Building on thrillers such as Psycho and Peeping Tom, the slasher movie genre rose to prominence in the ’70s and ’80s through releases like Black Christmas, Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Child’s Play. These franchises are still revered today, with a few of them even producing solid entries in the last few years.


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Slasher horror movies feel like they belong to another era, but the genre hasn’t really gone anywhere since the ’80s. There just haven’t been all that many modern films with villains who have left an immediate impact on pop culture to match the likes of Freddy Krueger or Chucky. That said, in terms of quality, the last few years have been kind to slasher fans. This Halloween (or any other day of the year), perhaps consider giving these great modern slasher horror movies a spin.

Only movies released after 2015 will be considered.

Updated October 7, 2022 by Mark Sammut: Another year, another Halloween has arrived. 2022 has produced its share of great modern slasher films, both from established franchises and newcomers. While there have been a couple of duds, the year’s standout horror projects rank among the genre’s scariest contemporary additions. This article has been updated to include a few of 2022’s best slasher movies.

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13/13 Scream (2022)

Director Tyler Gillett, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin
Rotten Tomatoes Score 76%
Where to Stream DirecTV, FuboTV, Showtime

Except for perhaps the third movie, Scream has consistently delivered decent-to-great slasher flicks. 2022’s fifth entry marks the start of a new era for the franchise, introducing fresh faces to the mix while still giving some fan-favorite characters an opportunity to spill some blood.

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In terms of kills, Scream more than holds its own compared to its predecessors, including one especially violent moment involving someone’s throat. The plot’s decision to go full meta might not be to everyone’s tastes, but it is at least a unique direction.

12/13 Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022)

Director Halina Reijn
Rotten Tomatoes Score 86%
Where to Stream N/A

A24’s positive reputation for horror mastery is well-earned. Bodies Bodies Bodies might not rank among the distributor’s highest-tier projects, but the slasher film still has plenty of things going for it. A group of (mostly) insufferable twenty-somethings meet up at an isolated mansion to cut loose; naturally, people start to die.

Bodies Bodies Bodies utilizes a strong cast to bring to life realistic characters who do not need to be likable to be engrossing. The film cleverly establishes its core relationships in a way that leaves room for nearly every character to be considered a possible suspect.

11/13 Wrong Turn (2021)

2003’s Wrong Turn is a serviceable slasher movie that went on to produce a string of largely forgettable sequels. 2021’s entry opted to go down the reboot route, and it was exactly what this franchise needed. Wrong Turn doesn’t hold back on the gory kills, but the reboot is also preoccupied with presenting an interesting narrative driven by two conflicting ideologies.

This is a movie that tries to say something, and it manages to be fun in the process. While Wrong Turn takes a few missteps, the overall experience is a memorable one.

10/13 Happy Death Day (2017)

Director Christopher Landon
Rotten Tomatoes Score 71%
Where to Stream N/A

Somehow, Groundhog Day has inspired a genre of its own, and few movies have more fun with the “repeating the day” formula than Happy Death Day. The concept is simple: Tree gets killed and begins to relive her final day, driving the college student to search for her mask-wearing murderer.

Happy Death Day uses its premise to execute plenty of creative kills, and the movie throws out quite a bit of comedy alongside its horror. The sequel might be even better, but it is more of a sci-fi comedy than a traditional slasher movie.

9/13 Hush (2016)

Director Mike Flanagan
Rotten Tomatoes Score 93%
Where to Stream Netflix

A sadistic killer stalks a target who is alone in the woods – this could describe approximately a billion slasher movies. Hush sets it apart by centering itself around a deaf protagonist, bringing a whole new dimension to proceedings.

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A home invasion horror movie, Hush boasts fantastic performances from its two leads. The movie takes a protagonist who is seen as an “easy target” by the killer and turns her into one of the most resourceful characters in modern horror.

8/13 The Funhouse Massacre (2015)

Not every movie must provide an insightful look into humanity’s inner demons; sometimes, it is just entertaining to watch six killers turn a Funhouse into a river of blood and brains. The Funhouse Massacre quickly sets up its core murderers, most of which start the movie in an asylum, and protagonists before jumping right into the meat of things: gore.

The Funhouse Massacre is an ideal horror party movie; the type of slasher flick that demands nothing out of its audience outside of a love for gnarly chaos.

7/13 Halloween (2018)

Director David Gordon Green
Rotten Tomatoes Score 79%
Where to Stream N/A

After an array of frustrating and polarizing sequels, 2018’s Halloween reverts back to basics by focusing on Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. This simplification goes beyond just the movie ignoring every other sequel in the series, as Halloween eliminates most complications in favor of a cat-and-mouse dynamic.

Halloween is a respectful tribute to John Carpenter’s 1978 classic movie, and it comes packed with the kills and tension one would expect.

6/13 Freaky (2020)

Director Christopher Landon
Rotten Tomatoes Score 83%
Where to Stream DirecTV

As its name suggests, Freaky smashes Freaky Friday into a slasher movie to wickedly refreshing results. A prolific serial killer finds a magic knife and, long story short, trades bodies with a teen girl. While the Blissfield Butcher sees some positives to this life-changing event, Millie is slightly less thrilled about the situation.

Freaky pays homage to classic body swap comedies and teen slashers; more impressively, the movie juggles both genres well, delivering a funny and violent ride for the ages.

5/13 Terrifier (2016)

Now, that is an effective costume. Horror has seen plenty of deranged clowns over the decades, and Terrifier‘s smiling monstrosity puts approximately 90% of them to shame. In a desolate apartment building, Art the Clown plays a devilish game of hide-and-seek with Tara and Dawn, and the clown has a vicious sense of humor.

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Terrifier is not for everyone and only people with a strong stomach should give this one a try. The murders are disgustingly violent, a factor amplified by the film’s ugly aesthetic and setting. It all feels slightly more “real” than most slasher movies.

Terrifier 2 (2022) made its theatrical debut on October 6, 2022, in the United States.

4/13 Werewolves Within (2021)

A great adaptation of a VR video game, Werewolves Within takes the premise of Werewolf, the tabletop game, and runs with it. A winning collection of people are trapped and lean there just might just be a werewolf among them. Hilarity and surprises ensue.

Werewolves Within doesn’t focus too much on inspiring screams of terror, opting to be a lighthearted but clever horror comedy instead. That said, it doesn’t cheapen out on the fun kills either.

3/13 Candyman (2021)

A modern update to one of the slasher genre’s most thematically rich movies, 2021’s Candyman doesn’t shy away from tackling complex topics revolving around racial tension and history. And, like its highly regarded predecessor, these ideas stand alongside viscerally uncomfortable imagery that is off-putting but effective.

Even if it quite doesn’t reach the heights of 1992’s original movie or co-writer Jordan Peele’s directorial efforts, Candyman is still one of the best modern slasher movies​​​​.

2/13 Fear Street Trilogy (2021)

A trilogy of movies based on R.L. Stine’s books with the same name, Fear Street follows multiple generations of teenagers as they seek to put an end to a pesky curse. Unsurprisingly, the story gets progressively more complex, but Fear Street has one thing squarely on its mind: to create fun traditional slasher films.

RELATED: Things You Completely Missed In The Fear Street Trilogy

Through its three entries, Fear Street takes a stab at a multitude of slasher tropes, and it affectionately recreates them with plenty of charm and confidence. This series is perfect for Halloween.

1/13 X (2022)

A homage to filmmaking and exploitation flicks of the ’70s, X follows a group of young performers and creators as they head to a farm to film a porno. Although clearly not welcome by the location’s owner, the characters ignore any warning signs as they focus exclusively on bringing their project to life. Then, a horror story happens.

X is confident, witty, and fun. Ti West’s direction is stellar throughout, and all the actors play their parts expertly. The 2020s have produced quite a few memorable horror films, and X is a top contender for the best recent slasher movie.

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