Movie aficionados have their own preferences when it comes to what genre they enjoy, and to each his own. Some want a laugh, some want a thrilling ride, some want to cry and of course, some want to get scared to their wit’s end. Who doesn’t love a good scare?
Every year, movie goers flock cinemas by the millions to see what’s new on the big screen. Out of these millions, there are quite a few who are interested in watching horror flicks. Through the entire history of film, we’ve seen some amazing horror flicks including Friday The 13th, Halloween, Alien, Child’s Play, Nightmare On Elm Street and countless others. Aside from being scary, another thing these films had in common is that they all have one popular icon spearheading the franchise.
There are a ton of horror icons that have been embedded into pop culture already and they all have a good following. Some fans are more interested though as they seem to keep on unearthing our terrorizers’ deepest secrets. Behind the scripts, the shots and the film themselves, there’s more to discover in our favorite icons and some secrets are too good to not know about. Here are some 15 secrets you should know about our favorite horror movie icons.
15. Sadako Kills Using A Virus
Watch a film. Die in 7 days. That was the concept of the J-horror franchise, The Ring. Many have dubbed the first film to be one of the scariest ever and who are we to argue. The victims of the films’ main antagonist, Sadako Yamamura, are found dead with disfigured faces. The victims are believed to have been killed out of fright after seeing Sadako.
Her method of killing wasn’t explained in the films. In The Ring novels, it was revealed that anyone who watches the film actually dies of a virus that was passed on from the tape. The virus was a hybrid of Sadako’s DNA and smallpox. Basically, the virus causes heart failure, thus killing the viewers of the tape. If we look at it this way, The Ring doesn’t sound so scary after all. We’d rather die of heart failure rather than fright.
14. Pinhead Was A WWI Veteran
In the Hellraiser franchise, the film centers around a group of individuals who are terrorized by another group of individuals who’ve literally been to hell and back. They’re called Cenobites and they come in all shapes and sizes. One thing they have in common though is that they’re all pretty scary to look at and even think about. The Cenobites are lead by a “prickly” leader called Pinhead.
Before the events of the Hellraiser films, each of the Cenobites were humans at first. This is the same case for Pinhead who before becoming Hell’s High Priest, was Captain Elliot Spencer. He’s a World War I veteran who has almost had it with humanity after witnessing the horrors of war. He fought in the Battle of Somme in France, 1996. It was only when he bought the Lament Configuration when he was finally turned into the ruthless Pinhead.
13. Three Finger Was Played By 5 Different Actors
Everyone knows the Wrong Turn series. Simply put, it’s about a bunch of people who have taken a– you guessed it– wrong turn. This wrong turn is the last move by most of the films’ characters as they are often terrorized by a group of mutated cannibalistic hillbillies who implement the most gruesome ways in killing their victims. The mutants are lined-up with a few memorable characters including Saw Tooth and One Eye. Perhaps the most popular is the leader of the pack Three Eye.
This bow and arrow wielding mutant is one of the recurring characters in the entire film series but only the sharp-eyed fans may have noticed this one particular detail.
Despite being a recurring character, Three Finger was played by five different characters across five films. The actors include Julian Richings, Jeff Scrutton, Borislav Iliev, Sean Skene, and Radoslov Parvanov.
12. Jigsaw Was Inspired By Migraines
When it comes to torture devices and people in very fatal situations, no other series does it better than James Wan’s and Leigh Whannell’s Saw. Both were two aspiring filmmakers and they were on a really tiny budget. This situation was the idea behind the concept of two men chained on opposite sides of a bathroom with a dead body in the middle of the room; this was in the first scene. This has spawned a lot more films and as for Jigsaw, this doll was also inspired by something.
Whannell thought he had a brain tumor because of migraines and he scheduled for an MRI. While in the waiting room, Jigsaw was born. “What if you were given the news that you had a tumor and you were going to die soon? How would you react to that?,” he said in an interview. From this, Whannell came up with Jigsaw, a psychopathic killer with cancer.
11. Freddy Krueger COULD Be Real
Back in 1985, a lot of people probably had trouble sleeping. It was troublesome because they had this certain fear of dying in nightmares. This was of course because of the fact that Nightmare on Elm Street terrorized movie goers that year. It was a cult classic that’s about teens who are being slaughtered in their sleep by a vengeful maniac named Freddy Krueger.
The premise of the film was pretty simple but we’ve got to praise the late Wes Craven for having such a unique twist on nightmares. In an interview way back when, Craven revealed that he got the idea for the film and Freddy Krueger after reading a piece about a family who survived the Killing Fields in Cambodia.
A boy in the family refused to sleep because he said that a “thing” will catch up and kill him. He would stay awake for days and when he finally slept, his parents heard him scream. When they got to him, he was already dead and he died in the middle of a nightmare.
10. Beware Of Josh!
The name Jason Voorhees just strikes the “fear” cord in many hearts of horror flick fans. It’s a name that has been synonymous with jump scares, a hockey mask, the number 13 and of course, death. What would it feel like if the main antagonist in the Friday The 13th films didn’t have the name Jason? Does ‘Josh’ sound intimidating?
That was almost the case but luckily, we don’t see teens terrorized by Josh. In the first draft of Friday The 13th, writer Victor Miller originally named the hockey mask wearing psycho Josh. No one knows why it was changed to Jason but our bet is that Josh didn’t sound tough and intimidating enough. A few theories suggest that the name Jason was used because it’s somewhat of an anagram of the names Josh and Ian; who are Miller’s sons.
9. Ghostface Was Inspired By A Series Of Murders
Wes Craven is a master of horror and yet another one of his most famous creations was the Scream franchise. The set-up for the slasher film was pretty simple; killer terrorizes teens. It’s the same as with most slasher films and of course, like most slasher films, the spotlight is always stolen by the “slasher.” In the case of Scream, the slasher is Ghostface; the killer with a not-so-scary mask but with a very scary history.
The series of murders in Scream also referred to as the Gainsborough Massacre is inspired by the Gainesville Rippers’ crimes. From August 24-27, 1990, Gainesville Florida was terrorized by a killer that took the lives of 5 students. The town was terrified. Students left by the dozens, people had to sleep in shifts and it’s all because of one man. These events roughly inspired the events in Scream and the Gainsborough killer inspired Ghostface.
8. Chucky Has Allegedly Inspired Real Life Murders
If you’ve got a friend or a family member who doesn’t have any doll in his or her house, it’s likely that they’ve seen Child’s Play and are playing it safe. Who’d want to risk having a Good Guy doll that houses the spirit of a serial killer inside? Chucky is one of the most terrifying horror movie icons out there and who knew that a child’s toy could become so scary?
Unlike the film’s title, Chucky isn’t all “child’s play” as the titular character has been on the end of some gruesome controversies. Child’s Play 3 was blamed as the motivating factor of a murder of a 2-year-old boy named James Bulger at the hands of two 10-year-old boys. In Manchester, a young woman was abused by assailants who apparently quipped the line “I’m Chucky, wanna play?” over and over again. Then in South London, a woman was murdered by her boyfriend wearing a Chucky tattoo.
7. Highest Kill Count – 143
There are a ton of other horror movie icons aside from the ones on this list and they’re all cold-blooded killers whose body counts are all higher than anyone would like. Surely there’s one that’s killed more than the others? So, who takes the crown for most kills?
Not counting huge monsters from other horror flicks, the horror icon with the most kills is none other than the hockey mask wearing, Jason Voorhees. As of 2016, Jason’s body count amounts to 143 and we can attribute his countless kills through the long list of movies he has starred in. He has used some of the most insane and brutal methods to take care of teens, future scientists and many more. We can expect Jason’s kill count to grow within the following years as we’ve definitely not seen the last of this maniac.
6. Leatherface Isn’t Exactly Real… But The Parts That Are Real, Are Disturbing
There’s a long list of controversial films out there and one of which is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This franchise is very well-known for its gore and grotesque depictions of a murderous family but its breadwinner is of course, Leatherface. This chainsaw wielding maniac is one of the most popular horror movie icons – but he isn’t all make-believe.
What made the film franchise so popular was because it was marketed as a true story. Leatherface was inspired by the Wisconsin killer named Ed Gein. He wasn’t a cannibal and he wasn’t a serial killer; he killed 2 people whereas Leatherface has killed countless times. Aside from the two murders, Ed Gein robbed graves. This is where the connection between Leatherface and Gein comes into play. Gein would make masks, shoes, and clothing from the skin of the people he killed and bodies from the graves he robbed. Leatherface, like Gein, made masks and yep, they both wore the masks.
5. The Creeper Will Have An Epic Battle In The Next Film
Though not as popular and not as big a hit as the other entries on this list, Jeepers Creepers remains to be one of the standards for horror films. It tells the story of teens and other people who are terrorized by a creature with dead eyes called The Creeper. Since the second entry’s release in 2003, fans of The Creeper have been longing for a third film.
Jeepers Creepers 3 is finally in the works and is expected to launch this year. This is after so many stalls and protests that halted the production of the third film. Many rumors claim that the filming of the third film is already under wraps and all that it’s waiting for is a release date. Plot details about the upcoming film are slim. What we do know is that Gina Philips is returning as Trish Jenner; the survivor of the first film. She’ll have one final face-off with The Creeper and it’s expected to be an epic battle.
4. The Idea Behind Pennywise
Who doesn’t remember IT? This 1986 novel by the undisputed horror-king Stephen King was adapted into the screens in 1990. The film focuses on a small town haunted by a mysterious being only referred to as “It” that has many forms. Its most prominent form comes as the nightmare inducing clown we all know as Pennywise.
What would push Stephen King to create a monstrosity such as Pennywise? Unbeknownst to some, Pennywise was probably inspired by a serial killer. Many fans have theorized that Pennywise was inspired by John Wayne Gacy who was also called Pogo The Clown in his local neighborhood. He was convicted of 33 counts of murder all of which were gruesome. Perhaps his claim to fame was putting the term “killer clown” into the limelight. Stephen King never addressed whether or not Gacy was the inspiration behind Pennywise but from our point of view, it looks pretty plausible.
3. Michael Myers Loves Cats And Hates Dogs
John Carpenter’s Halloween is one of the most popular slasher films out there that rival the likes of Friday The 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. Its main antagonist is none other than the creepy Michael Myers. No. Not Mike Myers who we know as Austin Powers. This Michael Myers is nothing but a cold blooded killer.
Throughout the entire Halloween franchise, we’ve seen how ruthless and heartless Michael Myers is. He had a pretty rough childhood and all of it led to him growing up to be a sociopath. He’s not ALL bad though as in the films, he’s shown a particular liking to cats. He doesn’t like dogs, though.
In the first Halloween, he kills a German Shepherd. He kills a Golden Retriever in Halloween 4 and a Doberman Pinscher in Halloween 5. Also in Halloween 5, Michael Myers killed more dogs with pitchforks but he doesn’t do anything to a litter of kittens in the corner.
2. The Stages Of A Xenomorph
In space, no one can hear you scream. Lucky for moviegoers, screaming is allowed in cinemas. Yet another cult classic, Ripley Scott’s Alien put fear in the hearts of wannabe space explorers setting out a killer alien aboard the Nostromo. The alien (also called as a Xenomorph) is also another horror movie icon that continues to terrorize to this date.
Throughout the film, we’ve seen the life cycle of a Xenomorph. It starts out when a queen lays an egg and this stage is called Overmorph. Once a potential host comes near enough, a Facehugger pops out of the egg and latches itself onto the face of the host. This second stage sees the Facehugger impregnating its host.
Once the embryo has grown inside the host, it bursts out of the chest of the host and this third stage has spawned one of the most iconic scenes in horror film history. Once out, all that’s left for the baby Xenomorph is to grow and become the terrifying creature that we all love to hate.
1. Beetlejuice In Hawaii
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! Ah, he didn’t appear. The film Beetlejuice is on the line that separates horror and comedy. While it’s not exactly a scary flick, Beetlejuice does have some creepy themes and imagery and people are lying if they say that the film didn’t freak them out even at one point. It’s a cult classic that fans always want more of and a rumored sequel was set to be very interesting.
Beetlejuice was a success and it was an instant classic. It’s no surprise that fans wanted more but it’s a surprise that there’s still no sequel. Now, Beetlejuice 2 is on the rumor mill once again but before this alleged sequel, there was another that had been rumored shortly after the release of the original. That sequel brought Beetlejuice in an unlikely location; Hawaii.
The story of the sequel that never was, followed the Deetz family moving to Hawaii. Charles was developing a resort but it was apparently being built on a burial ground. The ancient Hawaiian Kahuna from under the grave came back from the afterlife and it was up to Beetlejuice to save the day.