It is that time of year again, the annual holiday season of terrifying yourself with the scariest movies you can find. There is an exhilaration to getting so freaked out by a movie that getting ready for bed is an anxiety inducing experience. It is debatable what is scarier in a horror film, the demon/ghost haunting, the unbeatable monster/alien, or the little creature/doll with a big bite. Today I thought we should look at the classic slasher/serial killer style, the man with a dark background that takes out his anger on the nearest teenager available. The scariest in the sense that there have been people this sick and disturbed in the real world – well some of them…
10. Norman Bates
From Robert Bloch’s disturbing novel, to the hands of horror legend Alfred Hitchcock, Norman Bates, or Psycho, has been disturbing audiences for over five decades. Showing us that there is nothing scarier than a grown man with mommy issues, Norman opened the door for many of the mentally disturbed characters on this list.
Wes Craven’s 90’s pop culture hit featured its own slasher, well slashers, on a killing spree. The hard to see through mask, and oversized cloak may seem impractical but when since he was targeting teenage girls all he needed was the knife. And, major props for making Matthew Lillard, or Shaggy from the live action Scooby Doo films, creepy as all heck.
With the most symbolic, disturbing death traps, the Jigsaw killer is one of the most messed up minds on the list. Putting his victims through the torturous scenarios all in attempt to make them appreciate their lives a little more. The terminally ill cancer patient inspired an entire culture of disturbed serial killers.
7. Doctor Satan
Easily the most creepy looking villain on the list, Dr. Satan utilizes a whole family of deranged killers to collect bodies for his experiments. Director Rob Zombie easily created an image to disturb for a lifetime, even if you took out the excessive blood and gore. The most terrible situation to find yourself in any of these horror films would be to wake up on Dr. Satan’s table to be vivisected.
The demonic dancing clown that reappears every twenty seven years to torture children. Created after author Stephen King came to the conclusion that nothing scares children more than clowns, only to prolong that fear for an entire new generation. Ironically, or intentionally, twenty seven years after the 1990 film, next year Pennywise will make his return.
5. Hannibal Lecter
Thomas Harris truly created a monster when he wrote Hannibal into Red Dragon. The iconic cannibal has exploded into a book series, movies, and a television show, nothing can stop Hannibal now. Unlike all of the other villains on this list, Hannibal doesn’t resort to gory, ugly violence, handling his murders with a sense of class, which makes him all that more unsettling.
The inbred cannibalistic butcher who may or may not just be a victim of circumstance and family. Wielding his chainsaw, Leatherface is an iconic image of horror, inspiring seven films. Depending on which ‘mask’ this killer has on, you may be treated to a nice meal, or you might be on the menu.
3. Michael Myers
John Carpenter’s Halloween, is easily one of the most recognizable slasher films. The mentally ill child who grew up to be a kitchen knife wielding mass murderer, has cut his way into a whole culture of films, books and even video games. More importantly, he has become a vision of evil and murder in modern pop culture.
2. Freddy Krueger
Truly the image of nightmares, Freddy has been part of our worst dreams since 1984. His burnt face, trademark fedora, and clawed glove has made him one of the biggest images in horror film. Reminding us all never to move onto a street named Elm, becoming one of the greatest villains in all media.
1. Jason Voorhees
The hardest part about creating this list was deciding who would be number one, well after seeing Jason’s kill count it was an easy choice. The hockey mask wearing, machette wielding monster has murdered over 300 innocents in a dozen films. Making Friday the 13th films a staple in any horror movie marathons. One of the biggest villains in pop culture, Jason was even the first fictional character awarded a lifetime achievement award given to him by MTV in 1992.
Thanks booknerds, I think I will go watch My Little Pony with my daughter now.