Top Horror Movie Characters

Top Horror Movie Characters
Gary O' Driscoll Updated on by

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Horror movies and their characters hold an important place in the history of cinema that goes right back to the very beginnings of the artform itself.

As horror movie characters provide not only a way for audiences into the movie’s story but also quite often live on in audiences minds well beyond their initial viewing.

As whether they’re good, evil, or somewhere in between. Horror movie characters move us, terrify us, surprise us, and delight us. With many of them becoming pop culture icons in the process.

Top Horror Movie Characters of Film and Television:

Given the influence and continuing legacy of horror movies and of horror movie characters especially. Join us as we take a look at the top horror movie characters, past and present.

The iconic, the beloved, the underappreciated, the future icons, they’re all here:

Jigsaw (Saw franchise)

Even after years since his debut on the screens, John Kramer remains an iconic character for both his mechanical prowess and keen intellect. His traps are emblematic; they single-handedly created a new genre of horror movies, a new paradigm that will stand strong for ages to come. 

Where to watch: Hulu (USA). ITV Player (UK).

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Esther (Orphan franchise) 

Bearing the appearance of a little girl is what makes Esther’s actions so especially heinous. Her grown-up and indifferent behaviour, along with her cruel acts, make her an unsettling villain. Her plans are smart and well thought out, making her a force to be reckoned with. 

Where to watch: fuboTV, AMC+ (USA). freevee (UK). is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / Last updated on 2024-04-17 

Kevin Khatchadourian (We Need to Talk About Kevin) 

Kevin would be best described as a parent’s worst nightmare. Although the movie presents his mother’s involvement in his crimes, he never fails to remark himself. His cold demeanor and devil-may-care attitude are sure to send a shiver down your spine, as well as his “passion project” (slaughtering a class of children). 

Where to watch: Prime Video, Peacock (USA). Netflix, Curzon Amazon Channel (USA).

Carrie White (Carrie) 

Who’s more iconic than Carrie herself? Although not as much of a villain as a protagonist, she has sure committed countless murders during her mental breakdown. It’s easy to sympathize with her, and it’s just as easy to forget the innocent lives she has taken. Carrie’s backstory and heartbreaking life are what set her apart from other horror characters.

Where to watch: fuboTV, AMC+, DirecTV (USA). MGM Amazon Channel (UK).

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Dean Armitage (Get Out) 

Dean built an empire out of the suffering and fetishization of black people. His initial act as a friendly and pacifist father who wishes the best for his daughter and her boyfriend is well-acted and easy to buy into. The reveal of his evil nature left all of us shocked, in spite of Bradley Whitford’s amazing performance. 

Where to watch: fuboTV, FXNow (USA). Amazon, AppleTV (UK).

Dani Ardor (Midsommar) 

Not quite the villain, Dani is a complex protagonist who leaves the viewers wondering if her actions were justified or not. As a grieving woman who has gone through so much, it’s easy to feel bad or even identify with Dani, but her indirect involvement in the murder of her boyfriend makes you think about how her fragile mindset might have affected her.

Where to watch: Showtime, DirecTV (USA). Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV (UK).

Tom Ripley (The Talented Mr. Ripley) 

Cunning and determined, Tom poses as the ideal son-in-law, the model goody two shoes who wouldn’t hurt a fly, yet beneath his carefully engineered mask, he hides a callous and selfish man who wishes for revenge and wealth. His intelligence and charm set him apart from others, and he easily gets what he wants. 

Where to watch: fuboTV, AppleTV (USA). Netflix, Paramount+, NowTV, BritBox (UK).

Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th franchise) 

Jason is more than an icon. He is the incarnation of the horror genre itself. His thirst for revenge and the way he goes about it is quite a sight to behold. His mask is easily recognizable among the crowd of horror souvenirs. His legacy is sure to remain untouched for decades to come. 

Where to watch: AMC+, DirecTV (USA). Paramount+, Amazon (UK).

Josef Heiter (The Human Centipede franchise) 

This doctor definitely isn’t looking to save lives, instead, he wants to ruin them. More gruesome and messed up than you usually see on screen, Josef is guaranteed to leave a mark (and trust me, it’s not a positive one). He’s the original “don’t accept drinks from strangers”.

Where to watch: AMC+, DirectTV (USA). Apple TV (UK).

Charles Lee Ray/Chucky (Child’s Play and Chucky franchises) 

Creepy dolls always make an impression, but Chucky does it best. His iconic look and bloodthirsty persona are what made him so famous in the first place. Although he’s so small, he can do big damage (both emotional and physical). 

Where to watch: DirecTV, Sling (USA). MGM Amazon Channel (UK).

Count Dracula (Too many movies to list here)

While not the first on-screen depiction of Bram Stoker’s infamous creation (that honour goes to 1922’s ‘Nosferatu‘, an unofficial and unauthorised adaptation), Bela Lugosi is certainly the most iconic.

Inspiring countless others over the last 90 years with a look and voice so instantly recognisable that everyone but the very youngest child recognises it instantly.

Lugosi was equal parts seductive, charismatic, and terrifying in his turn as “The Count”. Giving vivid life to the character, who, up until this performance, had existed only as the memory of others in the novel.

Where to watch: Peacock, The Criterion Channel (USA). Amazon, Apple TV (UK).

The Candyman (The Candyman franchise)

The creation of acclaimed horror author, screenwriter, and director, Clive Barker, for his 1985 short story, “The Forbidden”, as part of his “Books of Blood” short story anthology series.

But it was the release of 1992’s ‘Candyman’ from director, Bernard Rose, that truly etched the legend of The Candyman into the minds of audiences worldwide thanks to the iconic and terrifying performance of Tony Todd as the titular bogeyman.

Todd’s performance is so intrinsic character that when it came to making a modern day sequel to the original movie in 2021. There was an outcry worldwide from horror fans at the mere thought of any actor other than Todd playing the role.

However, these fears were assuaged upon the movie’s release and the confirmation that not only was Todd indeed still The Candyman. But, in a clever expansion of the character’s mythology. He was shown to have the ability to look like those who had been wronged as he had been. A twist ensuring that both Todd along with other actors can continue to play the character in the years ahead.

Where to watch: Amazon, Apple TV (USA). Amazon, Apple TV (UK).

Top Horror Movie Characters FAQ 

How many ‘Orphan’ movies are there?

Right now, there are only two ‘Orphan’ movies.

How many ‘Friday The 13th’ movies are there?

There are currently twelve ‘Friday The 13th’ movies.

How many ‘The Human Centipede’ movies are there?

At the moment, there are three ‘The Human Centipede’ movies.