What defines a horror icon? For me they need to be timeless, unique, and ultimately still be able to bring a chill to my spine. Very few monsters and murderers meet these standards but I’m here to tell you why these following five classic horror villains have become icons of the genre.
The first movie I think of when autumn rolls around is Halloween. No film really sets the mood for scary as well this one. The infamous Michael Myers made viewers shriek in 1978 and has continued to do so for years. There’s something so absolutely unnerving about the expressionless mask with black holes for eyes that has had us squirming in movie theaters for years and is still regarded as one the creepiest villains of all time.
Now, if Michael Myers gives you nightmares you may want to skip this next guy. Freddy Kreuger has terrified us over the years with his disfigured face and sharp razor hands. He comes at your most vulnerable and infects your mind with fear. The star of Nightmare on Elm Street has been keeping kids awake since 1984 with his bloodthirsty presence and makes no plans to sleep on a new generation of kids to scare. He’s the thing of nightmares, literally.
Arguably one of the most intimidating characters from the horror world is number three: Ghostface. This crazy killer first appeared in Scream back in 1996 and his quiet, stalking demeanor has continued its murder streak for over 22 years of film and television. Perhaps the most chilling attribute Ghostface has is anonymity. You might never know who’s behind the mask. Or who to trust.
Behind all the monsters, ghouls, and movie characters lies Leatherface, a serial killer from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre based on the real-life psychopath Ed Gein. Nothing can ever be as fear inducing as knowing that the events on screen are based on true events. There’s nothing manufactured horror can do to replicate the uneasiness of Leatherface, the skin wearing everyday man who could be right next door. The carnage his chainsaw creates still makes me jump whenever the neighbors are doing yard work.
Finally, we have the original monster, myth, and legend… Count Dracula himself. Created with inspiration from the notorious Vlad the Impaler, Bram Stoker’s work has spanned decades. The sinister vampire has appeared in film, television, and literature since 1897. He’s had people uneasy about the night for as long as we’ve been alive. This blood thirsty vamp is a timeless example of horror and how to instill fear for much longer than your typical jump scare. A classic staple for the genre, Dracula remains one of the most feared monsters in the world. With myths and legends surrounding his existence, it’s no wonder we keep getting more of his story.
Nikki McKenzie is full of sarcasm and also positivity and the embodiment of when Jim from The Office looks into the camera. She also likes to write.