This spooky season is promising. October is seeing us through the release of two new slasher films. Candyman has already dropped and is currently claiming millions in the box office, but fans of knife-wielding, psychotic serial killers can also look forward to the new Halloween (Michael Myers) movie coming out on October 15th.
If you need a series to binge, there’s a ton of good ones out there. We can give props to the Conjuring series, or even newer psychological horrors like Jordan Peele’s US and Ari Aster’s Midsommar. But if you’re down for some OG slashers, it’s best to know which ones you should watch first.
Chucky is on the D-list of films.
With a confirmed kill count of 47, the unlikable doll has been the star of no less than eight Child’s Play movies, but it is very much the gift that keeps on giving to hate watchers and horror buffs. Following the series, Chucky is brought to life by a serial killer who uses voodoo to transfer his soul into a doll that becomes animated as a murderous killer. At first, he goes about killing everyone he can, and later seeks to build a family (Bride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky).
The concept of the film is killer. A doll brought to life with the soul of a serial killer is unheard of. But the cheesy jokes and dirty comedy take away from the true horror of the films. I get that the doll is supposed to be lighthearted and funny, but that’s not just a doll… That’s a murderer with stupid jokes and the two don’t mix. This series could have been used to terrify children for generations, but the comedic horror series Scary Movie(s) came off as scarier than Child’s Play. As unfortunate as it is, he’s a bottom-tier slasher.
6. Freddy Krueger
It may be shocking that such an influential killer is this far down on the list, despite tons of movies, pop-culture hype, and even appearances in video games such as Mortal Kombat and Dead By Daylight, but as a killer, he’s not all that unique, insane, or even scary…
“I’ll Get You My Pretty, And Your Little Soul Too!”— Freddy Krueger
His backstory is simple. He was a child serial killer who worked in a school and lived in the boiler room below, taking victims to the boiler room and killing them there with his glove-blades. After angry parents cornered him and burnt him to death, he arose and haunted peoples dreams… and this went on for 4+ movies and a ton of other remakes with other killers like Jason.
But we don’t get much context into Krueger. Why was he a killer? A demented man a few steps away from pedophilia? He’s just crazy from the start, even before his death, and that doesn’t make for a compelling backstory. His backstory is simple, his writing is lame, and he’s not even that hard to beat as long as you can stay awake and pull him out of your dreams. Krueger might be popular, but he’s not a good slasher.
Leatherface tries his best, but that’s not enough to get him higher up on the list. One of the most memorable characters from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Leatherface has also earned his spot in Dead by Daylight among several other killers on this list and a lot of sympathy from fans because of his backstory.
A cannibalistic killer who is called Leatherface because he wears a mask of skin to hide his facial deformities; he is one of the original archetypes in the slasher genre to coin the silent, hulking, masked killer. We know that poor Leatherface is under the control of his family (also a group of deranged cannibalistic murderers), and is also clearly mentally unstable throughout the first film. In terms of the franchise, he has never been the main antagonist even though he has appeared in all of the Texas Massacre films.
Leatherface is a trendsetter. A misguided, misled trendsetter, but a good one.
Candyman is a gripping horror film, with the main killer being an urban legend who is… well, not actually an urban legend but a real spirit who kills anyone who summons him.
Reminiscent of the popular Bloody Mary game we all played as kids, Candyman was rumored to be a spirit: the ghost of an African-American man who was brutally murdered in the 1800’s for having an affair with a white woman (a truly horrifying death involving honey and bees). He returned as a vengeful spirit. Anyone who said the name “Candyman” into a mirror five times would summon him, and he would immediately kill them. The Candyman makes an interesting slasher profile, with a unique and grisly tale that gives us vengeance and gore all at once. Not to mention some much needed diverse representation in Hollywood.
Although the person behind Ghostface changes in each film, the Scream franchise gave us the teen slasher of the century. Dead By Daylight and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War also allow you to play as the infamous killer.
In the first movie, Ghostface was actually Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) and Stu Macher (Matthew Lillard). The two terrorized the town of Woodsboro, killing for no apparent reason other than to have fun with their victims while contributing to a bigger plan to kill Sidney Prescott, who’s mother had an affair with Billy’s father and indirectly ruined his life. Each movie focuses on a killer that comes back for Sidney.
“Please don’t kill me, Mr. Ghostface, I wanna be in the sequel.”— Tatum Riley, Scream
Ghostface is an iconic character, easily one of the most recognized slashers, and the films gave us a simple but loved theme: Masked person stabbing teens to death. Perhaps the best part of Ghostface and his victims was that they were all aware of stupid slasher sterotypes, but did them anyways and made them way funnier than normal. He may not be top tier, but Ghostface deserves some recognition.
2. Michael Myers
Michael Myers, the slasher in the Halloween franchise, committed his first murder when he was just six years old. He kills his older sister Judith on Halloween night in 1963, and spends the next 15 years in an asylum, staring at the wall in Smith’s Grove Sanitarium.
He escapes and returns to his hometown to begin killing again. What makes his character so iconic and loved by fans is his silent, seemingly unthinking disposition. To many, Myers is pure evil, having spent over a decade thinking about death. He stalks and kills whoever he can find without saying a word, giving him a high kill count, and his hulking figure allows him to easily overpower almost anyone. Myers is a terrifyingly good slasher, and is loved in pop culture among many other slashers on this list. Of course, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Dead By Daylight also allows players to have some fun with him… To be fair, if Myers is your killer in Dead By Daylight, you are not making it out of that match no matter how good you are.
1. Jason Voorhees
By all logic, Jason should be dead, but he isn’t, so he gets the top spot with almost 200 confirmed kills and one of the longest running movie franchises there are.
Jason appears in the first Friday the 13th, though his mother Pamela is actually the main killer. After the death of his mother, Jason, mentally disabled and seeking revenge, stays by Crystal Lake and kills off any teenagers who dare to come near. He is so bitter to teens because it was irresponsible camp counselors that allowed him to drown as a child, and also that killed his mother in the first film. From the second film on, Jason prioritizes killing teenagers and even though he dies several times, he is eventually accidentally resurrected with superhuman strength and other abilities, making him even more of a vicious killer.
Jason is a timeless killer, who brings so much hype to the slasher genre. The insane mama’s boy gone wrong, combined with the mask, the machete, and the cruel personality, makes him the ultimate slasher.