Horror movie viewings are a Halloween tradition for some, and with that tradition comes a few consistencies that survive from holiday season to holiday season. Some of those movies are made iconic and memorable by the haunting villains within, taking the scenes away from the protagonist in a hope to make the audience’s skin crawl. Some faces, masks and traps seem to make their movies instead of the other way around, and a lot of people love experiencing them all at this scary time of year. Here are some of the many iconic villains that never seem to be late for their yearly scare fest appearances.
The monster in the movies named after the holiday, Michael Myers is a prime example of a killer that just will not go away. Myers has, according to numbers from 2009, 111 kills throughout his nine movie career, excluding Halloween III when he did not appear. His most recent run in the theaters, a set of prequels both directed by Rob Zombie, were his bloodiest according to this information with 19 and 17 kills between the first and second respectively. Halloween parties looking for the classic serial killer concept in their horror movie marathon need look no further.
A different kind of serial killer that has, legally speaking, killed significantly fewer people than Myers in his horror movie entries, Jigsaw is a cerebral type that trapped Saw audiences in a box to play a game for years now. This franchise, seemingly done after the seventh installment, gave viewers twist endings on top of their gore with Jigsaw the prodigal mastermind behind the entire process. He did eventually call in for help when his disease decayed his body too far, but his mind and process lived on, taking 70 lives throughout the series, although where his work and his associate’s begins and ends is a little hazy. Anyone looking for a slightly more mental and maniacal approach, as well as some interesting gadgetry, should feel safe in this series.
A horror movie villain can be one that tests their characters psychologically, if not ever really being a physical threat to them on screen. With that in mind, Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter is one of the more psychologically scarring characters from any movie. Throughout Silence of the Lambs, he plays with the mind of Clarice Starling from behind a jail cell, but still infiltrates her deepest childhood fears with nothing but his acumen and psychopathic focus. Lecter took out well over 20 people during his illustrious career, making any of his three core movies, Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Red Dragon, a desirable watch for those that want this doctor inside their heads.
Horror movie villains can be a dime a dozen, but there are many more than this list shows that are viable Halloween material. Any serial killer lovers can also look to Freddy Kruger and Jason Vorheese, those afraid of demonic possession should sneak a peek at Paranormal Activity or VHS and those just looking for a jump scare can throw in Evil Dead 2 of The Conjuring. The horror movie villain, as some of these recommendations show, is sometimes at their scariest when there is no name or form attached to them. The villain is sometimes just there to wreak havoc and laugh at the ensuing fear, just as the audience is there to see if they can catch a glimpse at what goes bump in the night.
Opinion by Myles Gann