valentine' (1981)

Who's in It: Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck, Cynthia Dale, Don Francks, Keith Knight

Rating: 56% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 31m

In staying with one of the classic slasher themes of having the plot coincide with a holiday, My Bloody Valentine takes place at an impromptu Valentine's Day party after the town's planned dance is canceled because of a murder. Because this is a slasher movie, the murders don't just stop because the dance is canceled.

Watch now on Prime Video

18. 'Happy Death Day 2U' (2019)

Who's in It: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Phi Vu, Suraj Sharma, Sarah Yarkin, Rachel Matthews

Rating: 71% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 40m

Following the original film’s success, this sequel utilizes the same time loop as Happy Death Day as well as a good portion of the original cast. In this iteration, the film focuses on Carter's roommate, Ryan, who finds himself in the same time loop as Tree did in the first movie. A third installment is even on the way, titled Happy Death Day To Us.

Watch now on Prime Video

19. 'The Prowler' (1981)

Who's in It: Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney, Farley Granger

Rating: 71% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 28m

The Prowler's cult following over the years has established the film's standing in the slasher movie scene, even though it wasn't received that well on a critical level. The antagonist of this movie is a World War II veteran—an unlikely murderer—who decides to stalk college students on the anniversary of his wife's death.

Watch now on Tubi

20. 'Alice, Sweet Alice' (1976)

Who's in It: Linda Miller, Mildred Clinton, Paula Sheppard, Niles McMaster, Brooke Shields, Jane Lowry

Rating: 77% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 42m

In her film debut, Brooke Shields plays the role of Karen Spages, who—on the day of her First Communion—is murdered at church by someone wearing a mask. Prior to her murder, Karen's older sister, Alice, had been shown with a similar mask to that of the one used in the killing of her sister.

Watch now on Prime Video

21. 'The House on Sorority Row' (1983)

Who's in It: Kathryn McNeil, Eileen Davidson, Janis Zido, Robin Meloy, Harley Kozak

Rating: 50% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 30m

The House on Sorority Row follows a more classical slasher theme with a house of sorority sisters being tormented immediately following their graduation from college. After a prank on their house mother ends poorly, things around the house start to go downhill. While it might not have the greatest rating on Rotten Tomatoes, The House on Sorority Row is certainly an OG, standing up as one of the most classic, best slasher movies around.

Watch now on Prime Video

22. 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' (1997)

Who's in It: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Ryan Philippe

Rating: 43% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 41m

I Know What You Did Last Summer has a stacked starring cast, with Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Ryan Philippe. The film centers around a group of friends who accidentally killed someone in a car accident the summer before the film is set. A year following this, they're hunted down by a murderer with a hook as an arm, influenced by the urban legend of "The Hook."

Watch now on Prime Video

23. 'When a Stranger Calls' (1979)

Who's in It: Charles Durning, Carol Kane, Colleen Dewhurst, Tony Beckley

Rating: 38% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 40m

It's no surprise that a film that would later inspire Scream in 1996 would feature the now-classic slasher use of threatening phone calls. When a Stranger Calls begins with a babysitter receiving a mysterious call to check on the child she's watching.

Watch now on Prime Video

24. 'Us' (2019)

Who's in It: Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker

Rating: 93% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 56m

Jordan Peele—who brought us Get Out back in 2017—both wrote and directed this horror-thriller film starring Lupita Nyong’o. He harnessed that same uncomfortable, creepy vibe from Get Out and turned it up a notch, giving Us an entirely new level of terror. Though it's only been out for a few years, Us has firmly stood its ground as one of the most successful, best slasher movies in the last five years.

Watch now on Prime Video

25. 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' (2003)

Who's in It: Jessica Biel, Jonathan Tucker, Eric Leerhsen, Mike Vogel

Rating: 37% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 35m

Starring Jessica Biel, this remake of the 1974 original (which is arguably one of the best slasher movies ever created) features Leatherface as the main antagonist once again, this time terrorizing a group of friends who had been on their way to see a concert. It follows roughly the same set-up, and though it was released in 2003, the film is set in 1973.

Watch now on Prime Video

26. 'Black Christmas' (2019)

Who's in It: Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon, Lily Donoghue, Brittany O'Grady

Rating: 39% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 32m

A much more modernized remake of 1974's Black Christmas, this iteration follows roughly the same plot, set at a college sorority house right around the time that students are leaving for winter break. When a murderer decides to take on the campus, the sorority sisters have to figure out how to survive.

Watch now on Prime Video

27. 'Wes Craven's New Nightmare' (1994)

Who's in It: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, John Saxon, Miko Hughes, Tracy Middendorf, David Newsom

Rating: 79% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 52m

Though this film is written and directed by Wes Craven of A Nightmare on Elm Street (which is one of the most iconic, best slasher movies of all time), it isn't necessarily a sequel to the franchise—it more so serves as a way of looking at both the original film and the genre of slashers in a new light. Instead of Freddy Krueger just being the villain in this movie, he's playing a villain of a horror movie in this movie.

Watch now on Prime Video

28. 'The Strangers' (2008)

Who's in It: Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman, Gemma Ward, Kip Weeks, Laura Margolis, Glenn Howerton

Rating: 48% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 25m

The Strangers, inspired by the Manson family, stars Liv Tyler as Kristen, and Scott Speedman as her husband, James, as they go on vacation at his family's home in the middle of nowhere. This sounds like a bad situation already, but when the home is broken into, things get profoundly worse.

Watch now on Prime Video

29. 'Candyman' (2021)

Who's in It: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Vanessa Williams

Rating: 84% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 31m

Although this holds the same title as its 1992 predecessor, Candyman (2021) isn’t a true remake—it’s simply inspired by the original film. This iteration's main character, Anthony, learns of the urban legend of Candyman and gets wrapped up in the myth, incorporating it into his artwork. The film follows the toll that the legend is almost unconsciously taking on Anthony.

Watch now on Prime Video

30. 'Halloween Kills' (2021)

Who's in It: Jamie Lee Curtis, James Jude Courtney, Nick Castle, Judy Greer, Andy Matichak, Will Patton, Jacob Keohane, Anthony Michael Hall, Dylan Arnold, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards

Rating: 39% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 45m

Released on October 15, 2022, Halloween Kills is yet another sequel to the Halloween franchise, with Jamie Lee Curtis returning once again, as well as Kyle Richards, who's reprising her role as Lindsey Wallace from the original film. The movie picks up where the 2018 sequel left off, allowing for a seamless transfer of action from one film to the next.

Watch now on HBO Max

31. 'Peeping Tom' (1960)

Who's in It: Karlheinz "Carl" Boehm, Anna Massey, Moira Shearer, Maxine Audley

Rating: 95% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 49m

This classic psychological thriller focuses on Mark Lewis (Carl Boehm), a man who secretly tapes the murders he commits, which starts with a young prostitute he meets. Being a serial killer is just a side job for Lewis, though, who works as part of a film crew as his daily gig. Fascinated by the fear behind the eyes of his victims, he becomes obsessed with filming each murder he carries out. Not only is Peeping Tom an absolute classic in its own right, but it's also one of the best slasher movies ever made.

Watch now on Prime Video

32. 'The Burning' (1981)

Who's in It: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Lou David, Larry Joshua, Jason Alexander, Fisher Stevens, Holly Hunter

Rating: 73% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 30m

This movie is aptly titled as it centers around a former camp caretaker, Cropsy, who gets severely burned and deformed after his campers pull a prank on him that goes terribly wrong. Five years following the prank, Cropsy heads off to a different camp—Camp Stonewater—to take revenge for his burns.

Watch now on Tubi

33. 'The Funhouse' (1981)

Who's in It: Elizabeth Berridge, Cooper Huckabee, Largo Woodruff, Miles Chapin, Kevin Conway

Rating: 70% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 36m

What better place is there to become trapped than inside a ride at a local carnival? The Funhouse tracks four Iowa teens who dare each other to sleep over in The Funhouse, which is a dark ride at the carnival. Things become dire, however, when they realize they've been locked inside and are being stalked by a killer.

Watch now on Prime Video

34. 'Blood and Black Lace' (1964)

Who's in It: Eve Bartok, Cameron Mitchell, Thomas Reiner, Arianna Gorini

Rating: 80% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 28m

A classic Giallo film (and one of the best slasher movies around), Blood and Black Lace centers around numerous models who are murdered by a killer who commits his acts while wearing a skin-tight white mask. His murders are all in a vicious attempt to gain access to a journal filled with secret entries.

Watch now on Prime Video

35. 'X' (2022)

Who's in It: Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Brittany Snow, Scott Mescudi, Martin Henderson, Owen Campbell

Rating: 94% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 45m

It's just another day on a pornographic film set as X tracks the production team and cast behind the project, which takes place on a desolate plot of land in Texas. Set in 1979, the group is slowly stalked by a murderer, though the killer might actually be closer than they realize.

Watch now on Prime Video
Did you like this article?
Thumbs Up
Liked
Thumbs Down
Disliked