Each decade has given us amazing horror icons that we love, probably a little more than we should. As a horror fan, it comes with the territory to like things that are strange and unusual, because I myself am strange and unusual. Yes, I just quoted Lydia from Beetlejuice, but how could I pass it up? Everyone has their favorite horror icon, whether it’s Michael, Jason, Leatherface, Freddy, Chucky, Candyman, Ghostface, or whoever else tickles your blood and guts fancy.
We horror fans go all out, buying anything and everything that represents our favorite characters, from movies to posters to t-shirts to figurines and so on. But why do we love them so much? Without maniacal, machete wielding, chainsaw toting maniacs bringing the mayhem, we wouldn’t have much of a scare now, would we? What’s a horror movie without a psychotic villain? While many of the more famous lunatics slashed their ways into our hearts before the turn of the century, there are still quite a few newcomers to the genre that have made quite an impact on us. Let’s reflect on some newer icons that have become popular in the last decade or so with their unique personalities, fun kills, interesting features, and famous commentary.
“Jeepers Creepers, where’d you get those peepers?”
The Creeper, played by Jonathan Breck, is the bloodthirsty creature in the 2001 horror film Jeepers Creepers. His name is pretty spot on – he is, in fact, a creeper who gives me the creeps. Just look at his leathery, bat-like skin and needle-sharp teeth (not to mention that mullet!). Every twenty-third spring for twenty-three days, he hunts down people to eat their bits and bobs, which then helps him form his own, newly regenerated body. He can smell the fear on his victims and when he finds a body part on someone that he likes… he’s determined to have it. Not only is he creepy, but he’s also damn greedy. I’m pretty sure only one person really needs to die to give him all the parts he needs, but I guess the dude just knows what he likes. He’s like a fucked up version of Weird Science (1985)… without the computer or ’80s cheese.
“Most people are so ungrateful to be alive, but not you, not anymore…”
Jigsaw, played by Tobin Bell, is one of the most popular horror icons of the 2000s as a character in the Saw franchise. John Kramer, AKA Jigsaw, was once a civil engineer who, after being diagnosed with cancer and with no hope for treatment, attempted to commit suicide but failed – opening his eyes to a bigger picture and a new sick plan to “help” people. He had seen how corrupt the world could be and he was finally going to do something about it. It was time to use his engineering skills for what he saw was the greater good. Jigsaw kidnaps people whom he thinks don’t appreciate their lives and puts them in horrible, rigged, mechanical traps with a set timer, forcing them to make life or death decisions. What will they do to stay alive? Most killers just want to kill, but Jigsaw wants people to be put in a situation where they appreciate what they have. If you’re like me, you’ve thought on more than one occasion about what you would do if you were in a Saw contraption – would you do anything to survive or would you die when the timer went off?
“Candy Cane? Hey anybody know a Candy Cane?”
Okay, let’s be honest, Rusty Nail is not a huge horror icon… However, he gave us a fun character with some pretty memorable one-liners! He’s the villain in the 2001 horror film Joy Ride. Two brothers are going home for the summer holiday and along the way they install a CB radio in their car. They start messing around and end up talking to a truck driver named Rusty Nail while pretending to a girl named Candy Cane. They end up setting up a date with him, giggling, “Room 108…and don’t forget the bottle of pink champagne,” into the CB mic. When Rusty Nail finds out he’s been set up, he goes on a murderous rampage that the brothers never imagined could come from some harmless CB talk. Breaker, breaker 1-9…
“Am I not pretty enough? Is my heart too broken?”
The 2010 Australian horror film, The Loved Ones, introduces Lola Stone, played by Robin McLeavy. Don’t be fooled by Lola’s sweet face, pretty pink dress, and glitter decor because she stands strong against the others in this list as one of the most sadistic torturers and killers ever. She takes Carrie (1976) to a whole other level, so if you want to live, it’s probably best if you always tell her “yes,” even more so when it revolves around going to Prom.
“Boy, the next word that comes out of your mouth better be some brilliant fuckin’ Mark Twain shit. ‘Cause it’s definitely getting chiseled on your tombstone.”
Otis Driftwood is a fictional character created by Rob Zombie and is played by the legendary Bill Moseley. Otis has been in two movies, House of 1000 Corpses (2003) and its sequel, The Devil’s Rejects (2005). In both films, he plays one sick motherfucker who loves torturing and killing people. He is by far one of the most iconic horror characters of the 2000s and I want to see more of him. He is also a part of the Firefly family and has quite a special way with words. P.S. Yes, Captain Spaulding is another popular horror icon from this decade, however, this time, I wanted to focus on Otis!
Jason Voorhees may be king of killing people at camps, but Victor Crowley is king of killing people at swamps.
Victor Crowley is the villain in the Hatchet series that started by Adam Green in 2006. Legend has it that Victor Crowley, played by Kane Hodder, was a deformed boy who was kept hidden in the New Orleans swamps by his father, who was also played by Kane Hodder. He was supposedly killed when some local kids set his house on fire and his father, while trying to save him, accidentally hacked him in the head with a hatchet. Legend has it that he still roams the New Orleans swamps, killing anyone who enters them. He is definitely a fan favorite for horror icons of the 2000s and is kills are insanely brutal!
The cutest little pumpkin/sack head ever!
Sam is the horror icon from the 2007 horror anthology, Trick R Treat. However, he was first seen in Michael Dougherty’s 1996 short film Season’s Greetings. He initially appears to be an innocent, masked trick r treater, but he’s actually a demonic pumpkin creature who is bound and determined to make sure the rules of Halloween are followed. It won’t end well if you break the rules, trust me. Sam is one of my absolute favorite horror icons of all time – I even have a tattoo of him on my leg. His sweet appearance is misleading because he can truly fuck people up when he wants to. Wait until you see what’s under that sack! He also represents the spirit of Halloween and that is my favorite Holiday, of course!
So here are my top 7 horror icons of the 2000s. Do you think they live up to the legends that came before them? Which one would you pick from this list as the best? If you don’t see your favorite here, let us know who we missed!
I think you’ve overrated Lola stone. The rest of the list is great though.
I want to compliment the list but no Jigsaw? Samara? The boy from the Grudge? Shaun? The Pale Man? Captain Spalding?
You actually make some valid points. If I make a part 2 those will be on them. Thanks for pointing that out. However, Captain Spaulding wasn’t put on here because I’ve I had him in multiple other lists before.
However, Jigsaw is the 2nd on the list. =)
You have a tattoo of Sam? That’s amazing!
I do. He’s one of my favorites of all time!