What elements make a good horror movie? Some would say you need a good villain, a motive, and an iconic weapon. Knives are top-rated in slasher movies like Psycho and Halloween, but other horror movies set themselves apart with razors, hook hands, drills, and more. If you're interested in learning more about the tools of the trade, we compiled a list of the most iconic weapons in horror movies.
1. Freddy Krueger's Claw Glove
Without his razor-claw glove, Freddy Krueger would just be some scary horror movie guy with a burned face. Freddy Krueger's glove is based on the Neko Te (cat hands) and the Tekagi-shuko, clawed ninja weapons worn on the hands. While his claw glove doesn't look the most practical, we must remember that Freddy is a dream demon who delights in fear to keep his legacy alive.
2. Michael Myers' Kitchen Knife
When you see the glint of Michael Myers' knife, you know that he's on the prowl. While knives are Michael's weapon of choice, he doesn't always bring his own blade. He has been seen taking knives to use, resulting in him using a different one in nearly every movie. However, even though his knives are all different, he has used a knife as a weapon in every Halloween movie in which he appears.
3. Leatherface's Chainsaw
[Source: Vortex Inc./IMDb]
Much like Michael Myers and his knife, Leatherface is always wielding a chainsaw. Inexplicably the chainsaws look different from film to film, but we can only guess that Leatherface puts his chainsaws through some degree of punishment with frequent use. As they say in the Sawyer household, "The saw is family".
4. Jason's Machete
[Source: Jason Inc./IMDb]
As horror fans very well know, Jason doesn't appear with his machete in the first Friday the 13th movie because the killer is actually his mother, Pamela Voorhees. Otherwise, he's almost always armed with his favorite machete. Honestly, Jason's weapon of choice is quite practical, considering his penchant for woodsy campgrounds.
5. Ghostface's Knife
[Source: Woods Entertainment/IMDb]
Unlike a lot of horror movie villains, Ghostface is not simply one person. Or two people. Rather, several people take up the garb of the peanut-eyed ghost. However, what is always consistent is the weapon—a hunting knife. In most of the movies the knife is specifically a Buck 120 bowie knife, but a Buck 119 is also seen in the Scream TV series.
6. Pennywise's Red Balloon
Stephen King's Pennywise operates on fear, but especially the fear in children. In order to get close to his victims before the big scare, Pennywise appears as a clown and is usually seen with a red balloon. However, Pennywise strikes when he reveals his true nature—using brute force and the Deadlights to claim his victims.
7. Saw Traps
[Source: Twisted Pictures/IMDb]
There are over 60 traps in the Saw franchise, but the reverse bear trap seen here is one of the most iconic. It's also used multiple times throughout the Saw movies, with some characters freeing themselves while others suffer a grisly fate. We can only assume there will be even more unsavory traps made as the Saw franchise continues.
8. Candyman's Hook
In a twist on the original Bloody Mary urban legend, the Candyman appears when you say his name in a mirror five times. In this iconic performance by Tony Todd, the Candyman wears a thick black coat with brown fur trim, and he has a metal hook worn on his right hand. This is one good slasher movie that you won't want to skip!
9. Chucky's Knife
[Source: United Artists/IMDb]
Another famous slasher movie villain, Chucky has been known to use several weapons. However, he generally prefers knives. (His size as a doll does complicate things!) One Chucky knife in particular, called the "voodoo knife", has a red blade with voodoo symbols on the handle.
10. The Tethereds' Scissors
Jordan Peele has been killing it with his horror movies, and Us is no exception! Murderous doppelgängers known as "the Tethered" have come to kill their real-world counterparts and take their place. Their stand-out design includes red jumpsuits and pairs of gold scissors. The scissors themselves are just as brutal as they are symbolic, as the doubles attempt to sever the ties of their mortal selves.
11. The Shining Axe
We haven't been this scared of Jack Nickolson before or after his role as Jack Torrance in The Shining! As Jack spirals into delusion, he obtains an axe and tries to kill his family. Of course, the most iconic scene occurs when Jack hacks through the bathroom door with his wife screaming inside. "Here's Johnny!"
12. Predator's Yautja Technology
The Yautja are such effective predators because of their superior technology, including their cloaking abilities. It's a shame because it means we don't see much of their weapons. (We mostly see the little red laser dots before we expire.) Because they go on hunting trips, Predators are armed to the teeth with a variety of weapons.
13. Hellraiser Lament Configuration
[Source: Film Futures/IMDb]
This is one puzzle that you don't want to solve! (Seriously, a warning label would have been nice.) Anyone who opens the lament configuration puzzle box also unwittingly summons the Cenobites. These extra-dimensional, beings will then subject the opener to extreme sadomasochism, effectively torturing them to death.
14. Samara's Video Tape
While the technology for playing tapes is somewhat outdated now (and keeping most of us safe), watching Samara's tape was a death sentence in The Ring. The tale of her tape spread through urban legends and it was surprisingly, horrifyingly real. Anyone who watched the tape would get a mysterious phone call that would then utter "7 days" in a chilling voice. The person would then die at the hands of Samara a week after watching the tape.
15. Sweeney Todd's Razor
One of the more unique weapons on this list, Sweeney Todd used his barber's razors with striking brutality. (Sweeney Todd also refers to them as his friends, which is rather chilling.) He worked out an entire system with Mrs. Lovett that involved killing victims in his barber's chair and then dropping them through a trapdoor into her bakehouse to be turned into meat pies.
16. Annie's Sledgehammer
While Annie can be seen holding a gun and a knife in some scenes, the sledgehammer she wields is absolutely terrifying. (If you have watched the hobbling scene, you know.) Annie Wilkes takes the role of Paul Sheldon's number-one fan too far. If she can't have him, no one will.
17. Carrie's Telekinesis
[Source: Red Bank Films/IMDb]
Carrie barely has time to realize that she has powers before they are unleashed with the full force of her fury. When a very nasty prank goes too far at the prom, Carrie explodes, telekinetically closing all exits and setting the gymnasium on fire. Only one of her classmates survives the deadly prom disaster.
18. The Tall Man's Orb
[Source: New Breed Productions/IMDb]
Phantasm introduced us to a new, terrifying weapon called the sentinel orb, a sphere with pronged weapons that flies autonomously. The tall man's orb is silver, but we see in later movies that they can also be other colors, such as gold and black. As a staple of the Phantasm franchise, they are both iconic and dangerous!
19. The Wolf Man's Claws
[Source: Universal Pictures/IMDb]
The Universal monsters are all iconic, and we had to give a shout-out to The Wolf Man! After a starring role featuring Lon Chaney Jr., there have been so many TV shows and movies featuring werewolves. Werewolves themselves can be considered dangerous weapons, supernaturally strong and equipped with sharp teeth and claws.
20. Children of the Corn Sickle
Many farm implements are used in Children of the Corn, but the sickle is the most iconic. (It's featured on the movie poster, after all!) In the first movie, most of the adults in town are actually killed off with poison, while only one is shown getting sliced by a sickle. It's not until later films that we see curved implements like sickles and scythes used with more regularity.
21. Cropsy's Garden Shears
[Source: Cropsy Venture/Miramax Films/IMDb]
After a horrific prank gone wrong involving mischievous campers, Cropsy has violence on his mind. He arms himself with a pair of pruning shears and heads to Stonewater camp to terrorize campers. (Ironically, he does not return to Camp Blackfoot, where he was disfigured by fire, or attempt to hunt down the original pranksters.)
22. Killer Klowns' Cotton Candy Laser Guns
[Source: Chiodo Bros./IMDb]
The Killer Kowns from Outer Space is an excellent cult-classic film with some of the most inventive horror movie weapons. One of the most frequently used is the cotton candy laser gun, which the Killer Klowns use to turn the population of Crescent Cove into cotton candy cocoons.
23. Axel's Pickaxe
We must commend My Bloody Valentine for picking a theme for its main villain and sticking with it. The masked villain is named Axel, and he wields a pickaxe while dressed as a miner, complete with a mining helmet and mask. Not to be confused with the rock band also named My Bloody Valentine, this is a great cult classic slasher film for horror fans.
24. Toulon's Puppets
[Source: Full Moon Features/IMDb]
Scary dolls are often used in horror movies as jump scares and occasionally as villains. However, Puppet Master sets itself apart with a band of hand-crafted, highly weaponized puppets made by André Toulon. Using Sutekh's spell, Toulon imbues his puppets with the souls of people and keeps them alive with a living serum. He has several deadly puppets, but some of his most iconic include Blade, Pinhead, Jester, and Tunneler.
25. Russ's Power Drill
[Source: Santa Fe Productions/IMDb]
While The Slumber Party Massacre was originally going to be made as a slasher movie parody, they decided to go with the more direct horror movie route. However, this cult classic film has a little more humor than other similar genre films. Villain Russ is committed to using the power drill as an unlikely weapon, which certainly sets it apart!
There are so many iconic horror movie weapons that it's hard to list them all! What are some of your favorite horror movies? Is there another horror movie round-up you'd like to read? Feel free to share your thoughts below in the comments. Don't forget to check out our prop weapons to complete your horror movie costume!