10 underseen slashers for any horror fan
You've seen Freddy and Jason. Now meet the rest.
There's something special about the slasher subgenre. To many of us, it's the gateway to a whole world of horror. There are so many overlooked and underrated titles to discover. One can spend days rifling through the used DVDs at a local shop, scouring the crop for choice slasher cuts.
Whether you're new to slashers or a die-hard veteran, we wanted to collect some that you may not have seen. This way, you have some new entries for your "To Watch" lists. And if you have seen these ones, even better! You can vouch for them in the comments section below. Let us know which you love, which you hate, and which ones you're excited to check out!
1. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
This self-aware slasher is for fans with a little genre familiarity. It's filled with references and wink-wink-nudge-nudge acknowledgments of earlier horror icons. So check it out after you've done your Halloween homework. This one's presented as a documentary! Innovative!
2. The Prowler
This grisly, early-'80s slasher sees the first team-up of director Joseph Zito and effects artist Tom Savini. The pair would reunite three years later for the legendary Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. Even for a slasher movie, The Prowler is exceedingly violent.
3. Tourist Trap
Tourist Trap is notable for a few different reasons. First and foremost, it features Chuck Connors from The Rifleman in a role that really breaks type. Then there's the fact that the movie features telekinesis, which is pretty rare for a slasher movie. It'll have you second-guessing every mannequin you pass from here on out!
4. New Year's Evil
Sure, there are other, more famous holiday-based slasher movies. Halloween gets all the praise, and deservedly so. But other slashers based on the calendar should catch your attention too! Fonzie's girlfriend is in this one!
5. April Fool's Day
This late-cycle '80s slasher was helmed by Fred Walton, who directed the proto-slasher When A Stranger Calls. By 1986, audiences were familiar with the formulas of the genre. But April Fool's Day employs plenty of plot twists to buck expectations. Plus, it's not nearly as violent as a lot of its contemporaries!
More great work from special effects legend Tom Savini. The Pittsburgh native employed real-life memories in his gruesome work. Savini was an Army photographer during the War in Vietnam, and he used what he learned to create believable gore effects!
7. Dark Night of the Scarecrow
Dark Night of the Scarecrow is the only entry on this list that was made-for-TV. That's really one of the best pats: Picturing the movie unleashing terror on unsuspecting viewers cozied up in their own homes. This is a perfect revenge slasher.
8. Cherry Falls
The mid-to-late '90s were a rough period for horror movies. Everything had to be self-aware, and everyone had to be beautiful. "Subverting the formula" became the formula, and tons of slashers presented themselves as part of a continuum. Despite all that baggage, one fun example that's both great and totally indicative of its era is Cherry Falls. The ways it both sticks to and upends cliches are really fun!
This movie was filmed under the name Freaky Friday the 13th, and that working title perfectly encapsulates the story. It's a slasher movie. It's a bodyswap movie. It's one of Vince Vaughn's best performances, and he's still upstaged by the incredible Kathryn Newton. Give Freaky a shot.
10. Laid to Rest
Warning: Laid to Rest is strictly for the hardcore horror hound. Featuring some of the most over-the-top gore effects in the whole list, Laid to Rest is a blood 'n' guts highlight reel. Not for the faint of heart or the squeamish of tummy.