Fear is a universal language. Scary stories have been part of cultures since everyone can remember them. Folk tales of monsters and demons meant to make those who misbehave pay have been subject to interpretation after interpretation until we got to the current horror. Instead of passing through oral tradition, it is now seen in books, video games and of course movies.
Every January, theaters are filled with money in the form of low-cost horror films, often in the form of slasher films. For most of the slasher genre’s lifetime, it’s been viewed as an exploitative genre, filled with angst, sex, and gore with a miniscule budget achieved in an incredibly short amount of time. For the most part, these are late-night gore-fest flicks that are good for a night out with friends, but nothing more. However, some have gone beyond that and become famous, making them touchstones of American cinema. With this take comes international appeal.
Although the horror genre is loved all over the world, the slasher genre is not so popular in the world. Coming up with a list of slasher movies from America is almost unfair to the sheer number of great slasher movies out there. But finding those around the world is a bit more difficult. Still, it says a lot about what some audiences find horrifying compared to others. That said, there isn’t much to choose from when it comes to slasher movies overseas, let alone entertainment that isn’t pure junk. However, there are a few that have the makeup of a slasher movie, but also maybe something a little more other than nudity and gore.
The slasher genre probably wouldn’t exist without the presence of Giallo films. Giallo is an Italian genre comprised mostly of exploitation films in the form of thrillers, mysteries, and yes, slashers. This genre became massively popular in the 60s, which is where this entry comes in. Blood and black lace is a 1964 film from genre powerhouse Mario Bava.
The plot is almost ridiculously simple, with a masked killer punching the models of a fashion house. But where simplicity reigns in the story, the scenography literally explodes in color. The staging is loaded with color and style, and it creates a fun and oddly beautiful slasher that fans of the genre have to experience to see the genre’s debut.
This Korean movie may be more on the thriller side than the slasher movie genre, but it still has moments that will have viewers more shaken up than some of the more intense slasher movies.
The plot of the film is quite familiar to thriller lovers. A secret agent exacts revenge on a serial killer who murdered his fiancé by subjecting him to a series of extremely violent capture and release scenarios that border on torture. In one scene, the serial killer stabs a group of men in a van until it appears the interior is now a different color. That alone is worth any slasher fan’s time.
Yes, it’s another Italian Giallo film. The genre is just too influential not to feature high on this list. But no director is more influential than Dario Argento, who directed Bird with crystal plumage.
This film follows an American writer investigating a series of murders after witnessing an attempted murder in an art gallery. The mystery is intriguing and there are some glimpses of what the slasher genre would eventually become. The classic hidden figure is there with very prominent leather gloves that may earn its own credit, and an incursion of chopping blades is all here and essential for slasher movie fans.
This 1988 Japanese slasher film is definitely very gory. Sensitive viewers should probably steer clear of this entry, as it includes explicit moments that are definitely dated.
In this film (which has nothing to do with Sam Raimi’s evil Dead franchise), the aTV team is further investigating the submission to the show which appears to be a snuff movie. It’s simple, but it works. But beyond that, it’s a slasher through and through, with some art house student tastes. It’s even topped off with an eerily cheerful score to subvert expectations. He’s creative in his kills and offers more than just teens in a house doing teen things.
Every list needs a controversial pick, and here’s the one. It may not be considered a slasher, or may even lack some essential aspects of slasher. However, it has moments of pure slasher horror cinema and even features several bloody murders.
This Japanese animated film follows the psychological breakdown of a former pop star as she navigates her new career while being stalked by an obsessive fan. It may not be the quintessential slasher movie, but it still has insight into the slasher genre and deserves to be seen by all fans of the slasher genre.
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