My top five are:
1) Scream (1996)
Seriously hilarious at times. Scream brought horror back to its glory days. It was the film that took your traditional slasher film rules and parodied them, sort of documenting the evolution of slasher films as they went on. In Scream it was all traditional. Don't run upstairs, don't answer to a strange noise, never say 'I'll be right back'. By Scream 4 we're seeing the newest stage horror. The youtube generation and countless remakes. I always loved the characters - I actually cared for them and when a victim was targeted I was horrified. Scream listed the stereotypes but the characters were more than the jock, whore, virgin, fool etc. And Sidney was a kick ass final girl. She grew to be smart and wary. When Scream 4 came around she had pretty much seen and experienced the worst. When her cousin looked to be the new target Sidney was there to step in with advice and take control. She was ready to fight back because she refused to be just the final girl. I loved Ghostface because he/she was a realistic serial killer. It returned in many identities with believable motives and could be killed. The plot of the original trilogy was well-planned. There was an overall background story that provoked each killer and the events of the first three films. It all linked nicely.
2) Friday the 13th part 2 (1981)
This is where we finally see Jason for the first time as the killer. After seeing his mother beheaded and always remembering his tortured past he flipped. Jason became the merciless, youth-loathing serial killer we know today. Out of Freddy Kruger, Michael Myers, and Jason Voorhees, Jason was my favourite. There was more depth to him and he didn't just kill randomly. There was so much psychological damage that Ginny the final girl comments on. He had a motive and a reason for such brutal revenge. Not that I sympathise with him completely but I like a villain who has reasons for the way he/she is. So while I love the first film for focusing on his psycho mother and letting a female be a slasher for a change the sequel gave us Jason.
3) Cry Wolf (2005)
A slasher re-telling of The Boy Who Cried Wolf with a clever, twisting plot and an interesting set of characters. Cry Wolf tells the story of a new transfer student who decides to spread a rumour about a serial killer with his new friends. Creating this fictional killer Owen soon realises that this killer may actually be real now and is targeting his friends one by one. Is it someone he knows or could the killer have actually been real from the beginning and thinks Owen is on to him/her? It's quite psychological and twisted. You think you know what's about to happen but then the plot completely changes into something new. Brilliant slasher flick with possibly the lowest body count I've ever seen.
4) Urban Legends 1998)
Pasts always come to haunt you in this story. A killer is slowly targeting students at a local university, presenting their deaths with famous urban legends. The motive is not as random as you think. This killer is a twisted, damaged character who teaches you that sometimes people aren't what they seem. There is quite a whodunit feel as the final girl Natalie tries to work out who the killer could be? A professor with a secret? The practical joker student? Or somebody closer than that?
This probably had the WORST acting at times but this is a slasher fan's dream. TWO slasher villains getting together for a complete showdown. Haha, it was incredible! Hilarious! I know that there were innocent characters involved but Freddy Kruger and Jason Voorhees completely stole the show, especially when they have an epic battle at the end. The film was just pure fun. There's no way it can be taken seriously.
And those are my top five slasher films. Any slashers to recommend? What would your top five be? :)