Slasher Shows That Delivered on Their Promise

Spoilers

Slasher movies have been around for decades, and they excel because you have a group of people stalked by a killer, only to have the story end within 90 minutes.

Slashers on TV take things in a different direction, with the story being told over a longer arc.

That doesn’t always work, but some slashers have delivered on their promise.

Because we’re TV Fanatics, we’ve rounded up some of the best slashers to hit the small screen.

Check them out below.

Slasher

Slasher has had many homes during its time on the small screen.

It started its life on Chiller before moving to Netflix and currently airs on Shudder, where it enjoys continued success.

It promised lots of death and questions about the killer’s identity.

It lived up to that promise.

However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend the original season and Guilty Party.

They’re old-school slashers, whereas the following three seasons attempt to reinvent the wheel to differing results.

At least you can sample them all! You can catch the series on Shudder and Netflix.

Harper’s Island

Harper’s Island was way ahead of its time.

It promised a wedding on a remote island, where at least one guest would be killed off each week.

CBS ruined the momentum by banishing it to Saturdays just weeks into its run, leading to confusion from fans and many people missing out on the remainder of the series. That was a huge mistake.

It starred Elaine Cassidy, Christopher Gorham, Katie Cassidy, Cameron Richardson, Richard Burgi, Jim Beaver, and many more familiar faces.

It’s a rarity that a slasher is perfect from start to finish, but with a compelling plot, three-dimensional characters, and lots of jump-scares, this one was a hoot.

The kills are comparable to Scream in terms of their creativity, which bodes very well for fans of that franchise.

We’d love a second season, but the first is the gold standard. It’s just a shame Harper’s Island doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.

This CBS original is available for purchase online.

I Know What You Did Last Summer

While plenty of slasher series are deeply rooted in teen drama, I Know What You Did Last Summer took a more adult approach.

Yes, there was plenty of frothy drama, but the tone was far more mature than we expected going into the series.

The kills were also gruesome, and we were left with more questions than answers throughout I Know What You Did Last Summer Season 1.

Prime Video had plenty of potential to nurture this into a global hit because it managed to outshine many other slasher shows.

Given how it canceled The Wilds, Paper Girls, and more wonderful series, we believe this was a cost-cutting cancellation instead of driven by the quality.

Even if you’re concerned about the show not getting a pre-planned conclusion, there’s plenty of fun to be had by streaming the series.

The promise of a slasher series based on one of the most iconic movie franchises is a tough sell, but this show killed it — pun intended.

This is a Prime Video original series and is available to watch on the service.

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin (Max)

Pretty Little Liars was long in the tooth when it ended its run on Freeform.

Spinoffs Ravenswood and PLL: The Perfectionists were canceled after their freshman seasons.

The franchise wasn’t as sturdy as executives first thought.

When we first heard about a reboot from the people who brought us Riverdale, there was cause for concern.

Riverdale started strong but became something very different from Riverdale Season 1 to the point that the show was being ridiculed online by the time it ended.

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin’s strength was in its ability to reinvent the wheel.

Having a new crop of liars stalked by a serial killer reinvigorated the franchise and delivered a genuinely chilling entry.

It didn’t forget what came before, with the girls visiting Rosewood and the series featuring several nods to the franchise.

Many people wrote Original Sin off, but we’re sure they’re eating crow right now because Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin delivered a near-perfect slasher series.

It reinvented what we loved about Pretty Little Liars and successfully challenged our expectations every step of the way.

We can only hope the next season is bloodier and more dramatic because it strikes us as the type of show that will only get better.

The streaming original series is available on Max.

Scream: The TV Series

When Scream: The TV Series kicked off, it had a bit of an identity crisis.

It didn’t know how to blur the lines between movie and TV series, but it gradually got better and hit its stride with Scream Season 2. The stakes were raised, and the killer set pieces were movie-worthy.

With a deadly two-hour Halloween special, we were led to believe there would be more of the Lakewood Six.

How could there not be? We got the ultimate tease for Scream Season 3, but all that came crashing down when MTV announced it would reboot the series with a new cast and plot.

That’s great, but we’re still awaiting a resolution almost seven years later.

With the Scream franchise delivering record numbers at the box office, it’d be the perfect time to delve back into the world of Emma Duvall, even if it’s just a Paramount+ movie.

Knowing that the series reached its full potential by the second season and that it delivered on its promise to translate Scream to a different medium, we deserved more.

One season of this MTV original series is available on Prime Video, and all three are available for purchase online.

Chucky

By the time Cult of Chucky — the seventh movie in the Child’s Play franchise — Chucky’s presence in pop culture was waning.

Who would have thought that moving to a TV series would bring the franchise back to the good old days?

When Chucky Season 1 premiered in 2021, it took us to Hackensack, New Jersey, where Chucky kicked off a deadly rampage.

Many familiar faces from the movies were present, including Jennifer Tilly as Tiffany.

But the show also brought in a new cast, led by Zackary Arthur as Jake Wheeler.

The series promised to give us a cast of old and new faces, and it successfully blended them to create another chilling entry.

What else could we ask for?

The kills are over-the-top, and Chucky’s commentary and breaking of the fourth wall deliver a comedic edge that sets the series apart from everything else.

You can catch this Syfy original airing weekly and on Peacock.

American Horror Story: 1984

We yearn for the days when American Horror Story was watchable.

The last great season was American Horror Story 1984, which focused on camp counselors being picked up one by one.

The cast featured Emma Roberts, Billie Lourd, Mathew Morrison, Cody Fern, and more in a serial killer-inspired tale with all the conventions of a great slasher.

It’s not a fresh concept, but it kept us on the edge of our seats as we tried to figure out the mystery surrounding Mr. Jingles.

It promised a good old-fashioned slasher over a longer arc, and it will be remembered for years.

Even if you haven’t been a fan of the other entries in the AHS franchise, this might be for you.

We promise… this is a nod to the movies from the 1980s you loved.

This FX original is available to watch on Hulu.

Dead of Summer

Dead of Summer was another show that was way ahead of its time.

Had the show been a streaming original instead of airing on a dying network like Freeform, there’s a good chance it would have secured more of a following.

This one was also a 1980s-set slasher about camp counselors, but there was much more of a mythology here that left us questioning everything until the final moments.

The cast was top-tier, with names like Elizabeth Mitchell, Elizabeth Lail, and Ronen Rubinstein.

The best part of Dead of Summer was its ability to deconstruct horror tropes and challenge our expectations.

The set pieces were breathtaking, and let’s just say we were hiding behind the cushion for more than one scene.

Sheesh.

This Freeform original is available for purchase online.

Scream Queens

Scream Queens promised to deliver a comedic slasher, and it worked.

The horror-comedy focused on a college campus ravaged by a series of murders.

Far too often, these kinds of shows don’t work, but the casting, script, and mystery kept this one going for another season.

The cast featured Emma Roberts, Billie Lourd, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more familiar faces.

While the series secured a second season, it became a shell of its former self by shifting to a new location.

Unfortunately, the series ended on an almighty cliffhanger, leaving us to ponder the possibilities.

Let’s hope the series gets to wipe the slate clean to return for a third — and final — season. We need to know what happened to Chanel Oberlin.

This FX original is available to watch on Hulu.

With so many TV shows on the air, we’re happy some slashers are thrown in for good measure.

What are your thoughts on the list?

Did we miss any shows?

Hit the comments.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.

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