Horror has many faces and they have changed throughout the years. From black and white pyschological terrors to crazed killers on the loose to hauntings in suburban homes, there are arguably more famous faces that have become synonomous with the horror genre.
I have spent several articles delving into the different worlds of horror throughout the decades, focusing on the golden age of cinema, the 80's surge of slasher flicks, and the current faces that are haunting our nightmares. The Ultimate Face of Horror Death Match has been concluded down to three famous faces, taking into account recognisability, death count, movie series, and motivation. But just who will come out on top as The Ultimate Face of Horror?
I asked you all to vote, and you have provided me with the answers. But first, shall we see who the contenders are?
Dracula - 1931
Starring: Bela Lugosi cemented a name for himself as the horror actor of the silver screen for his work as the wild staring Dracula, competing for the title only against Frankenstein's Boris Karloff. Since then many actors have donned the vampire fangs to play the Count, but the only other notable actor has been Christopher Lee.
Sequels: The golden age of cinema had notibly four sequels in the Universal Monsters series, but Dracula has spanned to appear in more than 200 films and TV shows since then. Most recently, Universal Studios are adapting a Marvel type reboot of the classic Universal Monsters called Dark Universe but only initial casting of other classic creatures has been announced.
Signature Look: Pale skin, slicked black hair, fangs, black velvet cape, wild staring eyes. In more recent movies, this has been updated into a more modern feel, usually involving some kind of black shiny latex and trench coats.
Motivation: Dracula's motivation is purely blood-lust as he seeks to feed on the blood of the living.
Death Count: 8 deaths in the early works. The reboots and sequels after the golden age cage match was not tabulated into the winning equation.
Reasons for Winning: Dracula's motivation is pure evil. He is killing and eating and compelling people to satisfy his demonic bloodlust while the other characters in the Universal Monsters series are doing it for acts of love or a twist of fate. Dracula is the only character who kills out of pure satisfaction.
Dracula is also the original Universal Monster and the most famous when it comes to talking about horror of supernatural creatures - maybe slightly moreso than Frankenstein, who would be the closest at taking the crown in terms of popularity. Bela Lugosi, Dracula, and the whole image is what pops into mind when you talk about classic horror, and for this reason Dracula comes out on top.
Jason Voorhees - 1980
Starring: Warrington Gillette took on the role as Adult Jason after the events of Friday the 13th but was taken over by Richard Brooker and in the most recent version, Derek Mears dons the mask.
Sequels: Friday the 13th has some of the most sequels possible in a horror franchise. In the 80's and 90's there was 8 movies alone, but this has only extended since then to include films like Freddy Vs. Jason, Jason Vs. Leatherface, and even the 2009 reboot Friday the 13th starring Supernatural's Jared Padelecki.
Signature Look: Jason is deformed and hides his face behind an old decaying hockey mask. He is large, bald. and usually wearing heavy weighted clothes,
Motivation: Jason drowns at a summer camp called Camp Crystal Lake and his mother, the cook of the camp, blames the camp counsellors for his death and seeks revenge on them. When his mother is killed at the end of Friday the 13th, it is revealed that Jason was never killed and returns to seek revenge on those who killed his mother, before he simply returns to stalk campers and hikers who are around the Camp.
Death Count: 110 deaths in the entire 80's - 90's series - and that is including the 2 movies Friday the 13th and Friday the 13th: A New Beginning in which he doesn't kill anyone. Since then, Jason's kills have skyrocketed to 166 with recent movies.
Reasons for Winning: It was a tough competition for the Slasher's Ultimate Face of Horror Death Match, but Jason's main reason for winning is the fact that the motivation for his killing is no longer revenge driven. Unlike the other vengeful killers in his death match, Jason inflicts his terror on his vicitims because they are in the area and he doesn't know any different. It makes him blood-thirsty, unpredicatable, and unstoppable.
Jason is also well-known in the horror universe, and while he may not be as notable as Freddy Krueger, he is well known for being the strongest slasher, the most unstoppable killer, and one that will always return. Double taps won't work on this almost impenetrable killing machine, and that was why he took out the crown for the second Ultimate Face of Horror Death Match.
Pennywise The Dancing Clown - 2017
Starring: Originally depicted as the campy Bill Curry, the new face of Stephen King's novel IT is Bill Skargard, the youngest of the Skargards Hollywood royalty that includes True Blood's Alexander Skarsgard, and Viking's Gustaf Skarsgard.
Sequels: The 2007 IT is a reboot of the popular 90's movie of the same name, but unlike it's predescor the haunting tale has been split into two, meaning IT Part 2 will be out in 2019.
Signature Look: Pennywise is a shape-shifting demon, but he takes his main horrifying form as a clown. Because of this he has stark white face paint, creepy red painted clown lines through his eyes, a high fore-head, red hair, and crazy yellow eyes.
Motivation: Pennywise is a mysterious evil being in which not much is initially revealed, but it becomes apparent that he is here on Earth for the specific reason to kill and feed itself. He likes to prey on innocent children because he feeds off the fear that is more paramount in them.
Death Count: 4 deaths that are directly related to Pennywise's manipulations in the movie, but he is credited for many more that occur off screen every 27 years.
Reasons for Winning: The face of horror nowadays is hard to define because it kind of doesn't really have a specific face anymore. The real scary things in this world is humanity, and whether that takes the form of cruelty on the internet, human emotion, zombies, or simply normal people doing horrible things, the modern face of horror can't be pinned down to one characterisation.
But Pennywise the Dancing Clown from IT is the closest thing we can get to that. Not only is Pennywise a demon who feeds on fear and is "fear itself" but he is also the embodiment of claurophobia - the fear of clowns. People in the real world are actually terrified by this jovially evil creature who has the power to become and make you see your worst fears, so even though he doesn't neccesarily have a large kill count in the film itself, his scare-factor stretches way beyond the realm of the screen.
So after an extensive voting period where I put the final decision up to you, my readers, here is who comes out on top as The Ultimate Face of Horror:
And the winner is Dracula!
This was a nailbiter guys and it was extremely close, but the Prince of Darkness came out on top! There were many reasons why Dracula is The Ultimate Face of Horror but one of the main reasons is because 80% of you said that he was the most recognisable character and the most famous of the three, and also 100% said he was the most stylish and had the most iconic look.
100% said Pennywise has better powers, and it was a complete tie between Jason and Pennywise being who you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley, Surprisingly though Dracula also came out as the top dog as to who would win in a fight if pitted against each other. The reasoning behind this was because Dracula has centuries of experience as well as demonic powers that are by far superior than the others - Jason at the core is simply a fractured boy with a lot of fears that would be easily overcome by Pennywise. However, Dracula was decreed the winner because while the classic tales depict he can be stopped by a wooden stake, sunlight, and garlic, he doesn't neccessarily fear them, rendering Pennywise's powers mute.
So what do you guys think about the winner of The Ultimate Face of Horror? Did you readers get it right, or was there someone else out there we missed?