Many of the greatest horror movie franchises may never have lasted if the villains and monsters they feature were easy to kill. In fact, the scariest and most enduring among them are usually so fascinating because they are downright unkillable at times. Of course, this is part of their appeal.
The fact that these ghastly entities and unstoppable slashers have the ability to come back after suffering a number of gruesome deaths is part of what makes them so terrifying. It’s also usually the secret behind their longevity, and why audiences love seeing them over and over again in different renditions. However, as seen in the recent Halloween Ends, fans simply prefer their monsters to be notoriously unkillable.
Updated on August 2, 2023 by Gargi Chatterjee: This article has been updated with additional content to keep the discussion fresh and relevant with even more information and new entries.
Child’s Play (1988)
The Child’s Play franchise features a demonic doll called Chucky who is possessed by the soul of a serial killer. He has become the main villain in one of the most famous horror-comedy franchises to date. The audience has watched heroes destroy the Chucky doll in quite a few different ways over the years, yet the villain returns in the next film.
It’s not that the Chucky doll cannot be destroyed, though the serial killer did use powerful dark magic to transfer his soul which gives him a bit of an edge. However, he also has earned a few fans who are also willing to resurrect him time and again. Destroying the doll may get rid of the demonic Chucky for some time but he always finds a way to come back and wreak havoc on new people.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
One of the most terrifying horror franchises started in 1974 with the release of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which introduced fans to one of the most terrifying horror movie villains of all time. Known as Leatherface because of the human masks he creates and wears, his tragic backstory has been explored in a few different ways over the years.
Leatherface is part of a cannibalistic family, and he has seemingly died quite a few times on camera. He has come back time and again in each new Texas Chainsaw sequel to terrorize new groups of people. He’s even seemingly come back from the dead after his victims thought they had taken him down for good, allowing him to get the final deadly word in every time.
The Conjuring Franchise
While Chucky may be the most well-known killer doll in the horror genre, he certainly isn’t alone. Annabelle is an infamous part of the Conjuring universe who also starred in her own terrifying franchise. The creepy porcelain doll is a residence of Ed and Lorrain Warren’s dark collection of corrupted items.
She remains contained at the Warrens but is still actively possessed and plotting evil. She’s been destroyed by a few different people, but the possessive demon always finds a way to come back. The original Annabelle doll is actually a “Raggedy Ann” doll, but its movie counterpart is much more terrifying both in looks and in action.
These creepy extraterrestrial creatures seem more like horrific monsters. They bleed acid, never seem to stop reproducing, and always come back from apparent extermination. Sigourney Weaver has had some famous tussles with these monstrous beings, who have even outlived her character as the main star of the Alien franchise.
Due to the rapid reproduction through their immense Queens and their own parasitic nature, Xenomorphs are notoriously difficult to exterminate completely. If that’s not enough, they’re extremely fast, agile, strong, and relentless in their pursuit of prey. Even when the xenomorphs are wiped out, all it takes is one surviving egg or face-hugger to start the process all over again.
7 Mister Babadook
The Babadook (2014)
The Babadook is often cited as one of the best psychological horror movies of the last decade. This is due both to the terrific acting in the film and the bone-chilling monster known as Mister Babadook. The Babadook is scary because it is impossible to get rid of once it shows up on his selected victim’s doorstep.
Babadook is not a monster or a demon with a physical manifestation but a thought form that can become a reality through belief and fear. It is not possible to get rid of the Babadook completely as he attaches himself to his victims, making it one of the scariest horror movie monsters that cannot be destroyed.
6 The Overlook Hotel
The Shining (1980)
The Shining was one of the most famous TV and film adaptations of a Stephen King book. It has scared the daylights out of more than one generation of horror lovers. Remarkably, the villain it features isn’t a monster or a demon, but an entire hotel called The Overlook.
What makes this horror villain so unkillable is that it controls a host of other ghostly entities. They all haunt the hotel itself and can slowly drive a person to madness and homicidal tendencies. The Overlook’s ghosts can follow you once you’ve been haunted by them, and even the near destruction of the Overlook can’t erase the energies kept at the hotel, as seen in 2019’s Doctor Sleep.
5 Michael Myers
He may seem like an ordinary man, but Halloween‘s Michael Myers is one horror villain that seemed to be the most ridiculously unkillable, at least until 2022’s Halloween Ends. This is one of the main reasons why the famous Halloween franchise has 13 movies to date.
Myers often endures a myriad of injuries that would easily kill a normal person, but they never seemed to stop him. His apparently superhuman strength and endurance are sometimes given a supernatural edge, so it’s possible that he truly is unkillable. Some sequels in the franchise toyed with this idea, though it was largely disregarded by other entries in the franchise. Regardless of his potential supernatural edge, Michael Myers makes for one powerful adversary that, for as long as he’s still breathing, will never stop killing no matter what’s thrown at him.
4 Jason Voorhees
Friday the 13th (1980)
The famous mask of Jason Voorhees is so popular that it has become an iconic representation of horror villains in general. Similar to Michael Myers, Friday the 13th‘s slasher is seemingly human but keeps coming back to slash his way through countless victims over and over.
Since he technically drowned as a child, Jason’s origins have always been vaguely undead. This became an actuality after Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives when franchise star Tommy Jarvis inadvertently brought the masked killer back to life in a lightning-fueled resurrection. Jason also later showed that he can possess others and was once even blown up, yet his heart continued to beat – if that’s not unkillable, then what is?
3 Pennywise the Dancing Clown
Clowns are already inherently scary at times, which has led to an extreme or irrational fear for some known as coulrophobia. However, for an entire generation of people who read Stephen King’s classic book It, the main villain known as Pennywise the Clown is the main reason why this phobia exists.
Pennywise is formidable because he’s an other-worldly being, can shape-shift into any form, and project terrifying illusions and visions onto his victims. The fact that he eats children and returns every 27 years only adds to his mystique. His true form is unknown and this makes him virtually unkillable since his victims are either driven catatonic or killed by even glimpsing it. The character has proven so enduring and morbidly fascinating that after a hugely successful reboot of its films, there’s now also a prequel TV series in the works to explore Pennywise’s backstory.
The Exorcist (1973)
The Exorcist is probably one of the most famous horror movies of all time. 1973’s original Exorcist film kicked off a long-running franchise that followed a few different characters. However, almost every film featured one of the most callous and terrifying demons of all time, Pazuzu.
The demon was so powerful that not only did it completely take over the mind and body of 12-year-old Regan, but it also nearly killed anyone who tried to exorcise Pazuzu from her body. No matter how many times Pazuzu has been expelled from the bodies of its victims, the demon always manages to come back as an unkillable entity.
The Final Destination franchise
The Final Destination films seemingly have an unlimited berth, since the villain from this horror franchise isn’t a ghost, demon, or monster, but death itself. When trying to fight an enemy that can’t be seen or touched, options for escape are pretty much non-existent. Due to its unkillable nature, the characters from the Final Destination films usually only have one option to escape it.
By breaking the chain of death and interfering with fate, some have managed to defeat the film’s “monster.” Of course, Death will always return or manipulate events to its own ends. No matter how much they may try to resist it or how long they succeeded in prolonging their fates, Death claims us all in the end.