Why Jason Voorhees is a Better Horror Movie Villain than Michael Myers
A case for Jason Voorhees over Michael Myers as the superior horror icon.
2020 has been one hell of a year. Waaaaaaay back in January of this year, I had the Halloween season mentally circled. I’m a horror movie nut as it is, but this season has a bonus treat, the second Friday the 13th of the year in November! For those who have followed along at home, we covered our favorite Jason kills and Leprechaun moments back in March when the first Friday the 13th hit. With two horror icons sharing the spotlight this season, I wanted to make my case for who the true horror-heavyweight is, and why Jason Voorhees is better than Michael Myers.
This is the arena where the two titans come closest. Both are massive, hulking beasts. According to dimensions.com, Jason Voorhees checks in at 6’5″, and Michael Myers 6’7″. I do have some beef with this tale-of-the-tape, though. Tyler Mane played Myers in the Rob Zombie reboot/sequel, and he’s 6’7″, whereas the OG Myers was Nick Castle, who was nine inches shorter at 5’10”.
To me, the true Jason Voorhees will always be Kane Hodder, who measures to 6’3″. Long story short, they are very similar as far as size and power go. I’m wondering whether Michael Myers is a founder of Crossfit because the way he lowers himself from the pipe in H20 (1999) is impressive body control and core strength.
Myers likes a butcher’s knife, Voorhees a machete. Similar instruments of destruction to be honest. The knife is a little smaller and would work better than a machete if used as a projectile, but that’s not Myers’s style. The machete is slightly longer and probably better for hacking, but I’d call their respective weapon of choice a wash.
To make it in the horror game, you’ve got to be able to adapt to your surroundings. This is where Mr. Voorhees starts to pull ahead. Spending the bulk of your time at a poorly run summer camp full of semi-safe activities has its benefits. Jason is far superior to Michael when it comes to using his environment. That’s not to say Mikey can’t adapt to his surroundings, as he’s had some pretty epic kills, but far too often he’s vanilla.
Time to get down to brass tacks. To be the best you’ve got to be able to deliver the goods. When compiling the kill counts, I elected to ignore kills accumulated in reboots, which encompasses the Rob Zombie movies on the Myers side and the 2009 reboot on the Voorhees side. Those movies, in my mind, exist in the multiverse of each killer, but it would be double-counting to include both.
Using those guidelines, I suppose I could have included the 2009 reboot, but I feel pretty set in my arbitrary cutoff that reboots not count. I also want to point out that this is specific to each character, so kills in Friday the 13th (1980), Friday the 13th Part 5 (1985), and Halloween 3 (1982) are also being omitted. Freddy Vs Jason (2003) is included.
Jason gets more kills per movie by a sizeable margin, and he gets one kill every six minutes versus the eight minutes it takes Michael. I’m a huge advanced statistics guy, so I like it when the ‘slashermetrics’ match the eye test.
Weird, Supernatural Family Twist
The mid-’90s were a different time. Both the Halloween and Friday the 13th franchises were looking to spruce up their backstories and help fans come to terms with how these monsters continue to return from the dead. Insert over-the-top supernatural familial storylines!
To Halloween’s credit, they began to plant the seeds in 1989’s Revenge of Michael Myers. The payoff didn’t come until 1995’s Curse of Michael Myers, where we learn that Myers is afflicted with the Curse of Thorn, the source of his evil. He has supernatural powers bestowed to him on Halloween (the night of Sam Hain as it were), where he has to kill his entire family to serve as a sacrifice to a non-descript demon that will otherwise bring sickness and death to the tribe/cult. Since I’ve still got you with me, let’s talk about the crazy one, from 1993’s Jason Goes to Hell.
In this flick, we learn that Jason Voorhees isn’t a man so much as he’s an entity. It turns out when he dies, he can temporarily transfer his soul to a human host. He can’t stay in the host for long, and he needs to find a Voorhees body so his spirit can return to super saiyan form. To coincide with this reveal is the caveat that only a Voorhees can “permanently” slay him. Also, there is a magic Voorhees knife that the bounty hunter has. The how’s and the why’s aren’t explained, but hidden in the Voorhees manor (a place never once visited or mentioned in the first eight films) is the Necronomicon of the Evil Dead franchise.
Shockingly, neither franchise bothers to acknowledge these plot points in future installments. Obviously, I’m partial to the Jason Goes to Hell silliness, mostly because this storyline connects the Friday the 13th universe with the Evil Dead universe, and the final scene of the movie gives us one of the biggest and most surprising movie crossover events of all time. Suck it, Marvel.
The way I see it, there is no avenue where Michael Myers is superior to Jason Voorhees. Sure, there are some instances where the two are similar, but Jason separates himself in the others and for me, it’s a no-brainer. Still undecided à la Ken Bone? Michael Myers has no beef killing dogs or kids. Both baddies despise premarital coitus, drinking, and drugs, but ol’ Mikey Myers goes too far. Yes, Jason MAY have killed a dog in Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), but that becomes a discussion about what was and wasn’t a dream sequence at the end. Either way, Myers has killed 5-6 dogs, and he ate at least one.
Who’s your pick for the king of the horror mountain, Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, or other? Normally I’m pretty tame online, but if you wanna come discuss your pick vs Jason Voorhees bring it. I’ll sleeping bag smash you into a tree like we’re on the outskirts of Camp Crystal Lake.