Horror movies aren’t for everyone. The idea of intentionally trying to scare yourself isn’t always appealing. Some people just can’t sit through a movie filled with suspense and death hiding behind every corner. Whether it be the jump scares, the building tension, or the blood and gore, there’s always an underlying reason behind why some people just can’t stand the genre. However, in the end, it’s just a movie – it’s not reality. Certain horror genres and villains seem to stick with us, resulting in nightmares and phobias. For some people it’s demons or the thought of becoming possessed; for others, it’s serial killers or monsters. No matter what your fear may be, it all comes down to the ultimate fear… death.
Which brings us to our topic at hand; what horror movie villains have the highest kill count? Sure, it may seem a little morbid to sit down and count each death as it happens on the screen, but hey, we’re talking about horror movies here. It’s an age old debate for all horror fans out there: who has the most kills? Is it Freddy? What about Jason and his infamous machete? Not to worry, we did our best to take into account all your favorite horror movie villains to come up with the top ten kill count in horror history. So find out which daunting villain holds the title for most kills and who the runners up are.
10. The Thing – 20
Although this villain doesn’t have a distinct name or face, it still gets the job done. The fact that “The Thing” can disguise itself as pretty much any living creature, including your best friend, makes it all the more terrifying. John Carpenter did a fantastic job at keeping us at the edge of our seats as audiences watched in horror while a group of research scientists struggle to keep from the grasps of the murderous parasitic virus. Once infected, this parasite doesn’t just kill you – it mutates and mutilates your former self, turning you into a depiction of pure evil. Kurt Russell may have escaped the extra-terrestrial killer, but imagine the what would happen if this parasite made its way into the city, considering the damage it did in a remote Antarctic base.
9. Candy Man – 22
Most people are familiar with the whole Bloody Mary folklore; well, Candy Man is a similar interpretation: just say his name five times – instead of three – and poof, he appears. For any of those who have a fear of insects, Candy Man may prove to be a little more terrifying than Bloody Mary. His weapon of choice is a shiny metal hook which has been thrusted into the bloody stump where his hand used to be. Candy Man fell in love with the wrong girl and was covered in honey and stung to death by bees; hence the name “Candy Man”. You kind of have to feel bad for the guy; can you really blame him? In the end, he was murdered for falling in love, now he haunts people and impales them with a hook he was forcefully gifted with; it’s not like this was his intention after all.
8. Leatherface – 31
Loosely based on Ed Gein, Leatherface is one of horror’s most iconic villains. For starters, he wears a mask made of human skin from his past victims. If that’s not enough, he wields a hulking chainsaw which is responsible for some of horror’s most twisted death scenes. Leatherface may fall into the category of a simpleton, but don’t think that will slow him down. If he knows anything, it’s how to get rid of victims, and his lack of brains is evened out by his abnormal strength and enduring tolerance to pain. When all is said and done, he’s the perfect killing machine. One thing is for sure: after watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre, your outlook on picking up hitchhikers will most likely change.
7. Chucky – 32
Although Chucky is a foul-mouthed little doll, he still managed to take the lives of a ton of people. After all, Chucky’s soul did belong to a malevolent serial killer who once walked the Earth, until a voodoo ritual of course. The once ironically named “Good Guy” doll shocked audiences when its possessed soul went on a killing spree in the 1988 film Child’s Play. Chucky is crude, relentless, and completely insane. His murderous mind makes up for his small size, coming up with some pretty inventive ways to kill anyone in his path. Although the Child’s Play movies’ dark humor takes away from the actual scare factor, Chucky’s kill count proves he’s not to be taken lightly.
6. Ghost Face – 34
The 90s brought us a lot of slasher films, though none were quite as successful as Wes Craven’s Scream. This generic yet classic horror plot is led by the famous Ghost Face, the guy with the white elongated mask based off a painting by Edvard Munch which is ironically titled “The Scream”. This Halloween costume was probably responsible for 50% of costume sales during the 90s; Ghost Face was everywhere! The villain himself was known for tormenting his victims before taking care of them with his famous hunting knife. Although this iconic villain became more of a comedic character after the release of Scary Movie – remember “whaaaaaat’s uuuuuuuup” – he still managed to stack up the bodies over the years.
5. Pinhead – 41
The Hellraiser films are based off of a book series written by author Clive Barker. Pinhead along with his accompanying Cenobites are some of the most daunting horror villains ever. Pinhead himself is referred to as a Hell Priest, a title he definitely deserves considering the cruelty and brutality of his torturing kills. Unlike most villains, Pinhead comes off as articulate and intelligent, speaking to his victims in a calm yet sadistic manner before slowly killing them in the most twisted ways possible. His look is a mix between Dracula and a character from The Matrix; his face is covered in long pins protruding from every inch of his head. Although his kill count is quite high, we can only assume he has killed thousands more due to the fact that he travels through space and time.
4. Leprechaun – 42
Yes, that’s right – this little green creature from Irish Mythology has more kills than some of the greats. This cult classic American horror came out in 1993 and is more of a horror comedy than a straight-up horror. Nonetheless, the Leprechaun and his shenanigans are responsible for quite a few deaths. This cheeky half-man doesn’t really have a weapon of choice; he pretty much uses whatever is at his disposal, including a pogo stick. However, the little guy is pretty good at setting up traps putting him a step ahead in most scenarios.
3. Freddy Krueger – 43
Wes Craven’s master piece A Nightmare on Elm Street features one of the most famous horror villains of all time, Freddy Krueger. This antagonist has it all: a terrifying look, unworldly powers and of course, his iconic handmade weapon of choice – a glove sporting long, razor-sharp blades. The story here is that Freddy used to be a child killer who was hunted down by a mob of enraged parents who captured and burned him alive – hence his creepy burnt face. This is where the genius comes into play – Freddy returns for his revenge in his killers’ children’s dreams. So now we have an iconic villain who can literally kill, scare and torment in any way he sees fit; it’s like a killer’s paradise. This freedom made for some of the most gruesome and inventive kills in horror history.
2. Michael Myers – 111
John Carpenter’s second entry on this list, the horror classic Halloween is one of the best horror movies ever made with one of the most iconic villains of all time, Michael Myers. This giant killer referred to as “The Shape” in the first film, is one terrifying character. Michael Myers kills his teenage sister in the beginning of the first movie on Halloween night and is sent to an insane asylum, which he escapes from fifteen years later on -you guessed it- Halloween night. What’s menacing about Myers is that he doesn’t always wait until night to come out and he seems to always catch you despite always walking; it’s like he’s always behind you no matter what you do. Although Michael Myers is human, he seems to have super human strength and is near indestructible. His weapon of choice is a large butcher knife which you don’t want to be on the other side of. His emotionless mask and unstoppable killer instinct is enough to send anyone running.
1. Jason Voorhees – 158
You probably saw this one coming a mile away: who other than Jason Voorhees would top a kill count list? Jason is relentless; he kills everyone in his path without question. Although he is known for killing with his large machete, he has killed with numerous different weapons and objects. His infamous hockey mask is probably the most famous horror mask of all time even though he only begins to wear it in the third movie. His story begins when he ultimately drowns due to irresponsible (horny) camp counselors. Due to this act of neglect, Jason returns, killing everyone who steps foot in Camp Crystal Lake. This giant man child is ticked off his mom was killed and he won’t stop to ask questions, so if you go on a camping trip, make sure you bring protection – pun intended.