Leprechaun, Candyman, and more meet their match in our slasher-movie franchise tournament

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8 min read
fairly easy
Round Two: Jason takes on Santa Claus and Jigsaw faces Chucky as we reach the Sweet 16 stage of our bracket
Yesterday brought round one of our Ultimate Slasher Franchise Tournament to a close. It was, true to the spirit of the whole affair, a total bloodbath: The Gingerdead Man got munched, the Evil Bong got cashed, and Maniac Cop was killed in the line of diabolical duty (#ACAB). Today, the competition gets stiffer and the stakes higher as we enter the Sweet 16 portion of our bracket.

Which '90s slasher franchise will move on to the Elite Eight? Which evil plaything will live to slash another day? And can the luck of the Irish compete with the power of the Cenobites? Keep reading to see the movies we favored in round two of our tournament. And be sure to scroll to the bottom to vote in the parallel readers' poll, which has already begun to diverge from our results.

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Halloween vs. Happy Death Day

Winner: Halloween

There's a simple way to settle this contest between pure horror and clever genre play: Happy Death Day's time-loop mayhem wouldn't even exist without Halloween to provide half of its hybrid formula. But Michael Myers wins on more than just technical grounds, even as both franchises here are blessed with smarter-than-average scripts and a lead performer (Jamie Lee Curtis on the one hand, Jessica Rothe on the other) operating at a caliber higher than what the Final Girl role typically demands. The fact remains that Happy Death Day, for all its merits, simply isn't scary—even before Tree's temporally imposed invulnerability kicks in. The franchise has laughs. It has sci-fi weirdness. It has a mildly creepy baby mask. But it lacks even a single frame that comes close to matching the skin-crawling horror of those slow tracking shots that captured The Shape's first rampage across Haddonfield, and which inspire such looming dread even 40 years after the fact. [William Hughes]

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Sleepaway Camp vs. Psycho

Winner: Psycho

The camper-murdering villain of Sleepaway Camp may have been able to take out a homicidal parental unit in our first…
Katie Rife, Alex McLevy, A.A. Dowd, William Hughes, Saloni Gajjar, Matt Schimkowitz
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