Horror franchises are made famous by their deadly villains, who slash, slash and stab their way through the movies, leaving a trail of carnage in their wake. Often, each passing sequel claims an ever-increasing body count, turning slasher killers into macabre legends who have gone down in horror history as some of the deadliest characters Hollywood has ever seen.
But which villain had the most kills? This top 5 list is actually full of surprises and some fan favorites are unfortunately not included. There are a few reasons for this: in franchises like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Leatherface isn’t the only one doing the killing. and in series such as Saw and Screamwe see different killers throughout the franchise’s run, meaning no one villain has a heavy kill count.
With those caveats in mind, here are the top 5 slasher villains with the highest kill count throughout their infamous film careers. And with new movies on the horizon, those numbers may continue to rise.
5. Freddy Krueger (63 kills)
Freddy Krueger, the pedophile and murderer from A Nightmare on Elm Street, has managed to rack up over 60 kills during his nearly 40 years on screen. Fortunately for Freddy, he’s already dead, so he has nothing to stop him from continuing his slaughter.
Some of Freddy’s most notable moments include the infamous TV killer A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, where Freddy becomes part of a television, grabs Jennifer Caulfield (who wants to be an actress) and tells her, “Welcome to prime time, bitch,” as he pushes her head into the screen, electrocuting her to death. And who can forget Johnny Depp’s famous scene from the original film where he is sucked into his bed, followed by a roaring fountain of blood falling to the ceiling?
Freddy’s lowest kill count entered Freddy vs. Jason, due to Jason killing all the kids before Freddy could get to them. Throughout the film, Freddy only earns one kill (plus one more shown in flashback). However, fans will hopefully get to see more of Freddy with a possible reboot on the way and an independent fan film, Dylan’s new nightmarereportedly in post-production.
4. Victor Crowley (64 kills)
Unless you’re a horror fan, you might be scratching your head at the name Victor Crowley. He is the killer in the Cleaver series, an indie franchise created as a throwback to classic slasher films. The first film premiered in 2006 and was praised by the horror community for staying true to the slasher genre while also having a bit of Scream-style meta-self-awareness. The film series is about Victor Crowley, a disfigured boy who is killed in a Louisiana swamp after a bullying prank goes horribly wrong. Now, Crowley wanders the swamp, seeking revenge on anyone he meets.
The film ended up getting three sequels (all of which are absolute gorefests, giving Crowley 64 kills) and the franchise is filled with horror legends like Tony Todd, Robert Englund, and Danielle Harris. Some of the show’s most gruesome kills include Crowley grinding someone’s face into a boat engine and exploding a man’s head with a defibrillator. For slasher fans, this is a great series to watch if you’re looking for something new.
3. Jason Voorhees (163 kills)
Until recent years, Jason held the No. 2 spot, but thanks to ongoing legal battles between several parties, Friday 13th The film hasn’t been released since 2009, forcing Jason to lose his role as the killer. But during Jason’s heyday, he was taking off limbs and smashing heads with abandon, and the Friday movies were known for having the highest death count of any major slasher franchise.
Some of Jason’s craziest kills include drowning someone in a garbage can full of mud, the famous head-smashing scene in Part III where the man’s eyeball pops out (made even wilder thanks to the film being shown in 3D) and this absolutely hilarious sleeping bag kills inside Jason X.
In September 2022, New Line posted a (now deleted) image on Instagram showing an iPhone with an incoming message from Jason Voorhees. Fans went wild, hoping that after more than a decade, a new Jason movie could finally be in the works. But unfortunately, it turned out to be a publicity stunt and, due to the ongoing lawsuit, no new film is in the works. However, throughout his career, Jason has managed to rack up an impressive 163 more kills.
2. Michael Myers (at least 165 kills)
Historically, Michael Myers hasn’t been known for insanely high kill numbers. Many of the kill scenes, like Lynda’s death in the original and the hot tub Halloween II, they were built around suspense rather than building up a high body count. They weren’t quick deaths just to increase Michael’s kills. They made the audience wait, knowing something bad was about to happen. They created suspense and a level of terror that few other slasher films could replicate.
That was the Halloween status quo until Rob Zombie came along with the 2007 reboot and 2009 sequel. Suddenly, a franchise with 10 or 12 kills per film turned into one with 20 to 25 kills per film, with Michael he bursts out in almost every scene. The 2018 trilogy did the same, especially with Halloween Kills, which gave Michael his highest kill count ever as he slaughtered an entire mob, racking up twelve kills (or more) in just one minute of screen time.
Without the new trilogy, Michael Myers would be #No. 3 on this list, but with the new movies giving Michael a slew of additional kills, he’s moved ahead of Jason, though he’s still quite a ways away from the #1 horror villain of all time.
1. Pinhead (at least 200 kills, maybe a lot more)
Considering that Pinhead only killed two people in the first film and was only in the sequel, it’s hard to imagine him being the most prolific killer in slasher history. But it’s important to remember that after the first two films, Pinhead really becomes the star of the series, racking up a much higher kill count in the subsequent films.
But it really is Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth which gives Pinhead the vast majority of his kills. In fact, some fans put Pinhead’s kill count in that movie at over 350 people. In one scene, Pinhead appears in a New York nightclub called The Boiler Room. Using chains and spikes, he locks everyone in and kills them one by one. Considering that busy nightclubs can hold a few hundred people, it’s really up to the viewer to decide the exact death toll in this scene, but it’s definitely over 150 in very minimum.
Fans of the franchise were polarized in 2022 when Hulu premiered it Hellraiser reboot starring actor Jamie Clayton as the new Pinhead. Some felt the film was boring and did not stay true to the queer and romantic undertones of the original Hellraiser film. But still, it gave us some of the more brutal body horror the franchise is known for, like when we see a victim’s neck just as a large rusty needle pierces it.
MovieWeb puts Pinhead at 246 kills, while We’ve got that covered awards him a whopping 321. Regardless of the exact number of people in this club Hellraiser IIIpinhead still ranks first as the deadliest villain in horror history.