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11 Movies like Halloween (1978): Seminal Slasher Flicks

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Contributing to this article: Dale Barham & Will Howell-Cornes

When it comes to THAT time of year with all those pumpkins and the scary fancy dress, you can do no better than heightening up the fear factor with movies like ‘Halloween’, ‘Prom Night’ and ‘Black Christmas’, a collection of films dead set on not allowing you to sleep with the lights off ever again!

Trick or Treat!

Sometimes ghosts and demons just don’t cut it when it comes to horror movies. In fact, there’s nothing scarier than a movie monster that is tangible, realistic …and human. Forget your swamp creatures and vampires, the idea of a serial killer on the loose hacking up witless babysitters and virgin teens is far too much horror fun to turn down.

Films like ‘Halloween’ redefined the genre and led to an outpouring of slasher classics, many of which are still being talked about today. If this big ol’ bucket of blood and guts sounds like your idea of a terrifying time, why not check some of my suggestions below?

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Movies Similar to ‘Halloween’…

‘Friday the 13th’ (Sean S. Cunningham, 1980)

The ‘Friday the 13th’ series is known for producing one of the most iconic horror villains of all time, Jason Vorhees. However, this tale about a group of camp counsellors who are stalked and murdered by a masked killer puts a twist on the identity of its fabled machete-­wielding madman in a way you simply won’t see coming.

If slasher flicks are your forte, this is a must­own addition to the movie collection! Also, keep an eye out for a pre-­’Footloose’ Kevin Bacon as one of the unlucky few to bite the dust.

Similarity Match: 90%
You’ve got a silent killer stalking nubile teens AGAIN. Only this time, the deaths are more inventive and it has the benefit of a twist ending.

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‘Black Christmas’ (Bob Clark, 1974)

Probably my pick for the best slasher movie of all time, ‘Black Christmas’ is a chilling tale of terror set in a college sorority house. A place for fun and games usually, watch as this student dwelling turns into a gut-­spilling bloodbath as a crazed lunatic hiding in the attic picks off the inhabitants one by one after a series of creepy phone calls.

The sound design is particularly eerie in this one, so much so you’ll have a hard time shaking the shrieks and breathing of this horror villain out of your head.

Similarity Match: 85%
You’ve got another insane killer stalking his victims and spilling their innards all over their dorm room floor, only this is a much more contained flick than ‘Halloween’.

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‘Prom Night’ (Paul Lynch, 1980)

You know, I was never big on proms and school dances back in my younger years, and this movie probably goes a long way to explain that irrational fear! Expect brutal scenes of blood splatter and depraved violence.

Jamie Lee Curtis solidifies her reputation as the Scream Queen in this serial killer nasty about a masked murderer who goes about stalking four teenagers, who’re responsible for the death of a ten year-­old girl, at their high school prom.

Similarity Match: 80%
There’s a familiar sense of the past returning to haunt a community, but this time there’s an added high school twist. I never liked school at the best of times!

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‘My Bloody Valentine’ (George Mihalka, 1981)

Forget the shoddy 2009 remake, this is the only version of ‘My Bloody Valentine’ you’ll ever need to see, despite the inherent and excessive censoring that is still being fought over to this day.

Centred on a town haunted by an old folktale about a miner who murders anybody celebrating Valentine’s Day, the worst actually proves to be true when a bunch of teens defy his orders not to commemorate that day. When the body count starts to rise, roses and chocolates will be the last thing on your mind!

You’ll be having a quiet one in come February 14th after this horror classic!

Similarity Match: 80%
Another town horror story returns to wreak havoc, only this is much more depraved despite the meddling from the censors.

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‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (Tobe Hooper, 1974)

Updated and moved to Texas, this is the story of murderer Ed Gein. There’d usually be an historical hyperlink here, but his crimes are just too awful to read about, so here’s a My Little Pony song instead.

On with the film’s synopsis: Five friends visit a house in the country but are hunted and terrorised by a chain-saw wielding killer, Leatherface and his entourage of cannibalistic grave-robbing family members.

Similarity Match: 75%
It might not be October but the group of youths are present and correct in this truly disturbing movie. It began many of the movie tropes we see in ‘Halloween’ and subsequent slasher flicks.

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‘Deranged’ (Alan Ormsby, Jeff Gillen, 1974)

Subtitled ‘Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile’ is another psychologically disturbed horror movie based on murderer, grave-robber and  true life psycho Ed Gein. After the death of his possessive mother, deranged farmer Ezra Cobb turns to grave-robbing and murder to keep corpses as companions for his dead mother.

Similarity Match: 75%
Stylistically not as proficient as ‘Halloween’ but ‘Deranged’ certainly influenced slasher movies as we know them.

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‘Peeping Tom’ (Michael Powell, 1960)

In the movie that unsurprisingly ended his illustrious career, Michael Powell studies obsession through the eyes of a young killer who photographs the moment of death as he murders young women.

Similarity Match: 65%
Britain replaces America and there are no high-school freshmen present, but ‘Peeping Tom’ is one of the first psychological exploitation movies.

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If You Like ‘Halloween’, You Will Like…

So maybe you’re after a ‘Halloween’ type horror that also takes place on Halloween night .. I know, as if wasn’t scary enough! Prepare to look the door, turn the lights down low and shriek in terror with these next two suggestions!

‘Trick ‘r Treat’ (Michael Dougherty, 2007)

I’ve been working hard to establish this movie as the Halloween tradition in my house, simply because it’s the best horror movie for invoking that spooky and fun All Hallows’ Eve atmosphere. This anthology movie oozes with terror, unmaskings and deliciously depraved tales of holiday hauntings. Keep an eye out for the likes of Brian Cox and Anna Paquin who kill it in their respective roles.

There’s more than just one horror story in this movie, but ‘Halloween’ still reigns supreme as the more iconic of the two.

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‘Night of the Demons’ (Kevin Tenney, 1988)

Okay this one, is pretty much a guilty pleasure filled with awful dialogue and even worse acting, but hey it’s the 80s, what are you going to do? ‘Night of the Demons’ tells the story of a bunch of teens celebrating Halloween at an old haunted house (original) when a demon possesses the partygoers and turn this into a classic gorefest of monstrous proportions.

Don’t turn your nose up at it, this is one B-­movie that’ll find a dark and cobwebbed place in your heart.

While it won’t terrify you like ‘Halloween’, you’ll have just as much fun with ‘Night of the Demons’ if not even more!

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‘Halloween 3: Season of the Witch’ (Tommy Lee Wallace, 1982)

With all its sequels and remakes, you knew we’d have to feature one Michael Myers movie, right? Wrong! ‘Season of the Witch’ is the only ‘Halloween’ movie to not feature the crazed psychopath. Instead it tells the bonkers tale of a plan to murder millions of American children via a brainwashing TV commercial and Jack O’Lantern, witch and skellington masks fitted with a deadly microchip made from Stonehenge rocks. Bonkers.

No real connection to the original movie but is truly bizarre and a deserved cult classic.

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‘Scream’ (Wes Craven, 1996)

Like when computers become sentient and build giant robots to wipe out the human race, at some point every film genre becomes self aware… Here, a group of horror movie-savvy high school kids try to escape a ghost-faced serial killer on campus.

For more films like ‘Scream’ please follow this link.

Kevin Williamson’s brilliant script shows what happens when the cast of every slasher movie ever understand the rules and know what is going to happen next….

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A Most Macabre Selection

Good luck wading through the torrents of blood and dismembered teens in this collection of slasher nasties and Halloween festive frights! If you’re planning an epic movie marathon dedicated to all things murder and gore, this selection will do you just right … until the time comes when you have to venture out into a dark hallway and go to bed.

What are some of your favourite splatter/slasher films like ‘Halloween’?

Let me know in the comments section below!

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