The Essentials: Slasher (Proto --> Giallo --> Golden Age --> Post)

The American slasher that was formalized and calcified in the late '70s/early '80s did not come out of nowhere; in fact, some of its narrative/structural antecedents date as far back as the '20s and '30s. Most notably, the subgenre draws from the Italian giallo of the '60s/'70s and the 1960 watershed double-threat of Psycho (U.S.) and Peeping Tom (U.K.). Here is my highly subjective, constantly fluctuating canon/genealogy/watch-log of the subgenre.

Required reading: Carol J. Clover, Men, Women, and Chain Saws (1992)

Bro banter aside, this episode of Talk is Jericho featuring Eli Roth and editor Mark Goldblatt is hugely informative. Also essential: Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film.

Subject to change. Recommendations welcome.

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
  • Opera
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2
  • Slumber Party Massacre II
  • StageFright: Aquarius
  • The Stepfather
  • The Carpenter
  • Child's Play
  • Death Spa
  • Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
  • Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
  • Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
  • Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child
  • Shocker
  • Child's Play 2
  • Psycho IV: The Beginning
  • Child's Play 3
  • Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
  • Candyman
  • Trauma
  • New Nightmare
  • Serial Mom
  • Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
  • The Dentist
  • Scream
  • The Stendhal Syndrome
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer
  • Scream 2
  • Bride of Chucky
  • I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
  • Psycho
  • Urban Legend
  • American Psycho
  • Cherry Falls
  • Cut
  • Final Destination
  • Scream 3
  • Urban Legends: Final Cut
  • Jason X
  • Valentine
  • Final Destination 2
  • Freddy vs. Jason
  • High Tension
  • House of 1000 Corpses
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  • Wrong Turn
  • The Card Player
  • Seed of Chucky
  • Toolbox Murders
  • Do You Like Hitchcock?
  • House of Wax
  • Wolf Creek
  • Black Christmas
  • Final Destination 3
  • The Hills Have Eyes
  • Frontier(s)
  • Halloween
  • The Collector
  • Friday the 13th
  • Giallo
  • Halloween II
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • I Spit on Your Grave
  • My Soul to Take
  • Final Destination 5
  • Scream 4
  • The Collection
  • Curse of Chucky
  • Wolf Creek 2
  • 31
  • Cult of Chucky
  • Bloodline
  • The House That Jack Built
  • The Strangers: Prey at Night
  • Child's Play