Freddy, Jason, Chucky. Familiar names for horror fans. Just like Dracula, Frankenstein and the Werewolf before them, these horror icons scared an entire generation — but which ones are terrorizing the newest generation of fans?
I picked five modern horror figures who can compete with the old ones in terms of creepiness and popularity. It wasn’t easy to make a selection of only five. I am sure there are other great villains out there that deserve to be included on this list, so if your favorite horror icon is not here, please let me know in the comments section below. I hope you enjoy it!
Samara — The Ring
Before the year 2000, horror icons were big, masculine and ugly. At the beginning of the new millennium, the mere idea of a little girl with long black hair being a horror icon was just ridiculous. But Samara did the impossible. After just one movie Stateside, people were scared of a skinny tween wearing a frayed white dress. She not only became an icon, but was imitated in many other movies, video games, comics and TV shows.
Samara Morgan is the main antagonist of The Ring. Her story is a heartbreaking one: Her own mother, driven insane, pushed her into a deep well. The sad part? Samara didn’t die instantly. She clung to life for seven days. Seven days of desperation. Seven days of hell. Samara’s spirit, seeking revenge, imprinted her anger on a video tape and a curse was born. Samara is a horror icon because she inspired a new generation of villains all around the world, but the truth is that none have been able to capture the essence, mystery and mythology that made her so fascinating and scary.
The Creeper — Jeepers Creepers
Unlike Samara, The Creeper doesn’t have a detailed backstory — yet — but we know a few things about him. He sleeps for 23 years. After waking up, he remains awake for 23 days. He spends this time killing and hunting humans. After all, he needs to feed.
The Creeper has some characteristics that make him a truly terrifying adversary. He is ruthless, wicked and seems to be immortal. If he loses a body part, he can replace it by eating that same part of a human body. He's possessed of super strength and resistance. For example, like a cockroach, he can live without his head. And he likes to toy with his victims before devouring them. The Creeper is also an expert in the use of a range of weapons that he himself designs and builds, using the bones and flesh of his victims.
There are only two Jeepers Creepers movies; the third movie has been on hiatus for various reasons, but it seems that we will finally be able to witness The Creeper's return. Word is that Jeepers Creepers 3 will be set 23 years after the first two movies, with the survivor of the first film — now a rich and powerful woman — joining forces with the survivors of the second. Their objective? To finish off this menace once and for all. The writer promised that we will find out more about the origins of this terrible killer. So it's a good moment to be a fan of this franchise.
Jigsaw — Saw
Killers from the '80s weren't the brightest bunch. They knew how to kill, but their intelligence was limited to stalking from point A to point B while carrying a machete. This is not the case with Jigsaw. After all, he may be the smartest villain in any horror movie ever.
Jigsaw (real name, John Kramer) didn’t start his life as a genius serial killer. In fact, he was a distinguished civil engineer who, along with his beautiful, talented wife, wanted to make a difference in the world. They founded a clinic to help people suffering from addiction, but then tragedy struck. After a failed robbery attempt, Kramer’s wife lost her unborn baby, thus changing his life and convictions completely. He realized that human beings couldn’t change their bad behaviors unless they faced a life-or-death situation. He had a new purpose: To change the lives of those who had wasted theres.
The thing that separates Jigsaw from other horror icons is his great intelligence and ingenious tests. There are seven Saw movies, and in these we slowly uncover his masterful plan. A plan that will take several years, several individuals and countless deadly traps in order to come to fruition.
There are rumors that an eighth movie is in the works. We still don’t know if it will be a remake, a reboot or a sequel. We also don’t know if actor Tobin Bell will return as Jigsaw. Of course, we would love to see him again. I am sure that there is a great story still to be told.
Clover — Cloverfield
Clover, in its inception, was meant to be a horror icon as big — literally and figuratively — as Godzilla or King Kong. It was meant to be the giant monster for the new millennium.
The only way to know about the origins and mythology of this fascinating and mysterious creature is through several websites and Easter Eggs that were made specially for the movie's marketing campaign.
Clover had been sleeping under the sea for hundreds of years, feeding from a substance known as Seabed’s Nectar. Tagruato, a Japanese mining company, built a sea station to investigate, and when the monster awoke, the station (disguised as an oil rig) was destroyed.
The monster — who, incredibly, is only a baby — headed for New York. It didn’t want to destroy it, as many would think, it was merely disoriented. It didn’t know what was happening. It was as innocent creature in the middle of a terrible situation.
In the end, the army didn’t have a choice but to nuke it, destroying the entire city in the process. But was this enough to destroy Clover? Well, after the film's credits, there is a mysterious sound that doesn’t make any sense. But if you reproduce it backwards, you will hear someone saying, “It’s still alive.”
After years of waiting for more adventures from this monster, 10 Cloverfield Lane was announced. We, the fans of the original film, thought that this was going to be the sequel that we were dying to see. We were hoping to see Clover’s mom or several monsters rampaging cities. But in the end, we realized that these movies weren’t related; they only shared a common theme. Hopefully, one day we will have a true sequel to this great film.
Bughuul — Sinister
Bughuul is different from all the other horror icons, because technically he doesn’t kill — rather, he influences little kids to murder their own families, then kidnaps those same kids and takes them to his realm to consume their souls.
Bughuul is an ancient deity. In fact, he is a Canaanite god. He is the brother of a fertility god named Moloch. According to the mythos of the movie, Bughuul betrayed Moloch by stealing some of his children designated for sacrifice. An angry Moloch punished his brother, sealing his mouth with ash and damning him to never taste human flesh again.
Bughuul uses the power of storytelling; every murder is filmed by the killers. These films are left in the houses where the murders took place for new families to find them. Will Bughuul return for a third film? While producer Jason Blum told Movie Pilot it wouldn't be happening, I do hope to see Bughuul again.
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