4. Friday the 13th (1980)
Imagine if you will dear reader, Camp Crystal Lake. A serene picturesque summer getaway. Appearances can be deceiving, however. Beneath the tranquil facade lies a dark secret. A hidden malevolence that is trying to keep the camp from opening. Sometimes with rather bloody methods.
From the first kill that happens within the first five minutes or so, the suspense builds very slowly as each of the counselors are dispatched by someone lurking in the shadows. You never know who the killer is throughout the film and there are red herrings everywhere as the suspense continues to grow as death after death graces the screen with more and more blood and violence.
The film may be the definition of a slow burn, but it expertly plays with expectations until the final reveal. To this day, the iconic ending still gets audiences even if you know that it is about to happen. Tom Savini really puts the cherry on the murder sundae with his amazing special FX work, making every kill look as real as it could be.
The original Friday the 13th is a groundbreaking entry in the slasher genre. Its expertly crafted suspense, shocking kills, and unexpected twist set the stage for countless slasher classics that follow.