Horror is a genre known for its many subgenres, and among the most popular of those subgenres is the slasher. Iconic slashers can keep a film franchise running for decades, and that’s exactly what often happens. With Halloween just around the corner, there’s still time to binge a blood-soaked series before it’s too late. But be warned, you better start soon, because some of these slashers have quite the franchise under their belt.
Also Read: Top 7 Jason Voorhees Looks and Costumes
7. Ghostface – 6 Films and a TV Series
Ghostface is a unique one, because rather than a singular killer, we see a series of killers donning the same title. Wes Craven revitalized the slasher genre in 1996 and the cloaked killer has been a part of popular culture ever since. On top of six films with more on the way, there was a Scream television series that ran for three-seasons on MTV. While Craven would direct the first four entries in the franchise, his death in 2015 would mean a passing of the torch for future installments.
6. Norman Bates – 6 Films and a TV Series
Perhaps not quite as frightening as the others on our list, Norman Bates is no less iconic. Played by Anthony Perkins, Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Psycho launched a franchise and crafted the most iconic murder in horror movie history. For years, audiences were peaking out of the shower curtain for fear that a deranged killer was lurking on the other side. While the sequels lacked the artistry of Hitchcock’s original, Perkins returned and had a blast reviving his most iconic role. The series Bates Motel, which ran on A&E for five seasons, acted as a sort of prequel reimaging, placing a young Norman at its center in a modern day.
5. Chucky – 8 Films and a TV Series
The television series Chucky, now on its third season, revitalized the killer doll, bringing him back to the original timeline after an attempted reboot that missed the mark for fans. Charles Lee Ray was a killer with ties to voodoo magic who passed his soul into a Good Guy doll during a gun fight with police. Now, Chucky embraces his tiny body while stacking up an impressive kill count across a long running franchise.
4. Leatherface – 9 Films
It’s hard to believe that there’s been nine Texas Chainsaw Massacre films. The character of Leatherface hasn’t quite gotten the respect that some of his peers have; however, like a well oiled chainsaw, he keeps on going. There have been several reboots, remakes and prequels, but none have come close to the perfection of Tobe Hooper’s 1974 original. It’s a disturbing story of a reclusive murderous family that influenced the trajectory of horror for the indefinite future.
3. Freddy Krueger – 9 Films and a TV Series
No actor is more closely associated with the slasher they’ve portrayed than Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger. Another Wes Craven icon, Freddy is a deranged, badly burned madman who uses dreams to hunt his prey. Over the years, Freddy evolved into a wisecracking, pun-spewing killer with a sick sense of humor. This allowed Freddy to stand out from the crowd and made for some amazing one-liners. Jackie Earle Haley did his best to fit into Englund’s shoes with a 2010 remake, but fans ultimately rejected this take on the character and he hasn’t been seen since. Sweet dreams for now.
2. Michael Myers – 12 Films
Halloween has the most convoluted timeline of all the slashers on our list. There are multiple branches of films that are disconnected from some, but connected to others. In 2018 directed David Gordon Green revived the franchise once again, with a trilogy of sequels directly connected to the John Carpenter classic, but ignoring all of the other films in the franchise. There are actually thirteen Halloween films in the franchise, but Halloween 3 tells a story unrelated to Michael Myers and doesn’t feature the iconic killer as it’s antagonist.
1. Jason Voorhees – 12 Films
The man behind the iconic hockey mask, and taking the number one slot on our list, is Jason Voorhees. He’s been a drowned child, a scrawny man in a sack, a bulking man in a mask, a zombie, he’s been in Manhattan and he’ even been in space! With twelve films in the franchise and a new prequel series (Crystal Lake) coming to Peacock in the near future, it’s impossible to deny the status of Jason as the most recognizable, terrifying and iconic slasher in cinema history.
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