Countdown, Days 13 & 14: Slashers

Friday the 13th (1980, dir. Sean S. Cunningham) would be the natural choice for Friday the 13th, but I don’t actually much like Friday the 13th. Instead, I’ve turned to other slasher films for this pairing: Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974, dir. Tobe Hooper), a classic, alongside Cabin in the Woods (2012, dir. Drew Goddard), a sort of meta-slasher.

I seriously considered Scream (1996, dir. Wes Craven) for this weekend, because it’s also a pretty great meta-slasher and because it was kind of a big deal for me and my friends in 1996 when it was released. I think it’s ultimately outranked by these two, though.

I just can’t take no pleasure in killing. There’s just some things you gotta do. Don’t mean you have to like it.

I actually only watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the first time a couple of years ago. I read about it a lot and knew it was important, but I was scared of it. I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle it. Happily, as it turns out, I could handle it. It, like many other 1970s films on my list, is a favorite because of its combination of violence, philosophy, tension, and boredom.

On the other hand, I saw Cabin in the Woods in the theater not long after its release. I didn’t know much about it going in, so it was a nice surprise seeing how things developed. In fact, this film got me into horror as an adult. I had been watching bad Syfy and Asylum movies with my friend Rachel, but this may have been one of the first actually good horror movies I’d seen in a while. It has moments that work so well as simple, straightforward horror, but it’s also such clever commentary on the genre, really, a love letter to the genre.

Marty: [incredulous] Giant evil gods.
Dana: I wish I could’ve seen them.
Marty: I know. That would have been a fun weekend.

Earlier countdown entries:

  1. Night of the Living Dead, dir. George Romero (1968)
  2. Dawn of the Dead, dir. George Romero (1978)
  3. Invasion of the Body Snatchers, dir. Philip Kaufman (1978)
  4. Get Out, dir. Jordan Peele (2017)
  5. Hellraiser, dir. Clive Barker (1987)
  6. Psycho, dir. Alfred Hitchcock (1960)
  7. The Birds, dir. Alfred Hitchcock (1963)
  8. Jaws, dir. Steven Spielberg (1975)
  9. Teeth, dir. Mitchell Lichtenstein (2007)
  10. Candyman, dir. Bernard Rose (1992)
  11. Creep, dir. Patrick Brice (2014)
  12. The Wicker Man, dir. Robin Hardy (1973)


12 thoughts on “Countdown, Days 13 & 14: Slashers

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