Binge Watch This – Slashers

Mykel Hilliard, Opinions Editor


Released: 1960

Streaming:  Amazon Prime (rent/buy), Peacock (subscription)

Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” is one of the most notable horror films of all time. “Psycho,” based on Robert Bloch’s novel of the same name, changed the horror genre with its iconic shower scene, one of the first on-screen depictions of a character violently murdered.

The film stars Janet Leigh as Marion Crane, a secretary desperate for a better life. Her desperation leads her to steal $40,000 from one of her employer’s clients. While fleeing the law, she stops at a motel, where she meets the owner, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), a polite young man with an interesting relationship with his mother.


Released: 1978

Streaming:  Hulu (rent/buy), Prime Video (rent/buy)

Over the last 40 years, the name Michael Myers and Halloween have become synonymous, thanks to the success of the 1978 horror film “Halloween.” The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, a babysitter who becomes a victim of Michael Myers (Nick Castle). Michael is a mentally ill man who murdered his sister on Halloween night 15 years earlier. Upon its initial release, Halloween had difficulty finding an audience. However, through word of mouth and positive reviews, the movie began to take off, eventually grossing $70 million on a $325,000 budget.

“A Nightmare on Elm Street”

Released: 1984

Streaming: Hulu (rent/buy), HBO max (subscription), Prime Video (rent/buy)

A decade before directing 1996’s “Scream,” director Wes Craven hit horror film gold with the release of “A Nightmare On Elm Street.” Originally made on a $1.1 million budget, the film went on to gross $57 million before the end of its theatrical run.

Since then, the film’s knife-finger-wielding killer Freddy Krueger has become a staple in pop culture. Known as the Springwood Slasher, Freddy murders several children. When a judge sets him free, an angry mob of the victims’ parents seeks revenge by murdering him. Years after his death, the living children of the parents responsible for Freddy’s death begin experiencing nightmares where Freddy haunts them via their dreams.

In 2021, the United States National Film Registry inducted the film into the Library of Congress, citing the film as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”


Released: 1996

Streaming: Hulu (rent/buy), Paramount plus (subscription), Prime Video (rent/buy)

Director Wes Craven’s “Scream,” follows several high school students in the fictional town of Woodsboro, California, as they become the targets of a mask-wearing serial killer known as Ghostface. Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is tasked with finding who the killer could be once she realizes the murders are aimed at her.

“Scream” is a wild ride and Campbell’s nuanced portrayal of Prescott makes you want to root for her. What sets “Scream” apart from previous slasher films is its tone, which is meant to be comedic, poking fun at slasher film tropes found in iconic horror films such as “Halloween,”  “Friday the 13th” and Craven’s iconic horror film “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” Since its debut in 1996, “Scream” has become one of the biggest horror franchises of all time, spawning five movie sequels and two television shows.

“I Know What You Did
Last Summer”

Released: 1997

Streaming:  Hulu (rent/buy), Paramount plus (subscription), Prime Video (rent/buy)

On the heels of his last popular slasher film release, “Scream” screenwriter Kevin Williamson commissioned “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” a movie adaptation of Lois Duncan’s 1973 suspense novel of the same name. The film follows a group of friends who accidentally murder a fisherman wandering the side of the road. Out of fear of facing consequences, the teens dump his body and promise to keep the incident a secret among themselves. A year later, the friends reconvene after one of them gets a threatening letter revealing their crime had a witness. As the film progresses, a hook-wielding killer hunts the group, attempting to murder them one by one. When the film hit theaters in October 1997, it became an instant success, debuting at number one at the U.S. box office, where it stayed for three weeks. The film does a great job of keeping the viewer engaged with its high-stakes chase scenes that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

“Scream Queens”

Released: 2015

Streaming:  Hulu (rent/buy)

Helmed by the creators of “Glee” and “American Horror Story” is “Scream Queens,” a horror-comedy series, with a whodunit-style story set at a fictional college. The series features a star-studded cast including Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Nick Jonas and Keke Palmer. The show has a unique feel and blends elements of comedy and horror well. Throughout its first season, the series references several iconic horror films, such as “The Shining,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” and “Psycho.”

“The Final Girls”

Released: 2015

Streaming: Hulu (rent/buy), Prime Video (rent/buy), Apple TV (rent/buy)

Picking off where the “Scream” franchise left off, is the horror-comedy film “The Final Girls.” In the film, we are introduced to Max (Taissa Farmiga), the daughter of a deceased scream queen actress who starred in a successful “Friday the 13th” parody called Camp Bloodbath. While attending an anniversary screening of Camp Bloodbath, a mysterious incident leads to Max and her friends being trapped in the film’s universe.

During this time Max is reunited with her mother and tasked with using knowledge of the film’s ending and similar horror films to stay alive and get back to their world. Farmiga is fantastic as the film’s lead and is supported by great comedic actors such as Adam Devine, Malin Åkerman, Alia Shawkat and Thomas Middleditch. The film is fun to watch and plays out as a “choose your own adventure” story, showing the different scenarios one could use to escape a horror film.