As Halloween rolls around and you dig out some horror films to watch I imagine you debating with yourself and loved ones; just who is the greatest cinematic serial killer? Is it A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s Freddy Krueger, Friday the 13th‘s Jason Voorhees or Halloween‘s Michael Myers? To help you settle the debate in the only way I know how, with data to back you up, I have built a dashboard collecting some statistics on the three murderers and their franchises.
To gauge each killer’s critical appeal I have collected critic and audience scores from Rotten Tomatoes. To compare the monetary value of each film I have taken budget and box office figures from The Numbers, adjusted for inflation, and calculated profitability as the box office as a proportion of the budget. Finally I have collated the most important metric of all; how many kills our three supernatural psychopaths racked up per film.
As the more astute horror fans will know already the homicidal trio don’t actually appear in all of the films in their respective franchises, Jason first kills in the second Friday the 13th, so I have given you the option of filtering out those anomalies. You can also see the charts for just one killer by selecting their face or filter by year if you want to snub the modern remakes in favour of only considering the classic films.
So with all the preamble done who is the best cinematic serial killer?
If you ask my opinion I’d have to say that from a popularity standpoint Freddy Krueger comes out on top with the best average audience and critic scores whereas if you want quantity rather than quality then Jason Voorhees wins with the most money rolling in and the most bodies piling up. As for Michael Myers? The original Halloween film not only came first but has not yet been beaten for pleasing fans and critics alike while raking in serious money.
Who is the best of these three? I think I’d like to see them fight it out…