The 30 greatest slasher movies

A cut above the rest

If youre on a camping holiday with an ever-decreasing bunch of barely-dressed mates, with no mobile reception, a car that wont start and a few bloody gashes in your back, youre probably in a slasher movie. But not all slasher movies are equal. A connoisseur can tell a good slasher movie from a celluloid bunch of clichs. And were here to help you become that connoisseur with a rundown of the best slasher movies ever made. John Carpenter may get a mention.

30. Tourist Trap (1979)

The Slasher Movie: A slasher movie with a healthy dose of the supernatural thrown in, if you find mannequins frightening (and who in their right mind doesnt?) youd do well to give this one a wide berth. Set in the rural house of nice old Mr. Slausen (whos obviously a bit nut-nut), Tourist Trap sees a bunch of stranded teens stalked by a killer with telekinetic powers amid a host of nightmarish waxworks. Bonkers, but creepy nonetheless

Coolest Kill: One of the girls is confronted by a mannequin of an Indian chief, who promptly chucks a knife in her face.

29. Final Destination (2000)

The Slasher Movie: This one might be stretching the term slasher movie in its most traditional sense, but if you view the Grim Reaper as the killer, the hat most certainly fits. In any case, this one makes the list on account of its ace high concept, in which Death sets about reclaiming a group of teens who have cheated him, by setting them up for a series of gruesome accidents.

Coolest Kill: The unexpected appearance of a speeding bus, just as poor Terry is crossing the road

28. My Bloody Valentine (1981)

The Slasher Movie: Miners, eh? One little accident and they turn into mouth-foaming wack-jobs. At least thats the case in My Bloody Valentine, where a chap in miners gear starts hacking up the local youth on Valentines Day. They nshould have seen it coming, mindthe same thing happened the last time the town held a Valentines Day dance. Doh! Rated by Quentin Tarantino as his all-time favourite slasher movienot that hes an expert or anything.

Coolest Kill: A pick-axe to the head, followed by said bonce being dragged along the floor, is a particularly memorable set-piece.

27. Happy Birthday To Me (1980)

The Slasher Movie: Happy Birthday To Me features a group of teens who refer to themselves as The Top Ten, a self-awarded pat on the back for being the ten wealthiest and most beautiful kids on campus. How do we think things are likely to play out for them then?

Coolest Kill: Take a look at the image abovethat actually happens. We always knew kebabs were bad for your healthsorry.

26. Reeker (2005)

The Slasher Movie: This one takes a rather novel approach to the slasher set-up by granting the killer / monster powers of invisibility, making him (or rather it) somewhat difficult to outwit. However, he also stinks to high heaven, so potential victims have at least some idea of whats coming. Despite the silly-sounding premise, this is actually a genuinely refreshing spin on what had become an increasingly tired genre.

Coolest Kill: One girl squats obliviously above a pit toilet, which obviously smells pretty bad to start withcan you guess whats coming?

25. Madman (1981)

The Slasher Movie: If youre staying at a summer camp (a favourite haunt of murderers, as we know), and are told that a lunatic will come and kill you if you say his name, what is the best way to proceed? By saying his name of course. Sure enough, the eponymous Madman Marz pitches up when one snot-nosed brat gets a bit too bold, and it isnt long before our teenage chums are axe-fodder. Yay!

Coolest Kill: Madman takes offence to one lads comically 80s hairdo, repeatedly slaming his face into a car engine before slamming the bonnet down on top of him. Oof.

24. When A Stranger Calls (1979)

The Slasher Movie: This 70s thriller plays on the urban legend of the babysitter stalked from within the house by a playful killer who repeatedly asks her, have you checked on the children. By which he means, come and see what Ive done to the children. An influential entry into the genre, if a little silly at times.

Coolest Kill: It happens off-screen, but what killer Curt Duncan is said to have done to the kids is more than a little chilling. By all accounts they were rendered unrecognisable

23. Hell Night (1981)

The Slasher Movie: Sorority girls in a haunted house? A recipe for disaster, surely? Indeed it proves, as whilst the spooks turn out to be non-existent, the gibbering loon who lives there is very much alive. Watch out for a starring role from Linda Blair, all grown-up without a crucifix in sight. If only she could call on some of the old head-spinning magic, she might have had an easier time of it

Coolest Kill: The kills here arent as full-on as in some of the other entries, but one girl does get decapitated with some panache

22. Prom Night (1980)

The Slasher Movie: Jamie Lee Curtis consolidates her scream-queen status by following up Halloween with yet another teens-in-trouble kill-fest. Shes part of a group of girls who accidentally killed a kiddie some years earlier. Now, on their prom-night (which just happens to fall on the anniversary of the little girls death), someone is out to see justice done. The sort of justice that involves and axe in the head

Coolest Kill: The schools resident asshole gets his head hacked off midway through busting a move. Murder on the dancefloor if you will

George Wales

George was once GamesRadar's resident movie news person, based out of London. He understands that all men must die, but he'd rather not think about it. But now he's working at Stylist Magazine.