Where’s The Horror Movie Icon For Our Generation?


Everybody’s heard of Freddy Krueger, everyone’s heard of Leatherface but where is the iconic monstrous figure for the 2000s.

The 1970s bought us Michael Myers and Damien Thorn, the 80s brought us Jason Voorhees and Chucky, the 90s bought us Hannibal Lecter and Ghostface. I have spent a while thinking about who the horror icon could be. A few potential thoughts came to mind; The Creeper from Jeepers Creepers, Captain Spaulding from House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, Samara Morgan from The Ring?

Although Scream moved into the 2000s with Scream 3 and Scream 4, I don’t think that these can really be counted because it was originally made in 1996. The same principle also stands for remakes. Although iconic horror figures have been created through remakes such as Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare On Elm Street or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I don’t think that these can really be counted as horror icons because they did not originate from the 2000s.

Most of the horror icons that people are aware of occur due to a franchise; Halloween, Hellraiser etc. Therefore, does a horror icon have to be part of a franchise? After much deliberation, perhaps, the horror icon of the 2000s would be Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) from the Saw franchise. I am struggling to think of another horror icon in the 2000s that has made such an impact on both audiences and critics alike. However, this is a very different type of “monster” to Jason Voorhees or Predator, this “monster” is human.

The Saw franchise makes a deliberate effort to demonstrate the humanity of Jigsaw as the audience learns about his past and his prior relationships. Another interesting concept of Jigsaw in comparison to previous horror icons is rather than the indestructible nature of Michael Myers, Jigsaw can be, and is, killed but his intellect and manipulative abilities allows his horrific work to be continued by others. Like other horror icons of the past Jigsaw uses masks but he does not wear them, he uses the masks and toys to enhance the terror of the unknown such as with Billy the puppet or the pig mask. Tobin Bell makes the character realistically creepy combining this with his intellect, which puts him unnervingly ahead of the game.

In the 2000s, there appears to be less of an emphasis on a monster or a masked figure but instead on either the human or the paranormal with franchises like Paranormal Activity and Hostel being huge successes. I think the villains of horror films have changed drastically in the last decade, there is a lesser focus on a central figure and a stronger focus on the movie as a whole. I think that this is a shame, as much as the entirety of a film is important to a film’s success, it is the monsters or villains that have the ability to make a horror film or franchise even more memorable.


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      1. Bob B January 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm

        I’d have to agree with Jigsaw. Can’t think of any others. R rated movies don’t do as well as they used to. I think all of the icons that are mentioned are from R rated movies.

        • Chloe January 20, 2013 at 11:16 pm

          Thanks. Yeah, it was hard to think of any other villain from the 2000s that had made such an impact as Jigsaw.

      2. Tim Bearden January 20, 2013 at 8:25 pm

        There’s The Collector, Victor Crowley of Hatchet, Death from Final Destinations, The Inbreds from Wrong Turn, Leslie Vernon (He has a sequel coming out sometime). That’s about all I can think of. Yeah, not nearly as good as the good ol days when the villain carried the series.

        • Michelle January 20, 2013 at 9:51 pm

          I was thinking Leslie Vernon for sure, i love that character. Victor Crowley would be my second choice.

        • HorrorMovies January 20, 2013 at 9:55 pm

          Victor Crowley really is our only real choice I think. Leslie Vernon is great but needs more movies starring him. Another choice might be the Creeper

        • Michelle January 20, 2013 at 10:00 pm

          I don’t know how the sequel is coming along, but hopefully they will do more of the Leslie Vernon movies. Creeper is a great choice I love those movies, the first one is still one of my favorites and is still very creepy after multiple views. Do u know if they plan a 3rd Creeper movie?

        • Chloe January 20, 2013 at 11:23 pm

          I rewatched the second Jeepers Creepers the other day. I do love the creeper. I thought a lot about him as a horror icon but I just didn’t think he had made as big of a cultural impact as Jigsaw. Yes, they’re doing a 3rd creeper movie, it’s called cathedral and Gina Phillips, from the first film, will return in it! I’m really looking forward to it.

        • Michelle January 21, 2013 at 2:57 am

          Thanks Chloe I thought I read about a 3rd a while ago. Gina Phillips was great in the 1st, it will be interesting how they work the story line considering in 2 they went further ahead in the timeline.

        • Chloe January 21, 2013 at 11:12 am

          Yeah, I forgot about the jump in time until I rewatched it. Yeah I loved her in the first film.

        • HorrorMovies January 21, 2013 at 1:49 am

          Chloe is correct a 3rd film has been in the works FOREVER.

        • Chloe January 20, 2013 at 11:18 pm

          Yeah, its such a shame. I think the villains are so important to the genre. They really help make a movie memorable

      3. Lori OQuinn January 21, 2013 at 5:03 pm

        Dr. Satan from House of 1000 Corpses would have been a good icon.

        • Chloe January 21, 2013 at 8:24 pm

          Yeah I agree. He’s really great.

        • Lori OQuinn January 21, 2013 at 9:56 pm

          Another one that could have been a good icon was the Bobby
          Fowler character from Mortuary, had that not been a flop. I enjoyed it despite it’s flaws, such a shame that didn’t work.

      4. Chris Baird January 21, 2013 at 11:36 pm

        Toby from the PA movies, even though we have no idea what he looks like :/

      5. Tiago Almeida January 22, 2013 at 3:50 am

        I think it is Chromeskull from laid to rest. I am surprised no one mentioned him.
        His is like Jason from the youtube generation. Pretty cool.

      6. chubungie January 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm

        Chromskull is excellent, but also Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder) or the Collector