The Dumbest Horror Villain Origin Stories

Over 500 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Dumbest Horror Villain Origin Stories
Voting Rules
Vote up the horror villains with truly dumb origins.

It’s hard work to make a good horror movie villain. They need to have a good look and a freaky attitude, and it helps if they’ve got a good backstory. Some villains were put through the wringer as children and others were driven mad, but some horror villain origin stories are just kind of dumb. Whether they were brought to life by a cult or they were brought to life with vague magic, these are the villains who’d be better off without telling everyone their backstory. 

All of these characters with dumb backstories come from great movies. It’s just that their origins leave something to be desired in the way of making sense. Just because these characters have goofy backstories doesn’t mean you can’t love them (we certainly do), but maybe it’s best to forget where they come from and pay attention to the mayhem they carry out in the present. 

Photo: Halloween/Universal Pictures

  • 1
    330 VOTES

    As scary as Michael Myers is, he has a pretty dumb origin story. Initially, he's just an escaped mental patient who has an instinctual need to wreak havoc on the people of Haddonfield, Illinois. However, as the sequels went on, his backstory grew. 

    In Halloween II, he becomes Laurie Strode's long lost brother. In Halloween IV, he forms a psychic link with his niece; however, it's the next two films where things get really dumb. In Halloween V, it's hinted that there is a group helping Michael commit his horrible deeds.

    In the next film, it's revealed that the Cult of Thorn placed a curse on Myers as a child, forcing him to slay every member of his family as a sacrifice to keep the cult alive. Wasn't it scarier when he was just a psychopath carrying out horrible acts?

    330 votes
  • 2
    197 VOTES
    The Tall Man
    Photo: Phantasm / AVCO Embassy Pictures

    The Tall Man is the extremely creepy antagonist of Phantasm, and over the course of the film series, it's revealed that he was a mortician in the 19th century who uncovered a portal to another dimension

    The Phantasm series doesn't thoroughly explain the Tall Man's origin, but what the filmmakers do show the audience is pretty dumb. 

    After constructing a machine that allows him to travel through space, he ends up being cloned, or turned into an alien, or maybe even possessed by a demon. It's really whatever works best for you. In the first film, none of this is explained, which is honestly for the best. 

    • Played By: Angus Scrimm
    197 votes
  • 3
    349 VOTES
    Jason Voorhees
    Photo: Friday the 13th 3D / Paramount Pictures

    Talk about characters with a ridiculous backstory. Jason Voorhees is initially an undead - or sort of undead - moma's boy who seeks revenge on the counselors of Camp Crystal Lake because older campers were having intimate relations while he drowned. 

    As the series goes on, his mythology expands until it's revealed that he's actually a demon worm-thing who passes between hosts until he can be reborn from someone in his bloodline. It's definitely a gross origin, but it's not very smart. 

    • Appears In: Friday the 13th
    349 votes
  • 4
    274 VOTES
    Photo: Child's Play / MGM/UA Communications Co.

    Chucky the evil doll didn’t just wake up in his box and start terrorizing families; he came into this world the old-fashioned way - voodoo. Before he was an evil doll, Chucky was just an evil person named Charles Lee Ray. 

    In order to escape the Chicago police, he used a voodoo ritual to transfer his soul into the body of a Good Guy Doll. In the 2019 remake of Child's Play, the Chucky doll is designed to be a long-lasting companion that learns from its surroundings to become a better friend.

    Everything is going fine with the Her-esque artificial intelligence until a disgruntled employee of the doll’s parent company turns off one of the doll's safety protocols, essentially switching it from good to evil. It turns out that it's just that easy to make a monster. 

    274 votes
  • 5
    221 VOTES
    Photo: Scream / Dimension Films

    Over the course of four Scream films, there's been something like eight different Ghostfaces and they all have a variety of dumb reasons for torturing Sidney Prescott no matter where she goes.

    Initially, Billy Loomis and Stu Macher carry out their vicious plan because Billy feels abandoned by his mother and betrayed by his father for sleeping with Sidney's mom. Stu is peer-pressured. Both of these reasons are super lame. They're the kinds of excuses that teenagers use to skip school, not carve up their classmates. 

    Other reasons that people have taken on the moniker of Ghostface have been fame and revenge, but neither of those reasons are as dumb as Billy and Stu's. 

    221 votes
  • 6
    210 VOTES
    Photo: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre / Bryanston Distributing Company

    Initially, Leatherface is just a backwoods simpleton with a thing for wearing the skin of his targets after mutilating them with a chainsaw. It isn't until 2003's Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning that he is given a properly ridiculous backstory. 

    In the film, Leatherface is left in a dumpster outside a slaughterhouse, where he’s taken in by the matriarch of the Hewitt family, who also happens to run a butcher shop. The young Leatherface becomes enamored with meat, slaying, and his chainsaw.

    In yet another version of the character’s backstory, he gets his start as Jedidiah Sawyer, a normal guy who’s driven insane by a life of tragedy. In this version, he gets shot in the face and has to have it stitched up, which sort of explains why he needs to wear the skin of his targets. The decision seems like it was meant to make the character all the more poignant, but it's just kind of weird.

    • Appears In: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
    210 votes