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Top 10 Classic Slasher Movies That Deserve a Reboot

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands

Let’s slice through the deadweight to find some prime cuts of horror movie material. For this list, we’ll be looking at iconic, highly-regarded or influential slasher films that could benefit from a reboot. Join WatchMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Classic Slasher Movies That Should Get Rebooted.

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Script written by Michael Wynands

Top 10 Classic Slasher Movies That Should Get Rebooted


Let’s slice through the deadweight to find some prime cuts of horror movie material. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Classic Slasher Movies That Should Get Rebooted.

For this list, we’ll be looking at iconic, highly-regarded or influential slasher films that could benefit from a reboot. To be clear, we’re not suggesting a rush job or remake in name only to cash in, but rather a thoughtful and well-planned reboot to give the property a new lease on life. We’ll also be including planned reboots that are still in the development phase.

#10: “Deep Red (1975)

This film might not have the name recognition of say, the “Halloween” franchise, but it’s sure to catch the attention of genre enthusiasts. An Italian slasher that’s widely respected and considered hugely influential, “Deep Red” is memorable for its excessive gore and ingenious, unique camerawork. Of course, the amazing soundtrack, courtesy of Italian prog-rock group “Goblin”, doesn’t hurt it’s legacy. Many have emulated filmmaker Dario Argento’s masterpiece, but few come close to its greatness. We’d love to see an English-language remake that similarly pushes boundaries in terms of camerawork, and features - dare we hope? - a new soundtrack courtesy of Goblin.

#9: “Peeping Tom” (1960)

At the time of its release, “Peeping Tom” was considered incredibly controversial. Cinemagoers had rarely - if ever - been presented with such graphic violence or perverse sexual desire onscreen. In fact, critics called it “disgusting” and “beastly”. Though “Peeping Tom” is said to have killed filmmaker Michael Powell’s career, it cemented his legacy as a horror icon, and is now regarded as a masterpiece. The movie follows a serial killer, Mark, who films his female victims as they die. It’s a dark, fascinating exploration of psychological trauma and obsession, and one that could easily translate to our modern age of voyeurism and self-documentation.

#8: “Black Christmas” (1974)

Released four years prior to John Carpenter’s landmark “Halloween”, “Black Christmas” is a crucial piece of slasher film history. A subversive horror movie ahead of its time, “Black Christmas” followed “proto-final girl” Jess who’s targeted, alongside her sorority sisters, by a mysterious killer. Pregnant and wanting an abortion, she suspects her boyfriend Peter. The film got a remake in 2006, but it was released to little fanfare and felt like a transparent cash grab. “Black Christmas” deserves better. A modern remake could carry a strong message of self-determination while paying tribute to the original film and, in keeping with contemporary final girl trends, allow its heroine to break the mold.

#7: “Terror Train” (1980)

Take the basic premise of “Halloween”, shift the setting to a train on New Year’s Eve, and you’ve got “Terror Train”. A thoroughly absurd film in all the right ways, “Terror Train” sees a college students at a costume party terrorized by a killer. Forget “Snakes on a Plane”, it’s a Groucho Marx-costumed murderer on a train! Admittedly, it’s an exploitative film with little concern for character development, but having victims dressed in all manner of silly costumes just adds something to a slasher film plot. We’re not calling it a masterpiece, but we think the setting and premise could make a phenomenal remake if handled correctly.

#6: “Madman” (1982)

Another genre favorite seen by far too few people, “Madman” didn’t make much of a splash upon its release, but become a cult classic after finding its audience through drive-ins and home video. The film follows a group of campers who accidentally invoke the wrath of Madman Marz, a local legend and axe-wielding murderer. The film was critically-panned, but hey, that’s horror for you. “Madman” doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it just delivers on all the quintessential tropes people want from a slasher, including one creepy as hell killer. In short, it’s got all the right ingredients for a slasher reboot, including plenty of name recognition with genre enthusiasts. Let’s bring back Madman Marz!

#5: “Alice, Sweet Alice” (1976)

This 1976 slasher flick bears the distinction of being Brooke Shields’ very first film role. It also just so happens to be one of the genre’s most memorable examples. Part of what makes “Alice, Sweet Alice” so distinct is that the slasher villain in question is a child, the 12-year old Alice referenced in the title. This adds a whole new level of terror and discomfort to the story. In a genre oversaturated with hulking men, a little girl in trench coat and a mask? That feels fresh, even decades later. A remake of “Alice, Sweet Alice” has been in the work for years; time to make it a reality.

#4: “Sleepaway Camp” (1983)

Sure, the title is literally just a generic location frequently recycled by slasher films, but don’t let that fool you; “”Sleepaway Camp” has earned its place among the classics. What makes this otherwise cookie cutter horror film standout is its willingness to take the predictable genre into absurd territory. It’s not always in good taste, but it knows how to make an impact. As for its enduring legacy, it’s the twist ending that makes the film legendary. After weak sequels and even some incomplete ones,“Sleepaway Camp”deserves a reboot with the same freewheeling over-the-top spirit as the the original. The big challenge? Finding a worthy modern twist to replace that of the original.

#3: “Candyman” (1992)

Good news slasher fans, this woefully underrated film is likely getting a reboot. And according to a 2018 report by Bloody Disgusting, “Get Out” filmmaker Jordan Peele is in talks to lead it! Released in 1992, “Candyman” is based on a short story by horror legend Clive Barker, and explores the story of the titular figure of urban legend who slashes the throat of his victims with a big hook. The first film was well-received by critics - praised for its intelligence, style and overall balance between gore and more cerebral scares. Sadly, the same can’t be said for its sequels. If Jordan Peele signs on however, Candyman could truly return to his former glory.

#2: “Friday the 13th” (1980)

We know, we know. Jason Voorhees has gotten more than his fair share of screentime. The thing is… we keep coming back to the franchise, despite the fact that it’s been disappointing sequel after another. Why? Because each and every time we hope, despite the historical evidence to the contrary, that maybe - just maybe - the franchise will return to form. In 2009, we got a reboot, but considering Michael Bay’s involvement as producer, we should have known it would be all style and no substance. A decade later however, Jason is reportedly set to rise again, this time with LeBron James in talks to produce. Can it be a co-production with Blumhouse? Thanks!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a couple honorable mentions

“April Fool's Day” (1986)


“Silent Night, Deadly Night” (1984)

#1: “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)

Like “Friday the 13th”, the “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise has spawned numerous sequels, and was also rebooted by Michael Bay and his production company Platinum Dunes. However, stylistically, this 2010 version felt incredibly derivative, and failed to deliver in terms of creative kills, twists or character development. Here’s the thing… when the original film came out, it was legitimately innovative. It scared viewers in all new ways. We’d love to see a remake that goes back to square one narratively-speaking, but which also gets creative within the dreamscape, pushing boundaries. Let’s make a reboot that would have made Wes Craven proud.
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