20 Best Slasher Films for Non-Fans

The Final Girls
Photo Credits: Todd Strauss-Schulson, Stage 6 Films

Slasher films are an easy gateway to being a full-fledged horror fan. So, if you’re interested in horror movies or want to be acquainted with the genre, we have some films that could help you ease yourself into it. We’ve got true slasher classics like Scream and fun parodies like Scary Movie that will have you laughing while staying true to the slasher genre.

Without further delay, let’s get slashing!

1. Scream

Photo Credits: Wes Craven, Miramax

Scream is a good entry point if you want to get into slasher films. It’s clever, witty, and one of the most iconic slashers that popularised the genre. There’s a lot of blood and smart kill setups, but the movie is entertaining and predictable after a certain point. 

Since there are about 6 Scream movies in the franchise now, you can keep the fun going for longer. Although, the first one will remain the best one in our opinion. It’s a great franchise if you’re new to the slasher genre or want to try getting into horror. 

There’s minimal gore, and the chase sequences will give you a rush. Trying to figure out the identity of the Ghostface is also part of the fun.


2. The Final Girls

The Final Girls
Photo Credits: Todd Strauss-Schulson, Stage 6 Films

Taking the trope of ‘the final girl’ popularised by horror and slasher movies and making a comedy slasher movie is a fun and ridiculous idea. All the typical slasher setups and rules, like avoiding sex and sticking together, are key to survival within the movie.

A girl grieving her mother’s death somehow gets magically transported into a movie her mother starred in called Camp Bloodbath. Now, she and her friends have to survive the movie’s events, where a machete-wielding man kills everyone off one by one. Hopefully, by surviving, they’ll get back to their reality.

When you think about it, it feels like a parody of your typical slasher films, and that’s what makes it an excellent pick for non-fans of the genre. You get acquainted with the rules and have a little violence with some adrenaline. 


3. I Know What You Did Last Summer

I Know What You Did Last Summer
Photo Credits: Wes Gillespie, Columbia Pictures

Another slasher classic, I Know What You Did Last Summer, falls into a similar vein to Scream, but this time, it focuses on four teens rather than one main protagonist, minus the satire and witty moments, too. This movie is a straightforward slasher designed to bring you thrills and chills.

Four teens accidentally run over a man after a night out and dumped his body in a lake, hoping he will not survive. Flash forward a year later, and they start getting terrorized by a man with a hook that stalks and threatens them. As the event plays out, several people end up killed, including innocents.

Two more movies were released, and a TV show spawned out of the franchise to continue the story of the survivors of the first movie. Needless to say, it is a thrilling watch with its fun chase sequences and kill setups.


4. Scary Movie

Scary Movie
Photo Credits: David Zucker, Malcolm D. Lee, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Miramax

A parody of all of the horror movies released at the time, Scary Movie is a dark comedy slasher designed to make fun of iconic movies released at the time. It took elements from Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Halloween, The Shining, and more. Even scenes and elements from non-horror movies made their way into Scary Movie.

So, the movie’s background is similar to I Know What You Did Last Summer, where a group of teens run over a man and dump his body in a lake. A year later, they get terrorized by a man in a Ghostface mask. One by one, they get killed off in ridiculous setups, similar to that in Scream. 

Scary Movie did so well that it spawned about five more movies that made fun of other movies. The Wayan Brothers know what they’re doing regarding comedy, that’s for sure. This is nothing to take seriously. It’s more of a movie designed for laughs and gags.


5. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Photo Credits: Tim Burton, DreamWorks Distribution

Something a little different here with a gothic movie that takes place in Victorian times. It is also a musical slasher; you don’t get many of those. Tim Burton’s signature dark touch creates a grimy world that feels apt for its time.

Here we have the story of Sweeney Todd, a barber who turns to killing his customers. It is part of his plan to get revenge on a judge for wrongfully convicting him of a crime he did not commit, thus exiling him and stealing his wife. Sweeney enlists the help of Mrs. Lovett in his crimes, as she helps him turn dead bodies into meat pies and sell them.

It is a dark and morbid subject matter that would make you want to throw up the contents of your stomach if you think about it too long. However, distracted by the singing and musical components, you might overlook the cannibalism part. 


6. The Babysitter

The Babysitter
Photo Credits: McG, Netflix

Discovering someone you know is a part of a cult will always be a jarring experience. Especially if you’re a teen and that person is your hot babysitter that you may have a thing for. Such is the case for 12-year-old Cole and his babysitter, Bee.

He discovers some dark details and ongoings when he stays up way past his bedtime and witnesses Bee and her friends murder someone. The Babysitter is a fast-paced and suspenseful movie with many moments that will also leave you laughing. It’s a good form of entertainment with some gory elements intertwined.

You might not think The Babysitter is an exciting or good movie just from its subpar trailer or summary but watch it, and it may change your mind. It is a thrilling and fun film that sets a unique premise from other slasher films.


7. Child’s Play

Child's Play
Photo Credits: Tom Holland, Universal Pictures

We are all acquainted with the iconic Chucky, right? Well, this is where his story begins. Not to mention the movie that started the fear of dolls for most people. Needless to say, Chucky caused a lot of trauma back in the day. Let’s just say a realistic human-sized doll is not a great present for any child.

With that said, this is a fantastic slasher film if you’re new to the genre. There are a lot of thrills, humor, and a unique storyline that has not been truly replicated to this day. At least, it’s not as good as the original. The soul of a serial killer transported into a doll that goes on a killing spree may sound ridiculous, but Child’s Play still manages to make it somewhat terrifying.

This movie has a lot of foul language and profanity, aside from its violent depictions. Its amazing special effects bring Chucky to life, along with its iconic one-liners, making this a slasher you have to watch.


8. Freaky

Photo Credits: Christopher Landon, Universal Pictures

It’s another body-switching slasher comedy that’s more recent. This time, we have a high school girl who somehow switches bodies with a middle-aged man who happens to be a serial killer. She has a time limit of 24 hours to reverse it, or she’s stuck in his body forever. Imagine the Disney movie Freaky Friday but with a darker twist and many murders involved.

Vince Vaughn’s depiction of a teenage girl should be enough to sell you on watching this movie. Admittedly, Freaky is more funny than scary to watch and is not a movie you should take seriously by any means. It’s entertaining, it’s ridiculous, and it’s bloody. The kill setups are inventive, and the movie has a good pace. 

It’s safe to say that you won’t find yourself bored or yawning anytime soon with this one on screen. Sure, it does have some minor instances of your typical teenage movie, but the creative kills largely overshadow those moments once they start.


9. Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow
Photo Credits: Tim Burton, Paramount Pictures

Backtracking to something more moody and gothic than the others on this list, here we have another Tim Burton special. Sleepy Hollow is more on the supernatural side, but it still has some slasher elements that are hard to overlook. 

The movie is far from creepy or gory, but it is spooky and eerie. We follow Ichabod Crane, a detective from the big city, as he investigates the multiple beheadings that occur in a small village (Sleepy Hollow). It is said that the beheadings were done by the Headless Horseman, who happens to be a man from a mythical legend.

Sleepy Hollow is set in a dark and misty town, its story shrouded in legend and fear. Ichabod refuses to believe in the supernatural, but by the end of this movie, his mind is irrevocably changed. Perhaps yours will, too.


10. Totally Killer

Totally Killer
Photo Credits: Nahnatchka Khan, Amazon MGM Studios

This deadly slasher is released in anticipation of the spooky season of 2023. It was created to appeal to several generations at once with its cultural references and time travel element. Hence, this may be your best bet if you’re looking for a slasher film to watch with your family. Just ensure they’re fine with the blood, violence, and occasional gore – it’s a slasher, after all.

A serial killer returns after 35 years and claims a fourth victim, but when a teenager comes face to face with him, she gets transported back in time to 1987, when the murders first began. Her mother is around during the first murders, so she teams up with her to avoid getting murdered.

Totally Killer is a good mix of horror and comedy that is tastefully done. The whodunit element prevalent in slasher films is wonderfully executed, filling the movie with suspense and thrills at guessing who the killer is.


11. Bodies Bodies Bodies

Bodies Bodies Bodies
Photo Credits: Halina Reijn, A24, Stage 6 Films

Truthfully, nothing is more satisfying than watching rich 20-year-olds who are out of touch with reality get murdered. Bodies Bodies Bodies is a slasher comedy revolving around fake friends, backstabbing (literally and figuratively), and a hurricane party set in a remote mansion.

This A24 movie has slowly risen from the depths of cinema hell, becoming a cult favorite among slasher fans. The movie garnered a ton of negative feedback during its release, as there are no elaborate action scenes or good scares to be had. However, it should be taken at face value for what it is – a dumb slasher movie. It’s not trying to be smart or elaborate.

At best, it’s a modern popcorn horror movie with a fun twist. It has some intense moments, as all slashers do, and bloody moments, too. It’s a great movie for its entertainment value, not so much for die-hard horror fans longing for something more dark.


12. Happy Death Day

Happy Death Day
Photo Credits: Christopher Landon, Universal Pictures

A college student is stuck reliving the day of her death repeatedly. Every time she tries to do something different, she finds herself dead in different ways. Her death day is also her birthday, so it sucks to be her, eh?

So, after dying repeatedly, she decides to figure out who the killer is in hopes that it will end the time loop. She would also like to be alive for a while longer. Many people did not have high hopes for the movie upon its release, but it was surprisingly good. The cast delivered a great performance in a movie with a fair share of twists and turns.

Contrary to its trailer and marketing efforts, the movie is not as scary as it is made out to be. It’s an entertaining mix of comedy and slasher that feels like a morbid version of Groundhog Day. If that intrigues you, be sure to add this to your list of slasher films. 


13. Pearl

Photo Credits: Ti West, A24, Universal Pictures

It should be noted that this is a prequel to the X film released a couple of months prior. How considerate of them to give us a prequel to the movie in the same year of release. Pearl tells the origin story of the villain we come to be acquainted with in the movie X.

The movie is set in 1918, and Mia Goth’s performance as Pearl is riveting as we watch her descend into madness, living a dull and oppressed farm life, and her desire for so much more. She spends her time in the local cinema and fantasizes about stardom, which leads her to do some unspeakable things.

It’s safe to say that Pearl is a slasher with a psychological element to it, and you already know things are about to go down as it is the origin story of a villain. Note that you shouldn’t compare it to X. It is a different movie entirely, even if the characters and setting are similar.


14. Final Destination

Final Destination
Photo Credits: James Wong, New Line Cinema

It is a movie that has made its mark within the slasher films genre by changing the idea of a tangible killer. Final Destination makes its characters go up against the unknown that is out to kill them rather than a person. 

One of the reasons Final Destination is a scary movie is that these freak accidents might happen in real life. Some actually did. It starts with a guy having a premonition about a plane exploding, choosing not to board the plane instead. Instead, he and his friends decide to leave the plane right before it happens.

However, in doing that, he dooms everyone to a grisly death. The amount of overt gore and death sequences is ridiculous but adds fear to the movie. Truly, you won’t live life the same way after.


15. A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street
Photo Credits: Wes Craven, New Line Cinema

Here’s something that might make you afraid of sleeping at night. Freddy Krueger is one of the original slasher villains to popularise the genre. A Nightmare On Elm Street also has a rather unique take on the slasher genre, where the villain only appears in your dreams and can harm you from there.

Freddy targets a group of teenagers and kills them in their dreams, leading to their deaths in reality as well. He is a child serial killer who was burned alive by some parents, and he’s now out to get revenge by taking their children’s lives instead.

Since going without sleep is impossible, the villain is tough to beat as he haunts multiple people at once and kills them in their sleep. This is a slasher and horror classic you should watch even if you’re not a fan, as it is one of Wes Craven’s most notable works. 


16. Alone in the Dark

Alone in the Dark
Photo Credits: Jack Sholder, New Line Cinema

Not to be confused with the 2005 iteration or the video games, this one is the original 1982 slasher film. Four patients escape from a mental asylum during a blackout and plan to murder their new doctor along with his family. 

The worst part is that this means that there are four killers out to torture an innocent family over a misunderstanding. Additionally, Alone in the Dark gives a great lesson in building suspense and tension with its colorful array of characters. Each killer is different, but they all have the same motive with a screw loose in the head.

Furthermore, imagine the anxiety over not having any form of electricity and feeling like sitting ducks during a blackout. Every single bump in the night incites fear and nervousness. This movie is one of the best horror flicks released in the 80s and a timeless one for slashers.


17. Silent Night, Deadly Night

Silent Night, Deadly Night
Photo Credits: Charles Sellier, TriStar Pictures

Since everyone tends to get into a Christmassy mood right after Halloween, why not mix the two with a killer in a Santa suit? Silent Night, Deadly Night is a fun, festive, and deadly slasher that feels just right for people who are not ready to switch into the Christmas season just yet.

Back when it was released, it was deemed somewhat controversial, but looking at it now, the hate received does not seem justified. It’s just one of those slasher films that plays on trauma and incites more trauma in return, set during the holidays. The plot follows Billy as he grows up filled with trauma from witnessing his parents get murdered. At the same time, he gets notoriously abused while living in a Catholic orphanage.

You could say that his conditioning, trauma, and upbringing led him to have a  psychological meltdown, which concludes in a killing spree wearing a Santa suit. Why a Santa Claus suit? Well, his parent’s killer was wearing one. 


18. Cold Prey

Cold Prey
Photo Credits: Roar Uthag, SF Norge AS

A colder take on slasher films, this one takes place in the snowy mountains rather than your typical suburban neighborhood or fancy house. Cold Prey is also one of the best Norwegian horror movies out there, so you can’t go wrong with it even if you’re not a fan of the genre.

Four young adults decide to go up a snowy mountain and snowboard, but things take a turn when one of them gets into an accident and breaks his leg. Pressed for time, as it is getting dark, they decide to stay in an abandoned hotel. They resolve to make their way down the mountain in the morning instead.

But things are never that easy, of course! They find out they’re not alone as they get stalked and murdered by a person in a snowsuit. There are a lot of cliche moments in the movie, and the story is rather predictable, but it is entertaining with an excellent performance from the cast.


19. Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th
Photo Credits: Sean S. Cunningham, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros

Here’s another one of those iconic slasher films that birthed a murderer known throughout the horror scene. Friday the 13th is best described as a summer camp gone wrong. It starts when a group of teenage camp counselors tries to reopen an abandoned summer camp set in Crystal Lake.

One by one, we watch as they get stalked, harassed, and killed off by a mysterious serial killer who is somehow connected to the camp’s dark past. Friday the 13th is one of the iconic slashers of the horror scene and one that should not be missed. The movie spawned numerous sequels and media expansions, marking itself as a cultural icon.

Sure, its story is not that original, and its acting is subpar, but its impact, gore, and scare factor do make up for that. All in all, the movie has horror movie fans divided on whether it is good or bad. You can form your own opinion and let us know in the comments below.


20. April Fool’s Day

April Fool's Day
Photo Credits: Fred Walton, Paramount Pictures

We’re far from April, but this slasher quickly explores what could happen if a prank goes wrong. Similar to the concept of Bodies Bodies Bodies, we have college students staying over in a mansion located on a remote island over April Fool’s weekend. However, the festivities come to a halt as they get killed off one by one.

This is another great example of 80s-style horror with its inclusion of mystery, intrigue, and quirky humor within the dark slasher genre. Additionally, April Fool’s Day will surprise you with its twists and minimal depiction of outright violence. There are your typical sex and drinking scenes with some pranks in between, but this movie does differ slightly from your typical slasher.

Either way, it is a good option for you to add to your list if you’re not into overt gore and violence. This also makes it a wonderful start to your horror or slasher experience.


That concludes our list of the best slasher films for non-fans! Hopefully, you’ve found a movie to add to your watchlist for Halloween, as it is right around the corner. Anyway, if you’re looking for more horror films to binge, here’s a list of Japanese Horror Films!

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  • Sarah Paul

    I dip my toes in all things nerdy. I started writing and never looked back! I'll write about anything under the sun if you give me the chance, but my loyalty currently lies with nerd culture.

Sarah Paul

Written by Sarah Paul

I dip my toes in all things nerdy. I started writing and never looked back! I'll write about anything under the sun if you give me the chance, but my loyalty currently lies with nerd culture.

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