STALKIN' ABOUT MY GENERATION
The slasher movie was staple of the 70's and 80's. However, with found-footage and supernatural horror taking centre stage since the turn of the century, they've taken something of a back-seat. However there are still some gems out there. For those of you who need to get their stalk'n'slash fix - but don't necessarily want to see people with shoulder pads and fruzzy hair, here are a few of our favourite modern slasher titles.
Please don't hate us. We are aware that Cherry Falls isn't the greatest slasher film ever made. However, released in 2000, it is still imbued with that trashy, teeny aura that soon became a rarity within the genre. If we're being honest, one of the main reasons this film is on the list is the fantastic tagline; 'If you haven't had it...you've had it'. Yep, Cherry Falls is about a serial killer who makes it his business to start offing local teenage virgins. Neat twist eh? Usually, in slasher films, virgins are the ones who are safe and it's the slutty chicks th.....oh you know, who am I kidding? The plot and ending are pretty bonkers – the film 'climaxes' in a huge orgy that the students set up in an effort to take themselves off the killers list. Beyond the absurdity, it's actually quite a subversive and humorous take on the slasher sub-genre.
Whilst most slasher movies have darkly comic moments, Severance is a film that triumphantly fuses out and out comedy with traditional slasher fare. Any film that can make you laugh quite regularly but that also maintains a dark and foreboding atmosphere is a rare thing. Chris Smith's British-German comedy-horror follows a group of co-workers who head to rural Hungary on a team-building trip. Office politics is suddenly not the biggest problem when someone stars offing the gang one by one. Severance is like The Office fused with a nasty slasher movie and if that doesn't appeal to you then something is wrong with you. Even Danny Dyer is bearable.
BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON
Released in 2006, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is a film that may have gone under the radar for general audiences. However, if you haven't seen this mockumentary yet then track it down ASAP. The film follows a journalist and her film crew who travel to a small town to document a serial killer who is offing people in classic slasher movie fashion. It's all very meta and satirical – but in a good way. It pays homage to 80's slashers and fittingly includes appearances from legends such as Robert Englund, Kane Hodder and Zelda Rubinstein. However the main reason Behind the Mask is on the list is because it treats the it's slasher origins with love and affection and is as witty as it is gory.
Scandinavian horror films have risen to prominence since the turn of the century. Dead Snow, Trollhunter, Wither and Let The Right One In have all caught the imaginations of audiences. 2006's Cold Prey is another to add to that list. Roar Uthaug's icy psycho-thriller harks back to 80's stalk'n'slash heyday as a group of teenagers on a snowboarding holiday in the Norwegian mountains are forced to seek shelter in an abandoned hotel. However, it's not long before they discover that there's a chance that maybe one of the old guests hasn't quite 'checked out' yet. Tense, beautifully shot and containing some really decent central performances, Cold Prey is a reminder that slasher films can still be great fun – and producers agree, with WWE Studios having already optioned an English language remake.
A film about a group of tourists on a haunted swamp tour in New Orleans who are hunted down by the vengeful spirit of a deformed dude named Victor Crowley sounds pretty cool right? Well it is! Adam Green's splatter flick includes a great ensemble cast too – including horror icons Robert Englund, Tony Todd and Kane Hodder. Hatchet has a great 80's vibe to it, a great script and a brilliant bad guy too. Hey, any villain that can still seem menacing whilst sporting dungarees deserves some respect. Hatchet also includes some hilariously entertaining and over-the-top death scenes. Two following sequels were decent enough but neither were quite as good as the original.
ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE
We certainly do. The film that propelled Amber Heard into the limelight, ATBLML (as no one is calling it) is a teen slasher flick with lots to like. It's confidently directed Jonathan Levine (who went on to make the underrated Warm Bodies) and is an intelligent and modern take on the sub-genre. A group of high-school friends invite attractive loner (Mandy Lane) to join them for a weekend away at a secluded ranch house. However it isn't too long before they realise that they may not be alone as they thought – and the bodies soon start piling up. The cinematography by Darren Genet is also beautiful but it's Amber Heard who steals the show as the mysterious final girl. It's not easy to play such an ambiguous and mysterious character but she nails it.
LAID TO REST
Director Robert Green Hall hasn't made many horror films. But truth be told, if he never made another film he'd still deserve credit for his crazily blood drenched slasher Laid To Rest. A young woman with amnesia wakes up in a coffin in a funeral parlour. She breaks out and a mortician appears, who is promptly despatched by a psychopath wearing a chrome skull mask – and intriguingly, a shoulder mounted camera. She manages to get away but chromeskull is soon on her trail and leaving a bloody trail in his wake. It's relentless and gory but also has a current of really black comedy running through its veins too. Lena Headey, Kevin Gage and Thomas Dekker round off an impressive cast list.
Oh man. If you haven't seen Dream Home then go get yourself a copy right now. Indeed, if you aren't into Asian horror then this may have passed you by but Pang Ho-cheung's gore-fest is worth a look. The film follows a young woman (played brilliantly by Josie Ho) who saves hard to be able to buy her dream apartment. However, when her offer is turned down, she kind of loses her shit and goes on a bit of a rampage. As well as being darkly comic in places and savagely violent in others, the film also has some deeper things to day about the economy, the housing market and capitalism in general. All big issues of today. The bloodshed in Dream Home may be have been a bone of contention for some critics when it was released, but we're in the 'more blood the better' camp.
Not only was You're Next a huge commercial success (it cost around $1m to make and took over $25m at the box office) - it was also one of the smartest and most entertaining slashers we've had for years. It also catapulted film-making duo Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett onto bigger (but not necessarily better) things, including Blair Witch. It also featured a kick-ass performance from final girl Sharni Vinson. For those not in the know, the story focuses on an uncomfortable family reunion at a rural vacation home in Missouri. However the in fighting and bitchyness are the least of their worries as masked psychopaths soon lay siege to the house. Filled with twists, turns and some slick black comedy, You're Next is a modern classic.
THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN
Remakes of horror movies from the 70's and 80's are rarely better than their origin movie – however, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's take on the infamous Texarcana murders is an exception. Whilst the original had a weird blend of absurd humour and gritty violence, the 2014 update is a nightmarish, self-aware and intelligent slasher movie. The heavy small town atmosphere and sense of mystery and legend creates an almost dreamlike feel to proceedings – which is occasionally punctured by some truly brutal and violent scenes reminiscent of the nastier horrors of the 70's. The ending may be a little underwhelming but still, it deserves a place on the list. Plus, there's no way you can't fall in love with lead Addison Timlin whilst watching this movie.