Weekend Watchlist | Slashers, Thrillers and Serial Killers

By The Pitt News Staff

Whenever you walk past Soldiers and Sailors Memorial, you’re walking past where they filmed the cage scene in “The Silence of The Lambs.” Since we have such an iconic piece of horror film history right in our backyard, it’s only fair that we list some of our favorite movies of a similar type.

American Psycho (Hulu) // Patrick Swain, Senior Staff Writer

Imagine what Paul Allen would write for a Weekend Watchlist entry.

This is a movie for people who like Huey Lewis and don’t like Jared Leto. While “American Psycho” is a lurid, gory slasher at the surface, it’s an equally gut-busting and gut-wrenching satire. The film follows yuppie finance bro Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), a charming metrosexual working in murders and executions — sorry, mergers and acquisitions. Apart from bantering about business cards on Wall Street, Bateman enjoys exorbitant lunch excursions, an impeccable skincare routine and committing grotesque acts of sadistic violence.

American Psycho is a biting critique of consumerism through the chronicle of a capricious, cold-blooded killer among a sea of corporate clones. In a world where nobody looks past a person’s material wealth and status, Bateman’s perfect disguise is a suit so stunning that nobody sees the evil wearing it — a restaurant reservation so exclusive that no date would notice the murderer sitting across from them.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to return some videotapes.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 (HBO Max) // Nicholas Simila, For The Pitt News

Who says the sequel can’t be as good as the original?

Over a decade after the first film’s release, everyone’s favorite family of cannibalistic murderers returned to the silver screen. This time the family kidnaps a radio host (Caroline Williams) for playing audio recordings from one of the family’s murders on-air. Meanwhile, a crazed former Texas marshal (Dennis Hopper) is out for revenge after the family brutally killed his niece and nephew in the original. Fans of the original shouldn’t be worried about the quality of the sequel, as Tobe Hooper returns to his spot in the director’s chair and does a bang-up job of blending gory gross outs with biting black comedy.

The wild cast of characters is really what defines this film. Hopper reaches a level of derangement that can only be outdone by his role in David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” — which, coincidentally, was released the same year. Chop Top (Bill Moseley) is cemented as a fan favorite in this film, and his first encounter with the radio host is one of the film’s finest moments. Verging on self-parody but never losing the spirit of the original, this film is essential viewing for any self-proclaimed horror fan.

Scream (Paramount+) // Sinead McDevitt, Digital Manager

Even by 1996, there were enough slasher films that audiences knew the tropes by heart. That doesn’t exactly help the characters in “Scream” though.

Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and her friends are horror buffs who have to contend with a serial killer coming to their small town, and even though they know the “rules” of horror, it doesn’t keep them safe from Ghostface.

“Scream” is a classic that led to an increasing number of sequels for good reason. Even over 25 years later, the film holds up even for fans of the genre. The film assumes you know these tropes as well as the characters do, so if you’re not already familiar with the big reveal, then it can catch you off guard. Even if you do know the basic plot, it’s still good atmospheric horror with creepy set pieces that’ll have you on the edge of your seat.