12 Best Modern Slasher Movies 5

Men in masks. Final girls. A steadily increasing body count. A memorable weapon (a knife, a chainsaw, a hook, a… salt shaker).

And then, of course, there’s the blood. Lots and lots of blood.

Mix them, bend them, subvert them however you wish — these are the core elements of the slasher movie, one of horror’s most successful subgenres.

Born of the thrills created by Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) and Sean S. Cunningham’s Friday the 13th (1980), slashers reached their heights in the early ’80s as the successors to proto-slashers like Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), Mario Bava’s A Bay of Blood (1971), along with a host of Italian giallo films and independent North American films that established the early tropes. By the mid-’80s, slashers, which were coming out nearly weekly, hit a downward trend until Wes Craven revitalized the formula with A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). And when slashers stalled out again, Craven was back to put more blood in the tank with Scream (1996), which created a ’90s slasher renaissance that led into the slasher remake era of the ’00s.

While slashers have never entirely gone away, the subgenre has had its rise and falls over the years, and currently, we’re amid a rise. One that’s been growing for nearly a decade that shows no sign of slowing down. Whether these recent slasher films have worked as nostalgic callbacks, unique subversions or served as signs of the time, audiences are hungry for more. And part of that enduring enthusiasm is in part thanks to Maxine Minx (Mia Goth), who turned heads in Ti West’s throwback slasher X (2022), which led to a prequel Pearl (2022) and the highly anticipated sequel now in theaters, MaXXXine.

In anticipation of the film capping what may become one of the all-time great slasher franchises, here is a look back over the best modern slasher films within the past decade.

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