With the new Halloween movie – Halloween Ends – out in cinemas this week, and with the hallowed holiday just around the corner, we figured it time to find out who the scariest horror film villains have been.
Hundreds of horror baddies have graced the cinema screens over the years, from Max Schreck’s gangly Nosferatu in 1922, to Boris Karloff’s freakish Frankenstein in 1931, to a slew of on-screen slayers of the 1980s including Chucky, Freddy, Jason and of course Michael Myers of the Halloween franchise.
But which of these horror icons has caused the most fear?
The team at UK injury claims company (aptly titled Claims) have gotten a bit goth and decided to analyse a bunch of elements across 162 horror films so as to establish which villains have been the most effective in scaring us.
The ‘data’ included jump-scare count, kill-rate, and scary scene running times, all adding up to a score out of 10 for each movie.
Number one on the list is Michael Myers, he in the blue boiler suit and pale skin-stretched mask, who just keeps coming back for more kills… except in the latest franchise instalment Halloween Ends, looks like being put to bed once and for all. (More about that later).
Michael Myers scored 8.7 out of 10, averaging an impressive 18 kills per film. Not only that, he’s also caused the most jump scares with an average of 11 scares per Halloween movie, keeping us on the edge of our seats.
At number two is The Werewolf from the An American Werewolf series with a score of 7.7 out of 10. Jumping from the capitals of London to Paris, The Werewolf shares a similar amount of jump scares to the Halloween film series, but his kill count is down to only 10 per film.
In third place is cult classic The Grudge with the Japanese-come-US horror villain Kayako earning a score of 7.5 out of 10. The infamous death rattle preceding danger scenes still horrifies viewers to this day, and the series landed a death rate of eight peeps and an unlucky 13 jump scares per movie.
In equal fifth place is the Death Angel of A Quiet Place franchise and The Den from The Maskman; while equal seventh sees a B-grade baddie staking his place on the list – The Blob from the cult classic 1958 film of the same name, and the Creeper from Jeepers Creepers creeping into the same spot.
Ghostface of the Scream franchise proves to be one of the spookiest at number nine on the list, and rounding out the top 10 in equal place is Chucky from the Child’s Play series and Bo from another B-grade classic, House of Wax. Bo might be a surprise inclusion for some fans of horror, but in tally he has killed an astonishing 154 people, a stark difference to Michael Myers’ total of 106 kills across his films.
It’s a surprise that Jason Voorhees of the Friday the 13th franchise nor Freddy Krueger from the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise made the grade, especially given they’ve featured in a movie together where you’d think the kill-count would be fairly high.
It seems some of these monsters and villains are passing the torch on, too, ready for retirement, it seems. In the latest Halloween film, simply titled Halloween Ends, you hardly get to see the notorious Michael Myers, except when he’s acting all ‘Mr Miyage’ style and teaching the film’s central character Corey Cunningham a slasher trick or two. Corey is a gamer-looking dude who gets into more violent trouble than you might witness in an average video game, and I’ve got to say if this is the new scary look of a horror villain, give me my treasure trove of horror original films any day. Still, the film’s worth a look at to round out your decades-long Halloween viewing.
Besides, even while the film is titled Halloween Ends, we know it’s never really going to end. First of all, because horror fans want to know what comes next in the fucked-up next-life, depths of hell scenario for Michael. And secondly, the movies make the producers a hell of a lot of money.
So, here’s to all them freaks and monsters who keep coming back to give us a good scare. And Happy Halloween to you! May those scares never end.