Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Who is the most iconic horror antagonist?

Kara Lee

Since the introduction of films, horror has always been something viewers have resonated with. With the first horror film ever, “Le Manoir du Diable,” being released in 1896, only one year after motion pictures first debuted, it is apparent that horror as a genre has a long history. Since then, there have been hundreds of popular horror films across multiple subgenres — supernatural, slasher, creature-feature, paranormal and more. 

With all of this history across various genres and themes, some amazing and iconic horror villains have made their way onto the silver screen. Fans of the genre are in love with characters like Michael Myers from “Halloween,” Freddy Kreuger from “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” Ghostface from “Scream” and dozens of other terrifying antagonists. With that being said, who is the most iconic horror antagonist? 

The top of the roster would include the aforementioned three, but there is one more horror icon that stands out — Jason Voorhees of the “Friday the 13th” franchise.

Jason made his debut in Steve Miner’s 1981 directorial debut, “Friday the 13th Part 2.” The film’s plot follows Alice, the final survivor of the first film, as she copes with the massacre that took place months prior. During the events of the previous film, Pamela Voorhees, Jason’s mother, goes on multiple murder sprees at Camp Crystal Lake after Jason was bullied and drowned due to counselor negligence. Though “Friday the 13th” ends with her being beheaded  in the finale by Alice, her work was not yet done.

In the sequel, Jason is seen to be supernaturally revived by a lightning strike, and gains superhuman abilities. Soon he would return to Camp Crystal Lake to witness his mother’s death, and then to enact their revenge. 

The first three films in the franchise are genuinely creepy, shocking slasher films. Each scene is filled with shocks from both the victims and the killers. While slashers like “Halloween” showcase a very similar type of killer with Michael and Jason both being massive, emotionless and near superhuman, “Friday the 13th” does it best. Jason displays a completely different level of brutality, as well as having one of the most iconic outfits in all of horror. 

While he does not don it until the franchise’s third installment, Jason is notoriously known for the hockey mask he debuted in “Friday the 13th Chapter 3” and every installment after — excluding his appearance in “Jason X.” Other horror icons have been unable to reach the level of notoriety that Jason’s hockey mask holds. Michael Myers’ mask may be famous, but it is known to be very bland and Ghostface’s mask, while famous, is very generic.

Jason, while arguably not being from the best horror franchise overall, is the most iconic horror antagonist to date. He has brought a totally different level of brutality to his films, and  has the most iconic appearance overall. When a horror fan sees a hockey mask, they do not actually think of hockey; all that they visualize is Jason Voorhees.

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About the Contributors
Malaki Lingg
Malaki Lingg, Web Editor
Malaki (he/they) is a third-year Digital Communication student at UTSA. He is originally from Nevada but has lived in the Austin area for most of his life. When not writing for The Paisano you will most likely find him thrifting, gardening or attending a concert. This is his fifth semester with The Paisano and his second as an editor.
Kara Lee
Kara Lee, Graphic Editor
Kara is a communication major on track to graduate in 2025. After graduating they hope to work for non-profits that specialize in environmental concerns so they can give back to the planet that provides so much for us. When Kara is not in school or working they can be found either drawing or hiking.

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