Yesterday (Sunday, 5/29) was the first time I purposely reached for something hor ror and got immediately inspired by it. I own both versions of the 2001 compilation Boogeymen on vhs and dvd and it has definitely aged.
And by aged, I mean, we are in 2022, the horror genre has grown and became more mainstream, polished, sophisticated and has added more faces or icons of the genre and I believe there’s a second version of Boogeymen, like a “sequel” but I haven’t seen that. So here we are, 20+ years AFTER and I thought about the list. The list has mostly known icons of horror like Freddy, Michael, Jason (the grand poobahs) but also Ghostface, Chucky, Leprechaun, The Tall Man, Norman Bates and then a handful that you gotta deep dive into like Simon from The Ugly, Camille from The Guardian or the film Wishmaster.
So I thought to myself, if I could make my own version of Boogeymen to fit today, who would I add into here? The original has about 18 characters so I tried to match the length of antagonists needed.
These are in no particular order so let’s get started!
Art the Clown – Terrifier (2016): He is the reason why I thought of doing this list. He has become a recognizable face in horror in recent years, he is a MIME imo (doesn’t speak, wears black and white, uses facial expressions/body) but he’s brutal, violent. He is terrifying. And above all, he’s unpredictable.
Angela Franklin – Night of the Demons (1988): I mean, she’s THE face of that franchise, a very demonic face. She might not be well known but she is a great, fun villain. And do we need to talk about the iconic dance sequence?
Pennywise – IT (1990, 2017): You need a clown figure on lists like these. Considering how popular Pennywise is, and Boogeymen was created well before its resurgence, I guess the 1990 mini series Pennywise hadn’t left a bigger mark to be considered. Nowadays? Yes, Pennywise has become very popular and I see that in my horror collection. I guess I have a thing for a clown.
Sam – Trick r Treat (2007): Tiny, terrorizing and cute, Sam is the embodiment of what Halloween is. And if you do not follow the rules of Halloween or enjoy it, he’ll come after you.
Death – Final Destination (2000): It’s inescapable, unavoidable, and our own time on this planet is limited. You can go peacefully in your sleep or something bigger will snatch you away. I think that’s why Final Destination works well, you cannot stop your own time. And clearly death is very creative in its kills. Nah, no sleep in bed, we’ll just undo this, this and this to set you on fire!
Deadites – The Evil Dead (1981): Focusing on the first film, the world of Evil Dead is significantly smaller. Ash, the lone survivor, has seen his friends become possessed by demonic entities, swirling around in the wooded areas of the cabin, one by one. They are the sole reason why Ash emerges as THE Ash Williams and they are strong, love to play mind games and very, very dangerous.
Harry Warden – My Bloody Valentine (1981): Another film that has a great, iconic and visually different villain. You have all the perfect ingredients: small mining town, great gory kills, personal conflicts between characters and voila, My Bloody Valentine is born!
The Tethered – Us (2019): There’s nothing more terrifying that seeing yourself look right at you and then try to kill (succeeding to) you and replace you. Us does that idea right, that we all have a tethered version of ourselves in hiding, wanting to take over. It reminds me of the idea of a doppelganger which is like… if you see yourself, you are no more.
Puppets – Puppet Master (1989): Only Blade was featured as the main for Boogeymen which… fair, he has become the identifiable face but I think the puppets overall have an impact. Tunneler, Leech Woman, Pinhead, Jester… it’s not just Blade!
Patrick Bateman – American Psycho (2000): In his head or not, Patrick Bateman is a fascinating character overall. We’re not supposed to like him, he’s sick, but how Christian Bale brought him to life is a reason why American Psycho has a huge cult following.
The Firefly Family – House of 1000 Corpses (2003): Manic to maniac is how I would describe this movie. And even the sequels. I wouldn’t want to encounter this kind of family. They seem too real, too unpredictable and the epitome of ride or die. Baby Firefly scares me the most, followed by Otis as the most dangerous.
Stuntman Mike – Death Proof (2007): An unconventional and risky choice but I think between both Grindhouse films, Death Proof is more fitting. Kurt Russell plays Stuntman Mike, who, with his souped up car, takes his passengers for a ride… or you know, positions his car to crash into yours, killing all your friends.
Jennifer Check – Jennifer’s Body (2009): She’s beautiful, popular and she’s hungry for boys. Jennifer, to me, has become just as iconic as a character in recent years. I think Jennifer’s Body was too ahead of its time, a film like that would have been a lot bigger if it were released in today’s world.
Angela Baker – Sleepaway Camp (1983): Quiet, shy, but calculating. Angela’s trauma boils over and into a summer camp where surviving campers realize the truth about Angela. The sequels are quite interesting. Gone are the shy ways of Angela, she becomes confident, arrogant, loud and quite stuffy.
Ginger Fitzgerald – Ginger Snaps (2000): Young, bright eyed, loves horror and gore and becomes a werewolf creature that also sparks the time in a young woman’s life: their first menstrual cycle. She LOVES the boys.
The Masked Intruders – The Strangers (2008): Another example of horror based in reality with our 3 masked strangers. Invasion, robbery, anything of the sort in horror is when shit begins to feel real. Too real. And it isn’t fun to watch or enjoy. My personal favorite is Dollface.
Asami – Audition (1999): I mean, she scares me the most because it’s real, based in grounded reality. There are people who become obsessed, possessive, torturous and yet she’s beautiful, striking, appearing to be sweet and she is an example of how serial killers function. Audition deserves more praise!
So why did I choose these? They touch different subgenres around the genre and they aren’t a top tier, immediate choice. These are not the popular faces of the horror genre, maybe Pennywise and even Deadites from The Evil Dead franchise but everyone else, I can guarantee the majority of people wouldn’t know.
I also chose a mix of male and female antagonists (however they identify themselves), creature features, demons, or serial killers that we can encounter at any time. I think that’s the hangup with the original Boogeymen, most of them are very supernatural and there isn’t many to balance the heavyweights.
If I could remove any character chosen in the original lineup, I would take away Simon from The Ugly, Camille from The Guardian even though I think she’s cool, The Dentist, Leprechaun, Blade and possibly Norman Bates?
What would you do? Who would you add? Take away? Leave a comment below! Oh and check out my previous post about Boogeymen here as well!