50 Obscure Horror Films Every Horror Fan Should See: #'s 19-11

I continue the list of Fright Meter's 50 Obscure Horror Films Every Horror Fan should see with numbers 19 through 11.

Enjoy, and I do hope you discover a few films to add to your viewing list!



19.  Edge of the Axe


This Spanish film from 1988 is a mix of American slasher film and classic whodunit and focuses on a masked killer stalking a small town.  Full of interesting characters and suspect and some unforgettable violent scenes (the opening car wash scene is great!), Edge of the Axe easily eclipses some of the better known slasher films from the 80's.



18.  Don't Go to Sleep


Another made for television movie worthy enough to make this list.  With a cast that includes Valerie Harper, Dennis Weaver, and Oscar Winner Ruth Gordon, Don't Go to Sleep easily establishes itself as a serious film.  It tells the tale of a young girl who begins seeing the ghost of her sister, who died in an accident the year before.  Some truly haunting and frightening scenes, including one involving a pizza cutter and the nightmarish final frame, make this one worth seeking.  




17.  Rabies


Israel isn't a country you'd associate with horror films, but they came out swinging in 2010 with Rabies.  A runaway brother and sister, a tennis team, a park ranger and a psychotic killer all collide paths with unexpected consequences.  Smart as a whip, with plenty of twists and turns, Rabies can best be described as Tucker & Dale vs. Evil with a much more sinister tone.



16.  I Didn't Come Here to Die


Six young people venture into the woods for a weekend of volunteer work.  When a freak accident occurs, it sets into a motion of series of severe events, each worse than the next.  With definite comedic tones, I Didn't Come Here to Die is a blast and illustrates what can be done with a low budget.  The graphic death sequences are very well done, and the whole "backwoods slasher without an actual killer" is a novel idea that is executed brilliantly.



15.  End of the Line


Plenty of films deal with the subject of Armageddon, but perhaps none deal with it with such a claustrophobic and restrained scope as this unsettling and truly creepy film.  When a subway train suddenly stops in the middle of the tunnel, the passengers on board must battle a homicidal religious cult and their own fears regarding end times.  Truly frightening and fast paced, how this film went largely unnoticed is mind boggling.



14.  Hellbent


Touted as one of the first gay themed slasher films, Hellbent is sure to turn some off before they even give it a chance.  But those open minded enough to give it a view will discover a very competent throwback 80's style slasher flick with likable characters and a very ominous, yet cool killer.  A group of friends out in West Hollywood for Halloween are stalked by a masked killer with a penchant for collecting heads.



13.  Long Pigs


This gruesome mockumentary follows two young filmmakers as they document a cannibalistic serial killer.  It turns out, he is extremely charismatic guy and a quick bond is formed between filmmakers and subject.  This leads to feelings of unease in the viewer, as we realize that many of the killer's justifications for his actions make sense.  This one is equally thought provoking and disturbing.  (Read our full review here).



12.  Frayed


Obviously inspired heavily by classics like Halloween, it would be easy to dismiss Frayed as another bland rip off.   However, with an extremely clever script, genuine tension and suspense, and one of the most horrifically brutal, gruesome death scenes ever filmed, Frayed will please and stick with even the most jaded of slasher fans.



11.  Body Melt


Those who like their horror flicks messy will enjoy this sadly overlooked Australian gross out from 1993.  No body part is safe as residents of a small town become victims of am experimental drug that unfortunately causes rapid body decomposition.  Over the top, with just enough black humor thrown it, Body Melt is a hoot, a film that will have you squirming and looking away in disgust all the way through, only to want to immediately watch it again.


50 Obscure Horror Films Every Horror Fan Should See: #'s 29-20



I continue the list of Fright Meter's 50 Obscure Horror Films Every Horror Fan should see with numbers 29 through 20.

Enjoy, and I do hope you discover a few films to add to your viewing list!



29.  The Pool



There have been some creative settings for slasher films over the years---grocery stores, furniture stores, malls, schools, golf courses, bowling alleys--but perhaps the most ambitious and creative setting was the giant indoor waterpark from the 2001 slasher flick The Pool.  A group of friends (including a young Isla Fisher and James McAvoy) break into the indoor pool facility for a party.  It doesn't take long before an unknown killer begins picking them off.   Fast paced, likable character, and bloody deaths make this a fun watch.  The film also proves that machetes and waterslides definitely do not mix!




28.  Pin


Pin is a life size ventriloquist dummy that has been part of brother and sister Ursula and Leon's lives for quite a long time.  To say he is creepy is an understatement.  And when Ursula starts dating, Pin and Leon do not take too kindly to losing her attention.  More of a psychological thriller than anything, Pin explores some dark and deep themes.  It's eerie and refreshing considering what was being released at this point in the 80's.   Additionally, great performances and effective direction make this a definite hidden horror gem.



27.  Silent Madness


Released during the peak of the golden age of slasher films, Silent Madness, was quickly overlooked, buried among the countless other slashers being released.  Despite having the 3-D gimmick to make it stand apart, it still never gained the popularity or recognition is deserves.  While the plot, it a nutshell, is about a psychopath who escapes a mental institution and terrorizes a sorority house, it actually is a little bit more complex than one would expect.  Replete with interesting and memorable characters, elaborate and mean spirited kill scenes, and an extremely ominous tone, this one if definitely worth checking out for slasher fans.



26.  Kidnapped


If you think home invasion flicks are tired and overdone to the point of being cliched, think again.  You must--I repeat must see Kidnapped, which in my opinion is one of the--if not the--best home invasion horror films ever made.  This Spanish film is a complete and utter shock on the senses as we witness a family being terrorized by a group of home invaders hoping to steal some money.  To say it's brutal is a complete understatement; the ending packs a major punch and will leave you speechless.  See this.  Now.



25.  Malevolence


Every year it seems there are a plethora of low budget, independent horror films released that claim to be homages to some of the greats such as Halloween, Friday the 13th, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  As most horror fans know, a good majority of them are garbage.  Nothing more than cheap rip offs with no heart or effort put into them.  Malevolence is quite different--it's a homage done right.  The simple tale of a group of bank robbers who hold up in an abandoned farmhouse and are stalked by a madman successfully borrows from the films named above, but does so with just the right amount of originality.  So often, what we think we know is going to happen does not.  Add to that an unbearable sense of dread, a fair amount of suspense and scares, and this film truly exceeds all expectations and is one of the best slasher films released in the last decade.



24.  Stagefright


This film would absolutely be higher on my list if I weren't for my assumption that most die hard horror fans have seen it or heard of it.   It is simply one of the best slasher films of all time.  Yes, you heard me right.  A group of actors rehearsing a play about a psycho killer are locked in the theatre and stalked by a psycho killer.  Directed by Italian filmmaker Michele Soavi, the film blends the over the top violence and beautiful cinematography of Italian giallos with the suspense and claustrophobia of the American slasher film.   The giant owl costume is frightening and the film manages one of the most suspenseful and downright terrifying scenes ever filmed, as our heroine attempts to obtain the key from under the stage where right above her, the killer owl sits.  A brilliant film that does not get the credit it deserves.



23.  Rage


I am often time amazed at what directors can accomplish on minuscule budgets.  This was certainly the case after viewing Christopher Witherspoon's road rage tale, Rage.  The film deals with a man who has an encounter with a motorcyclist.  Little does he know that he provokes a dangerous and deadly game that ends much more brutally than can be imagined.  Despite its budget showing at times, Rage is a engaging film with a tight script that avoids cliches and keeps us guessing.  The final minutes of the film are disturbing and hard to watch.  The film is definitely a cautionary tale that will make you think the next time you honk at that person who cuts you off in traffic.  (Read our review here).



22.  Scarecrows


Besides may the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz, scarecrows are quite freaky.  Imagine, being in a vast, isolated field in the middle of the night, surrounded by countless hideous looking scarecrows who seem to be....watching you.  That nightmare becomes of reality for a group of bank robbers in this film.  The atmosphere of this film is incredibly creepy and the scarecrows are some of the most horrific looking monsters ever created.   They are ruthless and blood thirsty.  Try to watch this at night with the lights off without getting at least a tad nervous.  Truly a frightening film.



21.  To All a Goodnight


While all the fuss and protests erupted over Silent Night Deadly Night in 1984, this film, directed by genre vet David Hess in 1980, sat gleefully on the shelves of video stores across the nation.  It features a killer Santa Claus stalking and murdering  a group of sorority girls and their boyfriends over Christmas break.  This film epitomizes the 80's slasher--it's sleazy at times, contains enough gory kills and cheesy moments, but is also full of the nostalgic charm that we just don't see anymore.  The killer reveal at the end was way ahead of its time as well, making this a contender for one of the most overlooked and underrated slasher film from the 80's.



20.  Next of Kin


If you like your films more on the creepy side, then Next of Kin is right up your alley.  A slow burn of the most effective kind.  It tells the story of a young woman who returns to her hometown after inheriting a large mansion, used as an old age home for years.  Strange events start to occur in the house almost immediately after she arrives.  Replete with gothic elements and a heavy sense of dread, the films moves deliberately toward its finale.  The last 20 minutes of the film are truly surprising and terrifying.  This is one to definitely watch alone with the lights off on a dark and stormy night.



50 Obscure Horror Films Every Horror Fan Should See: #'s 39-30


I continue the list of Fright Meter's 50 Obscure Horror Films Every Horror Fan should see with numbers 39 through 30.

Enjoy, and I do hope you discover a few films to add to your viewing list!




39.  Horror House on Highway 5


It is not an exaggeration to describe this film as one of the most unique horror films to come out of the 80's.  Perhaps that is why it has remained so obscure; it follows none of the traditional slasher conventions and often times plays like a freakish acid trip with surreal, often random scenes.   But heck, the premise itself---a psycho wearing a Richard Nixon mask terrorizing a group of traveling college students--is enough to make it worthy of seeking out!




38.  Blood Hook



Fans of Troma films may be unaware of this film, as it was definitely overshadowed in popularity with some of their other releases, such as The Toxic Avenger.  However, despite being very tongue in cheek (like most Troma films), Blood Hook is actually quite an enjoyable little slasher film from the 80's.  The plot centers on a madman armed with a giant fisher lure stalking people in town for an annual fishing contest.  Not only does the killer hook his victims like fish, he also ties his catch up with stringers!




37.  Bodycount



Most horror fans are familiar with director Ruggero Deodato because of his highly controversial and disturbing Cannibal Holocaust.  However, Deodato continued his work in the genre and in 1986 presented the world with his take on the American backwoods slasher with Bodycount.   Starring genre veteran David Hess, the film follows a group of young campers who are stalked and murdered by an evil Shaman.  Though the plot is thin,  Deodato's stylized camera work and interesting chase make it a unique entry into the 80's slasher annals.






36.  Funeral Home



A slow burn in every sense of the word, Funeral Home is an unsettling film drenched in atmosphere and uneasiness.  A young girl goes to spend time at her grandmother's house, which served as a funeral home for many years.  Now, grandma wants to turn it into a bed and breakfast; the only problem is, the guests disappear.  And what is with the creepy noises that come from the basement?   Creepy, with hints of Psycho sprinkled throughout, this is definitely one to seek out simply for the chills!  (Read our full review here).



35.  Harpoon:  Whale Watching Massacre



If you like your horror films gritty and nasty--making you want to take a shower after watching, then this is should be right up your alley.  A group of whale watching tourists became stranded at sea when their tour ship breaks down.  However, they are rescued by a fishing vessel; the only problem is is that it is owned by a family of homicidal maniacs.   With a grimy, claustrophobic setting and violent kills, and a cameo by Gunnar Hansen, this film proves there are still ambitious slasher films being made.  (Read our full review here).




34.  Dead Dudes in the House


Another criminally overlooked Troma released, Dead Dudes in the House, despite its noticeable low budget and sketchy acting in spots, is full of an undeniable 80's charm and even manages to create some real scares and disturbing images.  A group of college friends help fix up an old house that one of them just purchased.  Little do they know, the house is not empty and contains the spirit of a murderous old woman.   One by one, they fall victim to her and, in turn, become possessed themselves.  Again, if you can get past the low budget, this one is a hoot deserving of repeated viewings with a gang of friends!






33.  The Pit



A lonely young boy makes a gruesome discover in the woods near his house: a ravenous monster is living in a large pit.  Instead of being scared, he befriends it and begins feeding it-----people who have harassed him.  Filmed with bright colors and a disturbingly cheerful tone, The Pit, is certainly a unique film.  The wheelchair scene alone is worth checking this one out!



32.  October Moon



It would be easy to describe this film simply as a gay Fatal Attraction, but it is certainly much more than that.  It's also an engaging, realistic character and relationship study.  Naive and fragile Elliot finds himself in a confusing and ultimately dangerous dilemma when, despite have a fiancee, he falls in love with his male boss.  This film is realistic, sensitive examination of obsession, rejection, and intolerance.  The slow, focused narration leads brilliantly to the inevitably depression climax.  (Read our full review here).






31.  Night Warning



Also known as Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker, this engrossing films gives us a psychotic and obsessed female antagonist that makes Annie Wilkes and Alex Forrest look like Girl Scout Troop Leaders.  Indeed, Aunt Cheryl, portrayed in a powerhouse performance by Oscar nominated actress Susan Tyrell (seriously....her performance alone makes this film worth viewing), loves her nephew Billy so much that when he begins making plans involving moving away from her, she does whatever she can to prevent him from doing so.  Bloody, over the top, and deliciously disturbing, this film definitely deserves to be better known.





30.  Dark Night of the Scarecrow



This made for television film packs a spooky punch.  Beautifully shot, with a dark, foreboding atmosphere and unsettling score, Dark Night of the Scarecrow is everything a horror film should be.  When a group of townsfolk wrongly kill a mentally challenged man because they believe he attacked a young girl, he comes back, dressed in the same scarecrow disguise that he was murdered in, to seek his revenge.  Highly effective with an unbearable amount of tension.







50 Obscure Horror Films Every Horror Fan Should See: #'s 50-40

Ask any die hard horror fan, and they will tell you that there is virtually no greater thrill than to seek out and finally land a copy of that rare, hard to find title to add to their collection.  I myself remember the days of scouring Ebay for obscure VHS copies of titles I came across in various horror forums and message boards.  The time and money spent paid off, as I was able to view many of the so-called "obscure" gems from the 70's and 80's.  However, nowadays, with the growth of the internet and video sharing sites, it doesn't take that much effort anymore to view most of these films.  Still, they are fun to seek out.

And certainly there are a plethora of lists out there by various blogs and horror sites counting down rare and "films you haven't seen."  While I occasionally come across something I have not seen, it is rare that a list truly contains lesser known gems.  Thus, I wanted to truly compile a list of films that truly have flown under the radar for one reason or another.  These films aren't perfect, nor are they the "best" horror has to offer, but each of them contain a quality that makes them special and stand out among the countless horror films out there.  There is a wide variety and something for every horror fan.  They will be revealed starting with numbers 50 through 40.

Please note that if you have seen the majority of the films on this list, I applaud you!  You are truly an awesome horror fan!  However, my hope is that there will some titles you haven't seen and certainly a variety of choices for younger and newer horror fans!

Enjoy!



50.  Sweatshop


Sweatshop came and went back in 2009 without garnering much attention in the horror community.  This is shame because, while it doesn't break any new ground, it's a quintessential 80's throwback slasher film replete with brutal, gritty kill scenes and a frightening ruthless killer.  True to slasher conventions, the film deals with a group of friends who break into an abandoned factory to throw a party, but instead encounter a bloodthirsty madman.




49.  Rovdyr


Fans of survivalist/backwoods horror such as Deliverance and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre should really dig this little gem from Norway.  Four friends traveling to a weekend getaway are ensnared into a sinister trap; they are left unconscious in the middle of the woods and when they awake, realize they are the quarry for a sadistic hunter.   Fast paced and violent, Rovdyr will definitely stick with you long after the credits roll.




48.  Easter Bunny Kill! Kill!


As horror fans know, no holiday is sacred.  From Black Christmas to Halloween to My Bloody Valentine, madmen have been slashing during the holidays since pretty much the inception of the slash genre.  So, it should come as no surprise that Easter gets its very own bloodbath in Chad Ferrin's Easter Bunny Kill! Kill!  The gritty, bloody film, which brazenly touches on several taboo topics, deals with a night of babysitting gone horribly wrong for a young mentally handicapped teen and his sadistic sitter, as a killer in a bunny mask shows up with a variety of sharp tools.  (Read our full review here).




47.  The Clown at Midnight



Scream revitalized the slasher genre in the mid-90's, causing a slew of slashers to be released both theatrically and direct to video.  Most of them were good, but the majority of them were simply copycats trying to cash in on Scream's success.  Released in 1999, The Clown at Midnight was sadly overlooked due to genre fatigue.  A group of teens fixing up an old opera house for a school project are locked in and killed one by one by a creepy clown.   With a competent cast including Margot Kidder, Oscar winner Christopher Plummer, and James Duval, the film competently captured the spark and charm of many of those memorable 80's slasher films.  (Read our full review here).




46.  Dolls



A family caught in a rainstorm take refuge in an isolated mansion run by a seemingly kind old couple.  As it turns out, the old couple makes dolls.  Lots of dolls.  Lots of creepy dolls.  Dolls is truly a little gem of a film that deserves to be much better known that what it is.  Full of atmosphere, disturbing death sequences, and interesting and unforgettable characters,  it is worthy of multiple viewings and will definitely have you saying "they sure don't make 'em like that anymore!"




45.  Murder Loves Killers Too



Contrary to what some horror fans will tell you, the slasher genre is NOT dead and there HAVE been some great slasher released in the last fifteen years.  While not perfect by an means, Murder Loves Killers Too is satisfying wink to the golden age of the slasher genre that doesn't let its obvious budgetary constraints hinder it in the least.  The film, which looks like it could have been made in the 80's, deals with a group of vacationing college kids who choose the wrong house to party.  Violent, bloody, and often times suspenseful, this slasher homage does things just different enough to make it stand out from the countless other direct to video slashers.




44.  American Nightmare



Fans of 70's Italian gaillo films will wonder why they have never heard of this little Canadian gem from 1983.  Combining the best elements from both the gaillo and the American slasher genre, American Nightmare tells the story of a brother who begins an investigation into his sister's disappearance to discover that someone is stalking and murdering local prostitutes and strippers.  Suspenseful, interesting, and often times sleazy, it is a shame this one is not better known, if just for the fact that it contains some of the best stalk and slash sequences of the 80's, as evidenced below.




43.  American Gothic



Horror fans who grew up in the 80's may be familiar with this one, or at the very least remember the VHS cover from their days of browsing the horror section at the local video store.  Starring Yvonne DeCarlo and Oscar winner Rod Steiger, American Gothic is truly an unforgettable film that stands head and shoulders above most of what was released in the 80's.  A group of friends get stranded on an island inhabited by a truly bizarre family comprised of the strictly religious parents and their grown children who act like they are still little kids.  They, however, are not as innocent as they appear and any infraction on their strict family rules is met with dire consequences.  Full of both memorable scenes and characters, this is must see for any horror fan.  (Read our full review here).




42.  The Poughkeepsie Tapes



Despite a lot of positive buzz back in 2007, this one failed to obtain a proper United States release---that is until this year.  Told "found footage" style, the film chronicles the crimes of a serial killer who stalked Poughkeepsie, NY for years before his videos where discovered by police.  Very few films can be truly classified as scary anymore, but this is one of them.  Authentic looking enough to be unsettling, the film contains some of the most disturbing sequences put to film in the last decade.  Truly thought provoking and disturbing.  (Read our full review here).




41.  The Collingswood Story



This film proves that budget in the right hands, a lot can be accomplished with virtually not budget.  Told strictly through webcam conversations, the film tells the story of a girl who reaches out to a psychic with the help of her boyfriend after experiencing some strange things in her new house.  As the evening goes in, it is apparent something sinister is at play, but is it what we think?   Chilling, highly effective with an ending that will knock your socks off, The Collingswood Story begs to be watched at night, alone, with all the lights off.




40.  Devil Times Five



One of the earliest killer kid flicks, 1974's Devil Times Five gives us five little murderous heathens (including 70's teen heartthrob Lief Garrett) who escape together from their psychiatric hospital and terrorize a group of vacationers staying at a winter cabin.  Disturbing sequences, including a man being beaten and stabbed to death for what seems like an eternity and a piranha in a bathtub sequence and the obvious glee the children get from their killing spree make this a deliciously demented, memorable film very worth of our list.






Christopher Lee Selected to Receive the 2014 Fright Meter Lifetime Achievement Award




The Fright Meter Awards committee has selected Christopher Lee to receive the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.  Below, committee member Paul Counelis explains why this living horror legend was selected (as if any explanation is needed)!


There is perhaps no greater living horror royalty than Sir Christopher Lee. With apologies to treasures like Robert Englund, Wes Craven and Roger Corman, Lee is perhaps the most obvious line to follow when tracing our genre’s lineage back to its classic origins, and it’s all the more impressive when you consider that he is still gracing our screens with new output even at the age of 91.

As an actor, Lee has an unfathomable number of credits to his name, with the majority of those emanating from horror and thriller films. He has appeared next to some of the most legendary of greats and more than held his own; often stealing scenes from men whose first names are no longer even necessary, such as Karloff and Cushing. His stirring voice work is also notable, since it is as prominent and well-loved as anyone this side of Vincent Price. His turn as Dracula was great and memorable as to actually spark a legitimate debate between his portrayal and Lugosi’s, which is by itself a noteworthy feat.

Truth be told, little explanation is really needed for why SIR CHRISTOPHER LEE is this year’s choice for the Fright Meter 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, but if you REALLY need any, there are 278 of them (and counting) available for your enlightenment in the form of his immortal movies.


Tom Savini Accepts the 2013 Fright Meter Lifetime Achievement Award


The Fright Meter Awards Committee selected Tom Savini to be the first ever recipient of the Fright Meter Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Savini has worked in the industry for nearly forty years.  He is best known for his ground-breaking make up and special effects in such films as Dawn of the Dead, Friday the 13th, Maniac, The Burning and The Prowler.  His frightening realistic effects set the standard in the industry and provided some of the most memorable scenes in horror film history.  Additionally, Savini has directed several genre films, including the 1990 remake of George Romero's classic Night of the Living Dead.  Savini has also appeared on camera, acting in films such as The Ripper, Creepshow 2, Grindhouse, Django Unchained and Machete Kills. 

Truly a pioneer in the industry, Tom Savini has devoted his career to the horror genre, and his impact on the genre will be felt for years to come. 


Tom Savini accepts the 2013 Fright Meter Lifetime Achievement Awardf from Fright Meter Awards Committee member Colt Seaver Nowell.

The 10 Best Final Girls in Slasher Film History


Every horror knows that one of the hallmarks of a slasher film is a great final girl.  Someone the audience can root for and someone who has the wits and guts to fight back against the murderous madman.  Virtually every slasher film has a final girl, and like anything else, some are much better than others.  After considering the literally hundreds of final girls from the hundreds of slasher films released over the years, I give you my picks for the Ten Best Final Girls in Slasher History.   Don't be afraid to comment and let me know whether you agree, disagree, or who you think was left off the list!



10.  Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp), A Nightmare on Elm Street
Fighting and outsmarting Freddy Krueger is no small feat, considering he is able to stalk you at your most vulnerable  However, Nancy Thompson does just that while maintaining the nice, good girl image that is associated with a good final girl.    Her wholesome looks and innocent nature allow the audience to immediately form a connection with her and actually care about her nightmarish ordeal.  Nancy uses her smarts to trick Freddy, hence allowing her to seemingly defeat him.   
 

 
9.  Courtney (Cecile Bagdadi), Final Exam
Hands down the most underappreciated final girl in horror history, Courtney is the quintessential final girl; smart, wholesome, and not afaid to fight back when attacked by a psychopath.  Alone on a spooky college campus and discovering her friends have been murdered, she engages the killer in a breathtaking game of cat and mouse which is one of the best chase sequences in slasher movie history.  And like a good final girl, she ultimately gets the best of him.
 

 
8.  Jannicke (Ingrid Bolso Berdal), Cold Prey
Poor Jannicke and her friends just wanted to have an awesome ski trip.  Unfortunately, after one of them gets hurt, they choose the wrong old abandoned hotel to take shelter in.  Extremely atmospheric and tension filled, Cold Prey is easil one of the best slasher flicks released in the last twenty years.  The Norwegian film brilliantly plays with the American slasher conventions, including giving us a kick-ass final girl.  Jannicke is quick, clever, and definitely a fighter.


 
7.  Yasmine (Karina Testa), Frontier(s)
Frontier(s) is French director Xavier Gens wink to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  A group of friends escaping the violence of the city take shelter in a bed and breakfast that is unfortunately run by a group of butchering psychopaths.  And much like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Frontier(s) comes down to one final girl, Yasmine, who like Sally Hardesty, is mentally pushed beyond the limits of what is imaginable.  But unlike Sally, Yasmine does not let this get the best of her.  Instead she bottles her rage until the right moment and proceeds to fight back in the most brutal and unrelenting manner possible, proving she was definitely the wrong girl for this family of psychos to mess with!



6.  Jess Bradford (Olivia Hussey), Black Christmas
Black Christmas was released a full four years before John Carpenter's slasher classic Halloween.  The films have obvious similarities, and though Carpenter's film deserves to accolades it receives, I have always found Black Christmas the more effective film.  The characters in Black Christmas are much more colorful and interesting and Jess is a perfect example of this.  The exact opposite of virginal good girl Laurie Strode, Jess is an strong-willed, independent young woman who refuses to be controlled or manipulated.  She makes a controversial decision, disregarding her boyfriend's desires because she knows it is what is best for her.   Jess was definitely a feminist before her time.  And when the times comes to face a maniacal killer, she does what she needs to do to survive.



5.  Alice (Adrienne King), Friday the 13th
Alice is instantly likable and Adrienne King lights up the screen with her girl-next-door charm.   It is because of her extreme likability that we the audience grow to care about her and then, ultimately root for her.  When she discovers that her fellow counselors have all been brutally butchered, she resists the temptation of becoming a helpless, emotional mess and is not afraid to get her hands dirty with Mrs. Vorhees.  She fights back aggressively and ultimately wins  thanks to a handy machete.   However, it is a shame she was murdered so easily without a fight in the sequel.

 
4.  Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Scream
 By the mid 1990's, the slasher genre was all but dead.  Scream came along and reignited the genre, creating a whole new generation of slasher lovers. Kevin Williamson's clever, tongue in cheek script walked the fine line of being a parody by acknowledging and poking fun at slasher cliches and conventions.  And of course, like any good slasher flick, he gave us a tough, likable final girl in Sidney Prescott.  Trying to deal with her mother's tragic murder, Sidney is a flawed character who, while initially your stereotypical virginal good girl, she certainly is not a character who is pigeon-holed to this characterstic.  What is great about Sidney is that the viewer witnesses her growth and toughening throughout the four films. 
 
 
 

3.  Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), Halloween
Yes, Jamie Lee Curtis is the "Scream Queen," and I bet many probably thought Laurie Strode was a shoo-in for the top spot.  Yes, Jamie Lee Curtis is a brilliant actress and her Laurie Strode truly is the quintessential final girl:  meek, innocent, virginal, the goody two shoes.  She successfully fights back against Michael Myers, though it is really Dr. Loomis who saves her from being murdered in the first two films.   And though she is pretty bad ass in Halloween: H20, in Halloween: Ressurection, she is resorted to a mummbling nut case who becomes a much too easy target for Michael Myeres.  Still, it is hard to deny that Laurie Strode is the archetype of final slasher girls.



2.  Erin (Sharni Vinson), You're Next
Move over, Laurie Stode.  Meet Erin.  You're Next final girl Erin is a prime example of the evolution of the slasher final girl.  Not the least bit meek or mild, Erin harbors a secret that allows her to outsmart a group of homicidal maniacs and successfully engage them in their own game.  She's clever and has a survival instinct like no other, using whatever she can to fight back against her attackers with absolutely no mercy.  Erin is a final girl for the new generation, as her seemingly harsh, no nonsense approach to surviving is much more refreshing than watching a crying, hysterical mess going through the motions in order to defeat the killer. 


1.  Ginny (Amy Steel), Friday the 13th Part 2
Killing off Alice, the sole survivor from the first film, in the opening scene of Friday the 13th Part 2 was a risky move, but also illustrated that the sequel meant business.  While it was depressing to see Alice disposed of in a such a gruesome manner, all was made better with the introduction of the sequel's heroine, Ginny.   Ginny is beautiful, bubbly, relatable, and when the time comes, extremely resourceful and intelligent.  She goes toe to toe with Jason Vorhees in one of the most exciting climaxes in horror history, and ultimately knows exactly what to do to get the best of him.  She exemplifies everything a great final girl should be and it is no wonder that legions of Friday the 13th fans declare her as their favorite character (besides Jason of course) of the series.