Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Best slasher movies of all time

Just saw the remake of Friday the 13th. It was better than I expected, though it had many of the same problems as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake (unlikable characters, a reliance on shock gore rather than suspense). There were some nice nods to the original series and the new Jason was pretty badass (though having him keep one of his victims captive for over a month was a little bizarre). It also brought back the gratuitous nudity that was so prevalent in 80's horror. Friday the 13th was never a real classic to begin with, so I have no problem with this reboot.
Anyway, this gives me the perfect opportunity to list my top 13 slasher movies. I've tried to keep it simple, avoiding slasher movies where the killer is an animal or "upscale" slashers like Silence of the Lambs and Sleepy Hollow.

#13. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) - like most Wes Craven movies, it suffers from a weak ending. But up until that it's a groundbreaking classic.
#12. Alone in the Dark (1982) - an overlooked film with a superb cast (Jack Palance, Donald Pleasance and Martin Landau) and a hockey-mask wearing killer introduced the same year that Jason donned his for the first time.
#11. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter - the best of the series, mainly thanks to Corey Feldman and a typically wacky Crispin Glover. Oh and Jason finally gets his.
#10. Saw - the film that started the "torture porn" trend was a breath of fresh air at the time.
#9. Final Destination - the killer may be Death itself, but it still follows the body count rules of the classic slashers.
#8. Scream - self-referential horror soon became tired, but this was by far the best.
#7. Child's Play - Brad Dourif rules. Nuff said.
#6. Sleepaway Camp - the most twisted ending in horror movie history.
#5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - low key and gore-free compared to its imitators, but disturbing nonetheless.
#4. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors - the best of the series, with Freddy the perfect mix of scary and funny and heroes with nifty Matrix like powers.
#3. Black Christmas (1974) - arguably the first modern slasher and scary to this day.
#2. Psycho (1960) - that Hitchcock will go far!
#1. Halloween (1978) - nobody does it better than Carpenter's original.