Slasher movies are a particular sub-genre of horror wherein a killer (usually masked) stalks, slays, and generally unleashes mayhem on a group of unsuspecting teens. Some of the best-known flicks touting this label—including Halloween (1978), Friday the 13th (1980), and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)—also feature larger-than-life villains who, over the course of the films and their many sequels, become the characters you can’t help but root for, even if it means high body counts in the end.
If you’re shopping for horror gifts but you know that special person in your life is actually just into slasher movies, chances are the present they’ll really appreciate is more specific than just any old creepy swag. So whether your giftee knows all of Jason Voorhees’s masks by heart (and can tell you which films they come from) or is just obsessed with all things Haddonfield, these gifts, inspired by classic slashers from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and beyond, could be exactly what their blood and gore-loving hearts have been waiting for.
1. Halloween (1978): Collector’s Edition [4K-UHD]; $24
Halloween Ends (2022) might have wrapped up the new Halloween trilogy that started with 2018’s Halloween, but if your giftee wants to go back to the beginning, this Blu-ray collector’s edition of John Carpenter’s 1978 classic could be a great choice for them.
The film, which was made on a budget of just $300,000, went on to gross about $47 million domestically at the box office and is regarded as one of the most successful independent films ever made. It also inspired a slew of imitators in the early 1980s—including Friday the 13th and others—but fans know the Shape (what Michael Myers is credited as in the first film) created the blueprint for many of the legendary slasher movie villains that followed.
Buy it: Amazon
2. A Nightmare On Elm Street Freddy Cardigan; $60
One, two, this Freddy cardigan could actually make a great gift for you—or for anyone else on your list who loves the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Inspired by the infamous red-and-green sweater donned by Freddy Krueger in every installment of the nine-film franchise, this cozy number is a killer ode to the dream-stalking funny man. It’s also available in a range of sizes, from XS to 3X, so it won’t be a nightmare to wear around in your waking life.
Buy it: Hot Topic
3. NECA Ultimate Jason Voorhees 7-Inch Action Figure; $35
NECA has a reputation among horror movie lovers for making some of the most detailed model replicas of famous villains, and this Jason Voorhees action figure definitely doesn’t disappoint. You can find NECA versions of Jason from all the Friday the 13th films, but this one—which is an homage to the hockey-masked killer look in Freddy vs. Jason (2003)—really feels like the ultimate investment, as it comes with three removable masks, two machetes, a fire effect that recreates the final battle between him and Freddy at the end of the film, and (best of all) a teddy bear. Your giftee probably won’t want to unbox this collector’s item anytime soon, but the accessories add a bit more fun to it.
Buy it: Target
4. Scream Ghost Face You Like Scary Movies Too? T-Shirt; From $25
For the giftee who’d rather be watching scary movies in Woodsboro, this Scream shirt is a must-have. It showcases a cartoon design of Ghost Face, the franchise’s iconic antagonist, surrounded by pink hearts. If you’ve been on the hunt for a sweet gift for the spooky ghoul in your life who’s always down to marathon horror flicks, this one is definitely worth adding to their collection.
Buy it: Hot Topic
5. Bride of Chucky Funko Pop! Figurines; From $26
As murderous dolls go, Chucky from the Child's Play series is perhaps the best known (sorry, Annabelle). But in 1999’s Bride of Chucky, the wisecracking killer got hitched to Tiffany and found the perfect partner-in-crime. Now, you can grab Funko Pop! versions of the slasher genre’s cutest couple and keep them boxed up and out of trouble, where they belong. If your giftee has any Heart of Damballas hanging around, you might want to tell them to be careful, just in case these two Funkos start getting any wild ideas.
6. Freak Of Horror Coloring Book: The Scariest Famous Creatures And Creepy Serial Killers From Horror Movies; $8
Coloring books can be fun no matter what age you are, and this one, which is themed around monsters from classic slasher movies, makes a great gift for anyone who enjoys a little blood and guts during their relaxation time. Featuring Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, Pennywise from Stephen King’s It (not technically a slasher movie villain, but we’ll let this one slide), and others, this book contains over 30 pages that your giftee can color and is sure to keep them entertained for many spooky nights to come.
Buy it: Amazon
7. How to Summon the Candyman T-Shirt; $23
The most recent Candyman film (2021) revisits the legacy of the hook-handed killer, but also brings the story into the modern era. This retro-inspired t-shirt from designer Steven Rhodes displays exactly what happens if you say his name five times in a mirror and features imagery fans will know and appreciate from the series overall (namely, Candyman’s legendary hook and some bees buzzing around nearby).
Buy it: Spirit Halloween
8. Halloween III: Season of the Witch Pumpkin Mask; $70
John Carpenter and Debra Hill, co-writer and producer of the original Halloween, wanted to transform the series into an anthology, and after collaborating on the 1981 sequel, they returned as producers for 1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch. The divisive third film in the franchise was a critical and commercial bomb when it was released—in large part because it doesn’t feature Michael Myers—but has since been embraced as a cult classic within the horror community.
You can grab this officially licensed jack-o’-lantern mask (a replica of the one created by special effects artist Don Post Jr. just for the flick) for the resident Season of the Witch defender in your life. Although this was sculpted by Justin Mabry, the art director for Trick or Treat Studios, it’s technically sold out on their site. However, you can still grab it from Toynk for a limited time and your giftee should have it right before the holiday.
Buy it: Toynk
9. Leatherface: Pretty Woman Mask 6-Foot Animatronic; $350
If the final scene from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) still gives your giftee goosebumps, consider adding a terrifying twist to their typical Halloween décor with this 6-foot animatronic of the deranged cannibal, which has up to 360 degrees of full upper body motion. His grotesque “mask” here is adorned with some heavy makeup, which is an ode to the one he sports during the dinner scene in the original flick (it also shares some similarities to the one he rocks in 1994’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation).
Buy it: Spirit Halloween
10. The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker; From $12
For most folks, Pinhead is the face of the Hellraiser franchise. But Pinhead and his whole gang of gnarly Cenobites—known as "angels to some, but demons to others"—aren’t actually the focus of The Hellbound Heart, Clive Barker’s 1986 horror novella, which was used as the basis for the first Hellraiser film (1987). If your giftee is a big fan of the flicks but hasn’t actually read Barker’s original story yet, this 164-page paperback is a quick read and could be a great way to help them in their quest to explore the further regions of experience (but maybe not have to worry about being sucked into a hideous hell dimension afterward).
Buy it: Amazon
11. Psycho: Complete 4-Movie Collection; $17
Often credited as the first slasher film ever made (although, technically, the 1960 proto-slasher Peeping Tom came out first), Psycho is a celebrated classic, and more than 60 years later, it’s still making people a little uneasy about hotel showers. Even if your giftee adores Alfred Hitchcock’s original, they might not have seen the sequels that followed, like the 1983 flick Psycho II, which stars Anthony Perkins and has a 61 percent-fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes—no small feat in the realm of horror or sequels. And don’t worry—Gus Van Sant’s critically panned 1998 remake of the original film is nowhere to be found in this four-film set.
Buy it: Amazon
12. Taking Shape: Developing Halloween from Script to Scream; $23 // Taking Shape II: The Lost Halloween Sequels; $28
The Halloween series gets a lot of attention because it really did lay the groundwork for the slasher movie explosion that happened into the 1980s and beyond. In Taking Shape: Developing Halloween from Script to Scream, authors Dustin McNeill and Travis Mullins examine the history of the original film and the evolution of the franchise, as well as its impact on horror overall. In their follow-up, Taking Shape II: The Lost Halloween Sequels, McNeill and Mullins give readers a fascinating look at 24 “lost” sequels, which never made it onto celluloid. For any slasher-movie devotee, these will feel like required reading.
A version of this article was originally published in 2021 and has been updated for 2023.