The 30 greatest slasher movies

11. Candyman (1992)

The Slasher Movie: Call us superstitious (or just plain cowardly), but we would still balk at the idea of saying Candyman five times into a mirror. Why? Because theres a very small, but very real possibility wed end up gutted by a hook-wielding, bee-spewing loon. Plus wed look a bit stupid if anyone caught us doing it

Coolest Kill: You know youre dealing with someone a bit loopy when theyre willing to hack off a Rottweilers head

10. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

The Slasher Movie: One that teeters somewhere between supernatural horror and outright slasher movie, Nightmares genius high-concept generates a new kind of fear in the viewer: any chump can run away, but how do you avoid falling asleep? Throw in the Robert Englunds iconic killer (one-liners kept mercifully to a premium) and youve got a bona fide horror classic.

Coolest Kill: The bedroom geyser of blood might be the most spectacular, but in terms of sheer nastiness theres nothing to top Tina being dragged up the walls as her boyfriend looks on helplessly.

9. The Prowler (1981)

The Slasher Movie: Whats scarier than a homicidal nutcase? A homicidal nutcase decked out in WW2 regalia of course! After two lovers are killed at their graduation dance back in 1945, their town elders sensibly ban all subsequent events for fear of a repeat performance. Then 40 years later, some bright spark decides to start them up again, and people start dieing

Coolest Kill: Gore supremo Tom Savini provides a whole host of splatter-tastic kills, but the exploding head has to take first prize. Thats what a shotgun will do to mere flesh and bone

8. Child's Play (1988)

The Slasher Movie: Not every slasher takes the shape of a hulking great brute. Sometimes the most diminutive of characters can be every bit as terrifying. So it is with Chucky, the flame-haired Good Guy doll who turns out not to be such a good guy after all when possessed by the spirit of the Lakeshore Strangler

Coolest Kill: Chucky takes out his old partner in crime Eddie Caputo by sneaking into his house, turning on the gas and baiting him into firing his gun

7. Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon (2006)

The Slasher Movie: An inventive new take on the genre, this mockumentary follows prolific serial killer Leslie Vernon as he explains the tricks of the trade to a group of filmmakers. Subverting the rules of the genre left, right and centre, its a real treat for slasher aficionados. Watch out for appearances from Kane Hodder and Robert Englund, otherwise known as Jason and Freddie

Coolest Kill: One luckless stoner has his heart fremoved with a fence-post digger. Splat.

6. Scream (1996)

The Slasher Movie: Wes Craven revived the twitching corpse of the venerable slasher movie with this knowing reworking of the genre. Whilst there are plenty of knowing chuckles to be had from the horror-savvy dialogue, the scares pack a punch of their own, with Ghostfaces jerkily violent movements making for a suitably terrifying killer.

Coolest Kill: Drew Barrymores sticky end is probably the best remembered, but well go for Rose McGowan and the garage door

5. A Bay Of Blood (1971)

The Slasher Movie: Oft-mooted as the first proper slasher movie, certainly one of the most influential Mario Bavas deliriously grisly Giallo sees a gaggle of cash-hungry wackjobs hack and slash their way towards a hefty inheritance, by taking out everyone else with a claim to the loot. Who needs a protracted legal wrangle when you can lay your hands on a kitchen knife?

Coolest Kill: A pair of lovebirds are simultaneously impaled by a massive spear, mid-coitus. How many times do people need telling? Dont have sex when theres a nutter on the prowl!

4. Deep Red (1975)

The Slasher Movie: Dario Argento directs a pre-eyebrows David Hemmings as an English pianist who finds himself trying to unravel a series of grisly murders in sunny Rome. Recently released in its uncut form for the first time in the UK, its worth seeking out on DVD if only to savour the heavy-duty score by electro-rockers Goblin. And theres plenty of blood, naturally

Coolest Kill: Elevator shaft plus trailing necklace equals one missing head. Lovely stuff.

3. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The Slasher Movie: Tobe Hoopers down and dirty classic has a mighty reputation but is remarkably light on gore given the promise of its title. That said, theres plenty of atmosphere to be savoured, with the gritty, yellowing cinematography lending a scuzzily malevolent air to proceedings. Plus theres a family dinner scene to trump all others come on granddad, put your back into it!

Coolest Kill: The Moment when Leatherface hangs a still-squirming victim on a meathook is truly stomach-turning.

2. Psycho (1960)

The Slasher Movie: Psycho isnt generally remembered as a slasher movie, but with a deranged killer carving up random strangers in the middle of nowhere, wed say it certainly qualifies. As ludicrously tense today as it was when it first arrived some fifty years ago, it remains a masterclass in breathless terror.

Coolest Kill: Take a guess. Hint: its not the private dick falling down the stairs.

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.