More Awesome Slashers for People Who Don’t Like Slashers

It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of slashers. Movies like Friday the 13th, Terrifier, and Final Destination just don’t do it for me, so this is one kind of horror I tend to steer clear of. However, as with most things in life, there are some exceptions. I’ve actually written about a few slashers, like X, Halloween Kills, and the Scream franchise, and a couple of years ago, I even wrote an article recommending five slasher films for people who don’t like slashers.

So despite my general disinclination towards this subgenre, I don’t think it’s entirely bad. In fact, there are quite a number of interesting slashers that I think even non-slasher fans would like, and in this article, I’d like to highlight a few more of them. These movies put some really fun and clever twists on the subgenre’s typical MO, so even if slashers aren’t your thing, you should still give these films a shot.


Pumpkinhead looking scary

If you’re a fan of monster movies but you haven’t seen Pumpkinhead, that needs to change. Right now. In this film, a group of teenagers comes to a small town, and soon after they arrive, one of them accidentally kills a small boy. Understandably, the kid’s father is absolutely devastated, so he conjures up a monster called Pumpkinhead and tasks the creature with avenging his son’s untimely death.

As you can probably tell from that brief plot synopsis, Pumpkinhead works as both a slasher film and a monster movie. Like any self-respecting 1980s slasher, this one centers around the time-honored trope of a group of teenagers being picked off one by one, but it sets itself apart from its cinematic peers by making its villain a supernatural monster rather than a human being. Because of that, it’s able to keep one foot in each subgenre, so you don’t have to be a slasher fan to enjoy it. As long as you like monsters, you’re sure to have fun with this film.

But that’s not all. The monster isn’t the only thing that separates Pumpkinhead from the undistinguished mass of generic 1980s slashers. Most of those movies feature paper-thin characters and equally flimsy plots, so they’re usually little more than glorified collections of kill scenes. But not this one. Pumpkinhead actually tells a solid and emotional story with characters you’ll genuinely care about, so it’s a great watch all around even if slashers aren’t usually your thing.

The Final Girls

A masked killer

If you’re looking for a slasher comedy that effortlessly combines its two genres, you can’t do much better than The Final Girls. It’s about a group of high schoolers who find themselves mysteriously transported to a 1980s slasher film called Camp Bloodbath, and they have to find a way to survive the villain’s killing spree and make their way back to the real world.

On the surface, that premise may sound like just a sneaky way to get us to watch yet another Friday the 13th rip-off, but trust me, The Final Girls is way more than that. The generic setting simply serves as an excuse to lovingly poke fun at the slasher subgenre, and it’s hilarious. It hits pretty much all the tropes you’d expect, like the bad dialogue, the sex-obsessed counselors, and the seemingly unstoppable killer, and it plays every one of them for some amazing laughs.

What’s more, much like Pumpkinhead, this film also features a touching story fueled by excellent characters, and for my money, that’s the best thing about it. You’ll love everybody in the movie, but hands down, the heart and soul of this story is a girl named Max. She lost her mother a few years ago, and when she’s transported to Camp Bloodbath, she gets a chance to see her mother one last time.

See, the woman was an actress, and as luck would have it, she was actually in Camp Bloodbath. So naturally, every scene where Max interacts with her character is super emotional, and their relationship gives the film way more heart than you’d expect from a thinly veiled Friday the 13th knockoff. It combines perfectly with the comedy to make this one of my favorite slashers of all time, so even if you’re not a big fan of the subgenre, The Final Girls is one movie you should definitely check out.

Happy Death Day

A guy in a mask

If Pumpkinhead and The Final Girls are still too reminiscent of typical slashers for you, then you should give Happy Death Day a shot. It’s a horror comedy about a college girl named Tree (short for Theresa) who’s being stalked by a masked killer, but there’s a twist. The girl is stuck in a Groundhog Day-esque time loop, so every time she dies, she wakes up that same morning and starts the day all over again. To escape the loop, she has to figure out who keeps killing her, and she uses her apparently infinite lives to slowly cross names off her suspect list.

It’s a really cool spin on the standard slasher formula, so while the film still has the stalk-and-kill scenes you expect in this subgenre, there’s so much more to it that you don’t need to be a slasher fan to enjoy it. The time-loop mystery will keep your eyes glued to the screen either way, and the comedy will put a big grin on your face the entire time.

But above all else, the best thing about Happy Death Day is its heartwarming story. Tree is a stereotypical sorority girl, so when the movie begins, she’s a total jerk. She’s the kind of character you’d love to hate in any other film, but as she dies over and over again, she realizes that she needs to change.

She slowly learns to become a much more caring and empathetic person, and seeing that transformation play out is pretty touching. It gives Happy Death Day a lot more narrative and emotional heft than we normally expect from slashers, and when you combine that with the excellent mystery and the fun comedy, you get a great all-around experience that even non-slasher fans are sure to enjoy.

Tragedy Girls

Two teenage girls looking serious

If you’re looking for a slasher movie that doesn’t entirely feel like a slasher, then Tragedy Girls is the film for you. It’s a horror comedy set in a town where a serial killer is on the loose, and it’s about two teenage girls who want to be social media stars. They call themselves the Tragedy Girls, and after they kidnap the killer, they decide that the best way to get more followers and accelerate their rise to fame is to start committing murders themselves.

On the surface, that premise may not sound terribly different from most slashers, but the execution is what sets this movie apart. The titular Tragedy Girls aren’t great at what they do, so the kill scenes play out more like comedy setpieces than typical slasher deaths. They’re absolutely hilarious, so you don’t need to be a gorehound or a slasher aficionado to appreciate them. You just need to enjoy laughing, and that gives the movie a much wider appeal than most slashers can achieve.

What’s more, like the other films on this list, Tragedy Girls also has some real thematic and narrative substance. It uses its outlandish premise to tell an engaging story that sheds light on the potential dark side of social media, so it’s way more than just a mindless slice-and-dice schlockfest. It has something to say, and when you combine that great message with awesome comedy and fun horror, you get one of the absolute best slashers of the 21st century.


Three people in a kitchen

Last but not least, we have quite possibly the funniest movie on this list, Freaky. It’s about a high school girl who swaps bodies with a serial killer (a la Freaky Friday), and it’s just as side-splittingly hilarious as that premise would suggest.

Admittedly, the film falls a bit flat on the thematic side, so if you’re in the mood for a slasher with a bit of substance, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere. But if all you want to do is laugh, this is the movie for you.

The serial killer is played by Vince Vaughn, and when the killer and the girl swap bodies, Vaughn gives an absolute tour-de-force performance. He changes both the way he talks and the way he moves to mimic a teenage girl, and it’s pure comedy gold.

In particular, there are a number of fantastic moments when Vaughn has to fawn over the character’s crush, and there’s even one scene that just about had me rolling on the floor. I won’t spoil it if you’ve never seen Freaky but suffice it to say that the scene takes place in a car, and when you see it, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Seriously, this movie has some of the absolute best comedy I’ve ever seen on the big screen, so even if slashers aren’t your thing, you should still give it a shot. It’s worth a watch for the laughs alone, and if you find it even half as funny as I do, I think you’re really going to like it.

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Written by JP Nunez

JP Nunez is a lifelong horror fan. From a very early age, he learned to love monsters, ghosts, and all things spooky, and it's still his favorite genre today.

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