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Get ready for the bloody mystery of 'Scream VI' with 9 more classic slasher whodunits
Pro tip: don’t run up the stairs.
By Mason Brady
The latest horror sequel Scream VI has hit theaters and we are more than chilled to see it. But if the latest Woodsbury-inspired killer mystery doesn't have enough slasher whodunit fun for you and you're bloodthirsty for more, we’ve got you covered.
SYFY WIRE went deep into the classic slasher whodunnit vault, and sprinkled in a few more modern favorites, to pull together a binge guide if you want to try and solve a few more murder mysteries before another beautiful young friend group bites the dust.
Black Christmas (1974)
Is Black Christmas the first slasher whodunnit? That’s a mystery we’ll leave to true horror aficionados to interpret, though you could make the case. The film takes place during Christmas time, but that doesn’t make it any jollier. A sorority house keeps receiving anonymous phone calls from “The Moaner” with disgustingly disturbing death threats guaranteed to make you rock your chair back. If you never joined Greek life, let’s just say this movie won’t leave you suffocating from your decision. Black Christmas pioneered so much for the slasher whodunnit making it a must watch both for entertainment and as a fan. Streaming on Peacock.
Prom Night (1980)
If you, like many of us, had a poor prom experience, take solace that it (hopefully) can’t possibly be as bad as Prom Night. It’s about as classic a slasher whodunnit as you can find with the mask, murder weapon, and high school setting, which is why it's deservedly mentioned several times in the original Scream. The opening smashes home the tone, leaving a big window for Jamie Lee Curtis to show why she’s one of the best in the business. It’s a great entry into the genre because it both holds up to the test of time, and gives us the tropes we want to see, as they appear to have invented a lot of them. Streaming on Peacock.
Friday the 13th (1980)
A slasher whodunnit with the mystery framed a little differently than the rest, Friday the 13th is set in “Camp Crystal Lake” which the townsfolk say is cursed…shocker. When a camp is opening back up after a boy had drowned in the lake, a group of counselors are tasked with setting up before the opening. With its level of cinematography, isolated surroundings, and realistic acting, the writers probably could've gotten away with just tacking on some dramatic teenagers and a mystery culprit. But they took it to the next level, killing it creating eerily suspenseful scenes while somehow wasting no time getting to why we turned it on in the first place. And sure, you might think you know the killer based on the myriad sequels, but the OG film still has a great twist. Streaming on Paramount+.
My Bloody Valentine (1981)
People these days are always giving advice about being careful about online dating, making My Bloody Valentine well ahead of the times. Many people’s least favorite holiday is coming up, and there’s a killer on the loose with a bone to pickaxe, literally. Arguably the best part of this movie isn’t the fear created by the killer, but how they utilized the mines to create uneasiness with fears about possible cave-ins, isolation, and even heights. The body count gets so high, no number of washes can keep this killer’s hands clean. Streaming on HBO Max.
Sleepaway Camp (1983)
With a summer camp setting, and another iconic twist, you might be tempted to think it’s a copy of Friday the 13th. We’re happy to tell you Sleepaway Camp more than tells its own campfire story. This unsettling installment in the slasher whodunnit genre generates a lot of buzz from having some of the most stingingly creative kills you can find (that bee a clue for one of them by the way). As much credit as the ending justifiably receives, the opening scene is what motors you into a wild story that speeds up and slows down exactly when it wants to. Streaming on Peacock.
“What's your favorite scary movie?” That’s a line repeated so often it’s cliche these days, but Scream made it a pop culture mainstay. Wes Craven was a horror movie encyclopedia weaving in tropes in a way that’s anything but “Dew-drop.” It’s so beautifully meta, making commentary on other similar movies throughout, it was originally going to be called Scary Movie, a title later used for a Scream parody film, ironically enough. Scream is fearless with its Ghostface suspects constantly keeping you incorrectly guessing as to who is wearing the mask. Scream somehow finds time on top of its commentary to add its own take on a slasher whodunnit making it no mystery why there is a sixth movie. Streaming on Paramount+.
I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
Written by Kevin Williamson, the same writer as Scream 1 & 2, I Know What You Did Last Summer hooks you from the beginning by keeping its foot on the gas…You’re fishing for clues in this small waterfront town where a group of teenagers, optimistic of what lies ahead, accidentally hit someone with their car. What should they do next? Do they disagree? The characters are crafted so quickly because of the immediate choice they have to face underneath the fireworks of July 4th. Can the past ever be buried? What now? Streaming on Netflix.
Urban Legend (1998)
Have you ever heard of Bloody Mary, the kidney heist, or the call coming from inside the house? We’re going to assume you have, because each is an Urban Legend and they’re used for the kills throughout the movie. Taking place on a college campus, the killer works their way through each story making you wish you studied abroad. It not only has a great mystery but is genuinely scary from beginning to end. This is partly owed to its fast pace, and its clever subversion of horror movie tropes much like Scream did a couple years prior. Available for VOD Rent or Purchase.
Identity feels like an adaptation of And Then There Were None in a post-Scream horror landscape. There are twists at every corner as you play a game of Clue trying to guess exactly what is going on and who is behind all of it. It’s a star-studded cast including John Cusack, Ray Liotta, and Amanda Peet who have their fingerprints all over the movie. It’s a lightning-fast pace where they cram the amount of plot you’d usually see in a two-hour plus movie into just an hour-and-a-half. Trust us, that’s not a bad thing. Available for VOD Rent or Purchase.