The term "slasher" gets applied to a lot of horror films that exist within the same subgenre of horror, but what does it really represent? When getting to the root of what makes a slasher film, it usually features a lone psychopath who stalks and murders victims, generally attractive and promiscuous young adults, with brute force and/or bladed weapons.
There are a number of supernatural elements that play into some of these films as well, but for the purpose of determining the deadliest horror movie slasher, we'll be looking only at human (or relatively human) slashers. Their rankings are determined by kill count, creativity, franchise appearances, and all around threat level.
10 NORMAN BATES
Easily the oldest slasher on the list, Norman Bates was also the most professional. Norman and "Mother" killed over 20 people through multiple films and a television series, while also acting as the owner of Bates Motel, so he was a real productive member of society. Bates was originally played by Anthony Perkins in Alfred Hitchcock's iconic horror Psycho.
Bates most memorable kill is without a doubt the first time viewers see "Mother" in the infamous shower scene from 1960's Psycho. Featuring original Scream Queen Janet Leigh, Hitchcock terrified audiences with the dramatic stabbing murder of Leigh's Marion Crane that inspired the entire slasher genre.
9 ANGELA BAKER
While the initial twist of the Sleepaway Camp franchise may at times overshadow the deadliness of Angela Baker, it's important to note that she has killed 55 people over the course of four (and a half) movies. Angela's killings were all terrible, though later films in the franchise began to add more slapstick to the carnage, instead of focusing on the black humor of the first.
The original Sleepaway Camp showcases some truly gory and imaginative kills that make Felissa Rose's Angela a truly deadly threat. While the murder of the camp cook is the most enjoyable to watch, it's the creative deaths by curling iron and bee-hive stick that really stand out.
The Scream series is rooted in the slasher genre and work as a pretty good examination of what makes a slasher film. Which is interesting, because the masked killer known as Ghostface almost doesn't fit the profile, considering the number of different people who have worn the Ghostface costume over four films. However, Ghostface's collected 49 kills makes him a very deadly slasher.
The Scream franchise was known for its over-the-top deaths, which played on the film's unique meta take on slasher films that made the original Scream such a hit and helped reinvigorate the horror genre. Scream's first kill of Drew Barrymore's Casey Becker perfectly showcased the macabre theater of Ghostface that made them such an iconic modern slasher.
7 HANNIBAL LECTER
Hannibal Lecter is another slasher who has killed across multiple mediums, with five films and a TV series under his belt. Most famously played by Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal the Cannibal's main weapon differs from the other slashers on this list, as his intellect and training as a psychiatrist are his primary tools for murder.
Lecter also differs from many on this list as he tends to play with his food before he kills it, as seen in films like Hannibal where he serves Ray Liotta's character his own brain for dinner. While his dark history of murder is enough to warrant his place on this list, it's the escape scene from The Silence of the Lambs that showcases how deadly the doctor can be.
Disclaimer: Chucky is not human, he is a possessed Good Guy doll with a penchant for murder, and at first glance doesn't fit the requirements here. However, the possessing soul is of human serial killer Charlie Ray Parker, who carried on his evil deeds as Chucky over seven Child's Play films, with an upcoming TV series and film reboot that is sure to add to his already impressive kill count.
Chucky's kills are often based on the situation the killer doll finds himself in, though he definitely has a taste for bladed weapons. Chucky is also made even deadlier by the inspiration he has on others and the family of killers like Tiffany and Glen that he has developed over the years that make him a huge threat in a tiny package.
The character of Leatherface is an interesting take on a slasher as his films dabble in other horror subgenres as well. Leatherface, who earned his name by making masks out of the faces of his victims, is joined by an even crazier family that torture and cannibalize their victims together. Of course, that doesn't mean Leatherface isn't one menacing slasher on his own.
His huge size notwithstanding, Leatherface's bladed weapon of choice is a gas-powered chainsaw that spews noxious smoke and has a gut-wrenching scream that pops up out of nowhere. Leatherface's introductory kills of Kirk and then Pam perfectly showcased his cold brutality without even breaking out his saw.
4 FREDDY KRUEGER
The star of the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise pushes the limits of the human qualification a bit, but before he became the Freddy Krueger we know and love he was a human child killer known as the Springwood Slasher. Krueger was dangerous with his razor-bladed glove but became even more deadly after he was killed and became a dream-haunting nightmare.
Krueger has accumulated 42 kills over nine films and may have the most varied selection of kills considering his powers over reality were basically unlimited in the dream world. He's even proven his deadly mettle in battle with another slasher on our list, but we'll get to him soon.
3 VICTOR CROWLEY
The newest slasher on the list is Victor Crowley, who appeared in 2006's Hatchet and quickly became a cult favorite. This is largely due to almost 50 incredibly gory and wonderfully ridiculous kills by Crowley over four films. To be fair, Crowley is technically a cursed and deformed vengeful spirit, but he has earned his place among the best of the slashers.
The Hatchet franchise is a love letter to slasher horror, and while it does classify as a horror/comedy in some ways, it still features good old-fashioned practical effects that make every head ripped in half or spine torn out of the body or even decapitation by intestines an impressive display of slasher filmmaking.
2 MICHAEL MYERS
One of the best examples of a slasher ever brought to the big screen is Halloween's Michael Myers, who has spent 10 movies claiming over 125 victims. That is an impressive number when compared to the other slashers on the list, and is part of the reason Myers has inspired so many cinematic killers in the slasher genre.
Myers has had a lot of great kills over the years, including a number of interesting impalements with various weapons. But the murder of Lynda in the 1978 original that stands out as one of his best, as Michael Myers strangles her with a phone cord dressed in the Halloween costume of her now dead boyfriend.
1 JASON VOORHEES
While the actual number of Friday the 13th's Jason Voorhees is often disputed by fans, considering the 12-film franchise features killers other than Jason and some questionable virtual reality deaths, he sits high above the rest with about 150 kills. The iconic goalie-masked killer preferred a machete in his vendetta against camp counselors though he often made creative use of his surroundings.
Jason was big, strong, and nearly impossible to kill, which became even more difficult when the character was brought back to life and became an undead killing machine. And if he wasn't deadly enough before, he was turned into a cyborg killing machine in Jason X, but the less said about that one the better.