Top 10 slasher movie villains ranked by survivability

Gabriela Silva
Michale Myers from Halloween and Chucky from Child's PlayUniversal Pictures / MGM/UA Communications Co.

While watching slasher horror movies and observing the villains, it’s probable that the thought has crossed the minds of most people: Can one survive the most dire circumstances? They may also frequently find themselves critiquing the apparent lack of strategy and resistance in the vulnerable victims.

Some of the horror genre’s most infamous killers do the job thanks to lurking in the shadows, some decent planning, or being from another dimension who are inescapable. Movies like the Saw franchise is all about the will to survive. After all, is John Kramer really a horrid serial killer if his victims do have a percentage of survival?

Article continues after ad

More often than not, killers like Jason Voorhees or Leatherface get the upper hand as audiences munch on popcorn and chastise the victims for tripping, not running fast enough, or using a weapon properly.

Out of all the popular slasher movie villains, there are some that rank at the bottom of the list and are the most likely for an audience member to survive. Be warned this ranking is based on franchises and not just the original movie.

Article continues after ad

10. Michael Myers

It’s safe to say that no one can stand Michael Myers’s reign of bloody terror, even if they tried. Since his original introduction in John Carpenter’s Halloween in 1978, he has proven to be hellbent on revenge, holds grudges, and is willing to kill anyone he deems fit.

Over the course of the franchise, Michael’s stakes as a horror villain have only risen as the storyline made him into somewhat of an invincible, unkillable supernatural being. While the newest movies never fully confirmed it, it’s a popular lore among fans that Michael got stronger with every stab or murder attempt on him.

Article continues after ad

After all, Laurie Strode was only able to really kill Michael in Halloween Ends after stuffing him into a woodchipper to mangle him into bits. While there have been many jokes made about Michael’s ability to catch up to his victims by walking, there’s no denying that he’s a slasher movie villain that many wouldn’t survive in real life.

9. Art the Clown

Terrifier’s Art the Clown is one of the worst (in a good way) slasher movie villains that no one would likely remain alive if crossing paths with him. Art the Clown became infamous in Damien Leone’s slasher-splatter franchise. His origins are unknown but is speculated to have some supernatural powers or deal with evil.

Article continues after ad

Throughout his reign of terror in Terrifier and Leone’s short films, every one of his victims has met a gruesome and vile death. Steering clear of Art the Clown isn’t enough, once he sets his sights on a human, he goes all out. For Art, bloody murder is an art form. Is he survivable? Not likely as Art’s style is a mix of taunting and an inherent need to kill. There are no real strategies to find a way to stay alive against him. He’s evil incarnate.

8. Freddy Krueger

For anyone who values their sleep, Freddy Krueger is one slasher horror movie villain they can’t win against. To be fair, a majority of villains that exist within an alternate dimension or are supernatural beings would be hard to survive against. They have an upper hand a human doesn’t.

Article continues after ad

Freddy Krueger literally haunted his victims’ dreams. A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984 introduced the antagonist as a child killer who was burned by his victim’s parents after evading prison. Ever since he has existed in another world and sneaked into his victim’s dreams.

The kicker? Every vile thing that happens in their dreams happens in real life. It would be almost impossible to survive Freddy Krueger in real life as the victim would need to try and break free of a dream state before it’s too late. If the franchise has taught us anything, trying to stay awake isn’t easy, and giving Krueger a run for his money in his world is dismal.

Article continues after ad

7. Pinhead and the Cenobites

One of the key reasons why Pinhead would be difficult to survive in the real world is because of him and his team of Cenobites. Unlike other slasher horror villains, Pinhead has henchmen who are just as evil and hellbent on blood as he is. First introduced on-screen in Hellraiser 1987, Pinhead controls a group of extra-dimensional, sadomasochistic beings. They relish pain as pleasure.

But they also exist the same way Krueger does. They have their own dimension where they dwell and only enter the surface world thanks to a puzzle box. Here’s where there is a sliver of survival compared to the others. Simply don’t open or touch the puzzle box. The easiest way is to encase the puzzle in concrete and bury it underground.

Article continues after ad

Once solving the puzzle box, all hell breaks loose and Pinhead and his Cenobites leave no prisoners. But then again, there’s a way to defeat them. If still alive, a person can reverse the puzzle box pieces to close it once again. Amid the gore and horrendous ripping of flesh, there’s a chance to not get killed.

6. Jason Voorhees

Friday the 13th’s main villain Jason Vorhees still makes it well onto the list as one of the least survivable. Like Michael Meyers, Jason has a slight supernatural element that makes him hard to escape. Throughout the franchise, he’s often presumed dead but never is and jumps back to life to kill anyone in Crystal Lake.

Article continues after ad

Teens have fallen victim to Jason for years, and while many viewers may think they can outwit him, they likely can’t in real life. Some may have sympathy toward Jason as he sought revenge for his drowning as a child, his mother, and killing characters for their immoral acts. But Jason is a big, tall, and brute male who has one way or another found some tactic to sneak around and catch his victims by surprise.

5. Leatherface

Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a horror franchise fans either love or hate, but there’s no denying that Leatherface is not that easy to escape. He was first introduced in 1974 as a deranged and mentally unstable member of a family of cannibals. Leatherface is well-known for using a chainsaw on whoever he killed… or a mallet… or a butcher’s hook.

Article continues after ad

But a majority of audience members get the same inclination when seeing Leatherface. Run faster, hide better, and fight back better. But there’s an element to Leatherface that makes survival a bit difficult. His family. Unlike other slasher horror villains, Leatherface is aided by his equally sadistic family who feasts on human flesh. Instead of dealing with one killer, you deal with a whole family. But there’s always a small sliver of hope if acting smart, not letting fear win, and finding a really good weapon.

4. John Kramer

It’s the age-old question: is John Kramer a serial killer? The Saw franchise is well-known for its unique methods of murder using well-crafted traps, but only if you don’t pass John’s test. John becomes a dark angel of retribution after losing his unborn son and being diagnosed with cancer.

Article continues after ad

He takes it upon himself to use his engineering skills to craft torturous and possibly murderous traps for his victims, all of whom have sinned. The franchise’s tagline, “I want to play a game,” eludes to how one can survive. It’s all a game. With John never wanting to kill anyone but simply put them to the test.

As he’s always said, they all have a chance to stay alive, but only if they head his rules and play the game. In hindsight, John is one of the top slasher horror movie villains with a higher percentage of surviving. All a person needs to do is forgo pain, stay calm, and win his game. The franchise has proven there have been more than a few survivors.

Article continues after ad

3. Candyman

Don’t say his name three times or face the consequences. Candyman first premiered in 1992 focusing on an urban legend brought forth by a graduate student. The villain was an African-American slave and artist who was brutally murdered in the 19th century for his relationship with a white female. His murder left his soul wanting revenge.

Similar to Bloody Mary, Candyman emerges when someone says his name three times in the mirror. By all accounts, children for generations have been warned to never do it. But is he survivable in real life? Yes and no. The simple trick is to never say his name, or simply try to sneak away while the others take their chances.

Article continues after ad

But when summoned, Candyman exists within the same realm as Krueger or Pinhead. He’s a spiritual entity that can appear out of nowhere and manifest hallucinations. A person would have to not go insane first before trying to not get murdered. In the original movie, he’s killed by flames.

2. Ghostface

Another infamous slasher horror villain, Ghostface is one of the irrefutable killers a majority of fans could kill or survive. While the others have their own sprinkle of flair, Ghostface is just as human as his victims. Since the first Scream movie, every iteration of the killer has been a different person seeking revenge against Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) or associated with her.

Article continues after ad

A simple way to survive is not going near her, but in hindsight, Ghostface can get pretty sloppy at times. He’s all about tricks and jumpscares before using his knife. A majority of the time the characters in the franchise focus more on running away than staying to fight. Ghostface is not a trained killer or fighter as he’s always a different person. In Scream V, he was two fans obsessed with the movie franchise.

Overall staying to fight him off dirty, using weapons, machinery, or a shotgun could do the trick.

Article continues after ad

1. Chucky

At the top of the list as the most survivable is none other than Don Mancini’s killer doll Chucky from the Child’s Play franchise. While Charles Lee Ray is a die-hard mass murderer, his soul within a Good Guy doll makes him easier to survive against. More likely than not, horror fans have thought of numerous ways to kill Chucky by dropkicking him, incinerating him, chopping him to bits, acid, and many more.

The franchise has proven Chucky comes back again and again, but in the real world, most fans could likely take him. After all, he is a plastic doll. But this doesn’t mean he wouldn’t put up a good fight as he has a few tricks up his sleeve as a doll. He can easily go unseen and he’s not shy about using anything to help him murder. The Chucky series also brings up the question if fans can take on a Chucky army.

Article continues after ad

For more horror movie coverage, head here, or check out the below links:

Related Topics

About The Author

Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Fordham. Senior TV and Movies Writer for Dexerto covering Netflix, Disney+, K-Dramas and everything in between. Previous TV Writer for Showbiz Cheatsheet and List Witer for Screenrant. Any inquiries email at gabriela.silva@dexerto.com