When you sit down to watch a slasher, you know exactly what to expect: a group of faceless youth being slaughtered. From the 1980s to the more recent slasher renaissance (or “slasher-ssance”), with their reliable source of blood, guts, gore, and scares, slashers are the bread and butter of the box-office. We’ve seen it recently with the 2022 blockbuster hit Terrifier 2, which raked in more than $10 million domestically in receipts, and the success of the Scream reboot. Slasher popularity might ebb and flow with the times, but it’s always guaranteed they’ll come back around again. If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that slashers are here to stay.

The horror subgenre traces its roots back to films like 1960’s Peeping Tom and the 1963 low-budget splatter flick Blood Feast, as well giallo, a hyper-stylized genre born out of Italy, before hits like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween were the catalyst for its boom. For all you slasher fiends, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 greatest slashers of all time, ranging from the tinsel-themed to campy fun and other genre-defining titles. Our selections span the decades, and you just might find a few surprises.

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20 best slasher movies

See the list of best slashers, from classics like Friday the 13th to deep cuts, below.

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