This post was originally published in 2012 but was updated in 2022 to include more fear-inducing killers and their knives.
The slasher movie is the bread-and-butter of the horror genre: give a guy a mask, a giant, glistening blade, and a few busty cheerleaders to carve up and you’re almost guaranteed to sell a couple million tickets.
At the Cutting Edge, we’re, of course, not encouraging you to use your knives for anything violent, but at the same time, we’d be remiss if we didn’t spend a second during the Halloween season to recognize some of the most brutal slashers in film history.
I originally created this post way back in 2012 with a meager four movie killers. So, I decided to revisit this ancient post to give it new life with 10 horrific movie killers.
Jason Bateman | American Pyscho
Jason Bateman, played by Christian Bale in the 2000 movie American Psycho, is a yuppie, status-obsessed Wall Street banker with a penchant for bloodshed. Whether he’s carving up a defenseless homeless man with a pocket knife or slaughtering a rival with an axe, this guy’s got a bevy of murderous blades in tow at all time.
He’s also a big fan of unleashing deeply profound, sensitive critiques of ’80s pop music before commencing murder.
Knife of Choice: Ax
Even though he’s featured on the cover art with a kitchen knife, I don’t remember him actually using one in the movie. Instead, he uses a bunch of different weapons to murder people, ranging from his teeth to a pocket knife.
However, he seems to have the most “fun” with the ax. The one in the movie is most similar to the Cold Steel Trail Boss.
Jason Voorhees | Friday the 13th
When it comes to knife-wielding villans of the silver screen, few can match the body count of Jason Voorhees from The Friday the 13th Series.
Over twelve movies — one of which occurs 400 years in the future — Jason has slaughtered an incalculable number of victims. Many have come to a grisly end on the blade of Jason’s machete, a blade which has helped the franchise slash its way to movie sales of over $450 million.
Knife of Choice: Machete
Because he’s been in so many movies, Jason has used tons of weapons, including a pick axe. But the most iconic images show him holding a machete.
I couldn’t find the perfect match, but the Ontario Tactical Machete comes closest.
Norman Bates | Pyscho
Based off of the serial killer Ed Gains, who allegedly once constructed a belt made from human nipples, Norman Bates is the terrifying protagonist of the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock movie Psycho.
Bates manages a lonely motel, where he lives with his mother’s corpse and is smitten by a young female guest, who he then kills brutally. After murdering a private detective who investigates her death, he is eventually caught and sentenced to an insane asylum.
Knife of Choice: Chef’s Knife
Since that original film, Bates has been in a few other movies and television shows. But there is only one scene that he will forever be associated with.
Cue the music!
That’s why it’s no surprise his weapon of choice will always be the chef’s knife. The knife is locked away in a vault somewhere, but the Cold Steel Commercial Series 10-inch Chef’s Knife is a good match.
Chucky | Child’s Play
Dolls aren’t scary, unless of course they try to kill you. In the Child’s Play series, which includes six movies since 1998, a serial killer named Chucky uses a voodoo spell to transfer his soul into a toy store doll before dying.
During the next six films, he slashes, strangles and mangles those who get in his way of attempting to becoming human again.
Knife of Choice: Boot Dagger
Chucky’s weapon of choice is definitely the knife, though he does use an axe at some point. But one of his most famous scenes sees him using a boot dagger that he then attaches to his ripped-off hand.
Take a look:
His boot dagger is pretty weak considering it comes apart at the handle easily. While I couldn’t find the exact knife, it’s closest comparison is the Old Timer Boot Knife.
Sweeney Todd | Sweeney Todd
Sweeney Todd is actually a very old character who first appeared in the late 1800s. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has been stage performances and a few movies. Most recently, Johnny Depp portrayed the demon barber in a film directed by Tim Burton.
Knife of Choice: Straight Razor
You can probably guess the weapon of choice for a demon barber: the straight razor.
This is a terrifying knife because you put a lot of trust in your barber to put a sharp knife right at your neck. Needless to say, I would never let a demon barber anywhere near my neck.
Boker Magnum actually makes a straight razor conveniently named the Fleet Street Razor. Just please be safe while you’re shaving!
Jack Torrance | The Shining
Stephen King has a ton of great horror novels and movie adaptations, but it’s safe to say that Stanley Kubrick’s imagining of The Shining is the very best.
This psychological thriller features a ton of build-up and the effects of alcoholism (that’s explored much better in the novel).
Jack Torrance doesn’t go completely mad until the very end and only uses one weapon really. You can probably guess what it is!
Knife of Choice: Ax
That’s what Jack Nicholson yells as he bursts through the door with an old axe he found at the Overlook Hotel.
Jack’s axe has a spike at the end, but I couldn’t find the exact one he uses. Instead, the Cold Steel Hudson Bay Camp Axe is the closest match.
Freddy Krueger | Nightmare on Elm Street
Freddy Krueger is the stuff of nightmares… literally!
The supernatural slasher film The Nightmare on Elm Street remains one of the greatest horror movies of all time. The concept was downright scary at the time.
Knife of Choice: Knife Glove
Thankfully you can’t actually buy anything that resembles this abomination. There are a ton of people who have made their interpretation of the iconic knife glove on YouTube if you’re curious about making your own.
Ghostface | Scream
You don’t see many new slasher films anymore with iconic knife-wielding villains. These days it’s all psychological thrillers like Midsommar.
The last new slasher villain that struck fear into countless people is Ghostface from Scream (unless you count Jigsaw from Saw). The 1996 classic had a great cast and was one of the highest-grossing slasher films until Halloween in 2018.
Ghostface is an almost silly mask if you just look at it, but they managed to make it horrific with some brutal deaths.
Knife of Choice: Buck 120 Hunting Knife
Ghostface’s knife of choice is easily recognizable as the large Buck 120 General Hunting Knife.
Take a look at the knife in action:
Hannibal Lecter | Silence of the Lambs
Hannibal Lecter was a terrifying villain in Silence of the Lambs. Even though he was imprisoned in the movie, he still had a magnetism that outshined the other villain in the movie: Buffalo Bill.
Aside from novels, Lecter is featured in a few movies and a recent TV show. Lecter is not necessarily a slasher like a Jason or Ghostface, but he does get some good slashing in throughout his time murdering and eating people.
Knife of Choice: Spyderco Harpy
You might think a scalpel, ice pick, or kitchen knife would be his weapon of choice, but he actually carries a Spyderco Harpy and uses it to dispatch thieves.
Watch this scene:
The Harpy is more of a mariner’s tool, but its hawkbill blade makes it a formidable self-defense tool that rivals the Matriarch.
Michael Myers | Halloween
Finally, we come to one of the most iconic slashers: Michael Myers.
This may very well be the franchise with the most movies at a whopping 13! There’s even a new trilogy that supposedly ends with Halloween Ends that came out in 2022. Still, the original remains far and above the best of the whole series.
Everything about Michael Myers is terrifying — from his blank, lifeless face to his relentlessness.
Knife of Choice: Chef’s knife
The kitchen knife is his most famous weapon and one that he wields in pretty much every single movie. Interestingly enough, he uses a different chef knife in each film.
A knife he’s used a few times is the Victorinox Chef’s Knife with Rosewood handle. He used a 10-inch and 12-inch version in different movies. He has good taste in kitchen knife because it’s one of the best you can get (and one I personally use every day!).