What Your Favorite OG Horror Icon Says About You!

The horror genre has racked up some iconic horror baddies over the decades, and every horror fan has their favorite. Here’s what yours says about you!

A horror film is only as good as its antagonist, and the genre has developed some stellar bad guys. Here’s a breakdown of the five biggest legacy villains in horror history and what your favorite says about you!

Freddy Krueger

Played by the legendary Robert Englund, Freddy Krueger is the dreamy antagonist in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. He kills his various teenage victims in their sleep, navigating their dreams and manifesting in bloody, real world displays (see the famous Johnny Depp blood fountain from the original). Krueger has a wicked sense of humor and always has time for a quip before transforming into something from your nightmares and mauling you with his knife fingers.

If Freddy is your favorite, then humor is never absent from your life. You’re always making jokes, whether the timing is right or not. You love a good amount of blood in your horror films, but it’s not the main reason you’re there. The thrill of the chase and the possibility for anything to happen are what put you on the edge of your seat.

Michael Myers

A silent killer with an unknown motive and an even more confusing franchise, Michael Myers is the slasher staple. Finding a home in Haddonfield within the 13 Halloween films, Michael is fairly predictable; he’s essentially invincible (sometimes human and sometimes supernatural), and I’m surprised his trademark spooky breathing doesn’t give away his position more often. He’s an unstoppable force with a modified drug store Halloween mask, a kitchen knife, and an odd obsession with his hometown and secret sister (and sometimes not sister), Laurie Strode (played by scream queen and now Oscar winner Jamie Lee Curtis).

If Michael is your favorite, you love the classics. You don’t mind a movie that strays away from glitz and glamor and gore, even if it’s on the slower side. You aren’t surprised when a plot goes off the rails for some weird reason, like exploding pumpkin masks; you probably relish in it! The ever-relenting foreboding of a seemingly unbeatable boogeyman keeps you up at night in the best way.


Ghostface is the only villain on our list that constantly changes identities and never seems to win. No matter how many high schoolers (and actors playing high schoolers) they mow down, the Ghostface killers are always unmasked and bested in the end. Every Scream fan has their favorite characters who have donned the mask, from campy to crazy, and nearly every Ghostface has a weird obsession or strung out connection to the ultimate final girl, Sidney Prescott, or at the very least wants revenge.

If Ghostface is your favorite, you love a good variety. You appreciate a villain that isn’t invincible and is probably just as human as anyone else. Even if you predict the killer before the end of the movie, you never let it spoil your watching experience because you’re here for the ride: solid jokes, tense chase scenes, and an epic third-act showdown.

Jason Voorhees

When we’re talking about invincibility, Jason Voorhees takes the cake. Perhaps the only villain in any movie gets their iconic look all the way in the third movie of the series, Friday The 13th is the quintessential naked-girls-get-killed-in-brutal-ways slasher franchise that the world imposes onto the whole genre. Am I mad about it? A little, but the kills are pretty cool most of the time; plus, he goes to space! Since he’s technically a zombie, he can literally do anything and cannot be beaten, and that’s a terrifying thing to face (even if it’s cheesy).

If Jason is your favorite, you’re just here for a good, simple time. Plot is incidental in a world with hot camp counselors (or astronauts) to mow down. You cheer when the bad guy gets the jump on their victim and has just the right fate cooked up for them. The villain is your protagonist, and no matter how long the franchise gets or how ridiculous the sequel concepts become, you’ll be first in line on opening night.


Oh, my poor sweet boy. Leatherface is definitely the most sympathetic out of our list, often manipulated by his cannibal meatpacking family and picked on like a little brother. The first film in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise could be a home invasion film from his point of view! We see him grow up, get a girlfriend, and be renamed a whole bunch of times throughout the movies, but he’s always sporting his titular chainsaw and his skin mask. How charming!

If Leatherface is your favorite, you love a convoluted story and a compelling family dynamic. You enjoy complexity in your antagonists and find a way to empathize with any character, even if only for a scene. Like many horror fans, gore and creative kills are definitely in your wheelhouse, but people think you’re into bloodier stuff than you actually are. You can find something to appreciate in everything, even if the final product isn’t the cream of the crop.

There are plenty of awesome and brutal horror villains I left out (pour one out for Art the Clown), and plenty more cooking in today’s horror writers’ brains as we speak! I can’t wait to see the next icon come to life and span the coming decades.

About the Author

Avatar photo
Christopher Ikonomou

Christopher Ikonomou is a 4th year at the University of California, Los Angeles pursuing Communication and Disability Studies. He has a particular interest in the entertainment industry and representation of marginalized people in film and TV. On campus, he is the Editor-in-Chief at OutWrite Newsmagazine, the oldest queer college publication in the United States, and an activist with the Disabled Student Union. He’s a horror superfan and has been featured by Buzzfeed, UCLA College, Bored Panda, and Teen Vogue for his vocal involvement in the fight for better representation of the disabled community on screen and in the genre, particularly those with Marfan syndrome like himself.