When someone mentions horror icons; you immediately probably think of Freddy Kruger, Frankenstein, Carrie, Ghostface, Ash Williams or Jason Voorhees. These characters’ impact on the genre were so memorable, and profound that decades later we still remember and praise them. These entities earned their legendary statuses from either being absolutely terrifying, having dynamic and complex personalities and or serving as credible foes or heroes. Now, within the last thirteen years some new icons have entered the breach. Ranging from a demon to an undead boy, who are these individuals, and what’s so special about them? Well, take a seat and hopefully you’ll be pleased to see who made the list. Warning, there are spoilers.
5. Sam from Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
Belonging to the cult favorite Trick ‘r Treat, Sam was quite a cryptic and menacing character. His origins are unknown, but he’s to Halloween what Santa is to Christmas. He oversees that everyone follows the rules for the holiday, or else they’ll pay a price. What’s so remarkable about Sam is his unsettling obscurity, and spontaneous urge to pay back those who broke the rules, or disgraced the season. You never knew what exactly he’d do, and how he’d end these people’s lives.
4. Selene from The Underworld Franchise (2003- present)
Selene was something of an anti-hero. She was initially an enemy of werewolves, and she didn’t hesitate to end their existence (this was all due to a misunderstanding). However, her positioned changed as she encountered a new werewolf, and she helped him escape certain death. Throughout the series, she’s served as warrior who stands by her convictions and kicks ass while doing it.
3. Samara from The Ring (2002) and The Ring Two (2005)
This omen promises you certain death after you’ve seen a mysterious video tape (thank god VHS’ tapes are obsolete). On the tape, this creepy spirit of young girl can be seen climbing out of a well and staggering towards the screen (with her long hair shielding her face). This haunting visual has been cemented in many people’s minds. This insidious spirit has the capability to possess people, and use her psychic abilities to manipulate them.
2. Onryō (Kayako Saeki) from The Grudge (2004) and The Grudge 2 (2006)
Saeki was originally a wife and mother before she and her child were murdered by her jealous husband. After her death she became an onryō (she “consumed” malevolent spirits her mother exorcised from her patients), and haunted wherever the curse was transferred. As an onryō Saeki was a vengeful entity, who had a terrifying tendency to contort her body and spout ungodly sounds.
1. Jigsaw from The Saw Frachise (2004-2010)
Jigsaw is the “host” of a series of “games” victims must play to save their lives. Behind the puppet is John Kramer, a man who’s suffered great tragedy and knows the infinite value that life has to offer. In his own demented way, he challenges morally corrupt people to fight for this gift. If they happen to fail they will die in horrific, and sadistic ways. Jigsaw’s appearance is unsettling enough, yet it’s his deep voice, and mercilessness, spooky presence that solidifies him as a horror icon.
It’s hard to live up to the classics. However, I believe these characters are worthy enough to be among the big boys and girls. They’ve proven themselves to be compelling individuals who are fun and frightening to watch on screen. It’d be simple to write bland characters, and have them carry your movie. However, the filmmakers put in effort and initiative to make sure these individuals wouldn’t be forgotten. Although they’re still relatively new; the fact we still remember them goes to show their work payed off. So, here’s to the new horror icons of our generation and may you be just as beloved decades later as your predecessors are.
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