Nothing says "totally normal movie night that's not weird at all" like popping some popcorn and settling in to watch a bunch of people get gruesomely axed to death in the name of the horror genre, right? Cool, thought so. The list of A+ slasher movies is longer than Freddy Krueger's fingernails, so here are some of our favorites to quench your thirst for blood (and guts and brains and sometimes intestines, if we're honest). Happy nightmares!
1. A Nightmare On Elm Street
A Nightmare On Elm Street introduced the world to Freddy Krueger, a burnt serial killer who murders his victims in their dreams with his super long razor fingers. Charming! The first movie in the franchise came out in the '80s, and it's still going strong years later. Fun-by-which-I-mean-f*cked-up fact: Wes Craven came up with the Freddy character after reading about Southeast Asian refugees who were dying in their sleep in the middle of nightmares. Oh, and he was inspired by the song "Dream Weaver," which, LOL.
2. I Know What You Did Last Summer
The '90s gifted the world with many slasher franchises, but name a cast better than Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, and Freddie Prinze Jr. (Hint: You can't because there isn't one). I Know What You Did Last Summer is about a group of kids who accidentally kill someone and end up being stalked by a hook-wielding serial killer who KNOWS WHAT THEY DID (last summer). Also, SMG and Freddie Prinze met on-set, so technically, it's a romance.
The Halloween films, which have been going strong since 1978, revolve around a serial killer named Michael Myers who was committed to a sanitarium as a kid for murdering his sister. Naturally, Mr. Myers escapes, starts wearing a Captain Kirk mask, and proceeds to kill a bunch of teenage babysitters on Halloween, because apparently, he can't just dress up and go trick-or-treating like a normal person.
4. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
If you prefer your slasher films with a tasty side of cannibalism, hi, and welcome to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This movie follows a group of friends who get attacked by a group of cannibals—including Leatherface, who wears a mask of human skin in the name of fashion. The story is vaguely based on real-life killer Ed Gain (a body snatcher who made keepsakes from people's skin), and there are almost a dozen films in the franchise—including one called Texas Chainsaw 3D, which sounds like a hard nope.
5. Friday The 13th
This movie (and its many, many follow-ups) introduced us to yet another killer in a mask: Jason, a man who spends his time murdering camp counselors and has single-handedly ruined the outdoors for me. Jason's whole ~thing~ is quite literally slashing people's throats, so...yeah, you've been warned.
6. The Hills Have Eyes
Guys, don't worry, it's another movie about cannibals! This one follows a family that—after getting stranded in the desert—is attacked by a bunch of hungry hill-dwellers who wanna eat them. The Hills Have Eyes is less slasher and more horror, but I'm still including it based on sheer grossness. P.S. Wes Craven, who directed this delightful tale, was inspired by the legend of Sawney Bean, a Scottish clan that allegedly cannibalized more than 1,000 people.
Not sure what's better, the plot of this movie or Drew Barrymore's haircut, but both are excellent. Scream (which starred real-life couple David and Courteney Cox) is one part horror satire and one part WTF. It also introduced us to a killer known as Ghostface—yet another dude who loves himself a fabulous mask. The movie came out in 1996, and no matter how many times you watch it, you're gonna be terrified.
Like, you wouldn't think a movie about a possessed ginger doll who murders people in his "free time" could be genuinely scary, but Chucky delivers. There are a lot of gems in this campy franchise, but my personal favorite is 2004's Seed of Chucky for obvious LOL reasons.
9. Alice Sweet Alice
This was Brooke Shields' first movie role, and it’s absolutely freakin' terrifying—mostly because the killer wears (you guessed it) a creepy mask and a yellow raincoat. Also, one of the murders goes down in church. Like, CAN WE NOT EVEN ENJOY CHURCH NOW, GUYS?
No slasher list would be complete without the movie that started it all: Psycho. Alfred Hitchcock's genre-defying classic quite literally features slashing thanks to that famous Norman Bates shower scene, but it's also a psychological thriller and legit work of genius (if you don't believe me, ask the multiple Academy Awards it was nominated for).
Is it weird to include the fourth movie in a series before the sequel? Too bad, because the fourth and final iteration of the Scream saga might be the best one of all.
In 2011, the Ghostface killer makes one last appearance when Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to Woodsboro for her self help book press tour. Emma Roberts plays Sidney's younger cousin Jill, let's just say she seriously earns her place in all those American Horror Story seasons since.
12. Cabin In The Woods
Cabin In The Woods is kind of every type of horror movie in one. Five friends—including a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth—take a trip to, well, a remote cabin in the woods. Unfortunately, some mad scientists(?) are waiting to send every possible evil thing after them: from zombies to rabid serial killers.
But don't let the extremely funny moments and satirical vibe fool you, this movie has some serious scares.
13. Happy Death Day
When this thriller came out in 2017, it became an instant classic. College student Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) is stuck in the worst version of Groundhog Day ever when she is brutally murdered on her birthday. Instead of reliving some benign Wednesday over and over again, she's stuck going through the day before her death in a constant loop until she figures out who the masked killer really is.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.