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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Michael Myers vs. Jason Voorhees: Who Is More Evil?

This week's Your Nerd Side Show:

Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees are both vicious killers, but only one of these slasher movie villains is truly an irredeemable embodiment of evil.

Two of the biggest franchises in the slasher horror movie genre are Friday the 13th and Halloween. Featuring cruel killers Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers, these movies are full of gore, death, dismemberment and inhumane evil. Given how iconic they both are, however, it begs the question of which killer slays to the greatest degree.

Both Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees are unrelentingly evil, with their sadistic need to kill keeping them from dying themselves. There are different reasons for these characterizations, especially as the respective movie franchises have been rebooted over the years. Nevertheless, only one of these horror movie villains is truly the most evil, regardless of said motivation.

What Makes Michael Myers Evil in the Halloween Franchise

In John Carpenter's original Halloween, Michael Myers kills his sister Judith Myers on Halloween night in 1963. This began his brutal legend, though it was far from the only murder that "The Shape" committed. The explanation for why he killed Judith isn't clearly spelled out in the movie, though it arguably stems from simple jealousy. Judith was supposed to be watching her younger brother, but instead abandoned him to spend a night with her boyfriend. Thus, Michael's actions could be seen as his being envious of her attention, as well as a sort of morality tale concerning teenage sexuality, as was the norm in slasher movies of the era.

Michael Myers' motivations were somewhat muddled in the series' first sequel, which revealed that final girl Laurie Strode was actually Michael's long-lost sister. Conversely, Samuel Loomis suggested that the pagan rituals behind the history of Halloween itself were an explanation for The Shape's evil acts. This concept was expanded upon in the "Thorn Trilogy," namely Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. These movies explained that Michael was essentially controlled by the Cult of Thorn, being cursed to kill his family members on the night of Samhain (Halloween).

Of course, this doesn't really explain all the other lives that Michael Myers so viciously takes. The Halloween H20 continuity erased the Cult of Thorn, with the Halloween 2018 trilogy not canon with any other movie besides the original. Thus, it can be surmised that Michael's true motivation is merely his innate evil and hatred against everything. This allowed him to come back from seeming death and constantly terrorize Haddonfield and Laurie Strode in particular. The "hate fuel" theory is backed up by the fact that he had no familial connection to her in the most recent continuity, yet was still sworn to vengeance. This pure, unfiltered embodiment of evil is also the best explanation as to why he almost never speaks, despite Loomis claiming that he does talk.

What Makes Jason Voorhees Evil in the Friday the 13th Franchise

As shown in the original Friday the 13th, Jason Voorhees had a fairly tragic origin story that ironically somewhat mirrored Michael Myers' backstory. Jason was the son of Pamela Voorhees, and he was born with physical deformities and seeming mental illness that were exacerbated by how his mother raised him. Jason died when his caretakers at Camp Crystal Lake stopped supervising him to engage in a romantic rendezvous, leaving the young boy to drown. Jason actually survives, and as an adult witnesses the death of his beloved mother. This sends him on a killing spree for revenge, wherein he slaughters several teenage victims.

Much more so than Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees is the physical embodiment of old-fashioned morality. Many of his victims are young adults engaging in all manner of questionable "vices," namely the one that caused Jason's seeming death in the first place. That's the reason it's usually the more "virtuous" leading lady who survives to become the "final girl." Beyond this hatred, Jason was made immortal through the events of later movies, including his being accidentally electrocuted back to life. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Fridayalso used a demonic "Hellbaby" to keep bringing him back, with this creature inhabiting the bodies of others after the obliteration of Jason's own body. This concept definitely made Jason more evil than ever, though he still had some notable slasher competition.

Halloween's Michael Myers Is by Far the Most Evil

Despite how evil Jason Voorhees can be, he's still no match for the unmitigated depths of depravity seen in Michael Myers' black heart. For one, Jason actually does have a fairly tragic origin story, and he can thus be seen as a sort of force of vengeful nature. With Michael, however, his killing spree happened simply because he was so vile, especially if concepts such as the Curse of Thorn are ignored. Again, Michael Myers' notable muteness is due to his being so preoccupied with evil and death, whereas Jason's lack of vocals stems mainly from his birth defects.

Both Michael and Jason refrain from killing children in their respective movies, which somewhat makes sense. They were both children neglected by teens and adults when their "true stories" began, and Jason in particular was an innocent himself. Still, only Voorhees gives the same pass to animals, whereas Michael Myers casually kills them, too. This is easily the ultimate taboo beyond slaying children, and given that Michael brutally murdered an elderly couple in Halloween Kills, it seems that he's otherwise fine with killing just about anybody.

There's also the fact that Jason is ultimately governed by the love for his mother, with the mere image of her able to stop the hulking murderer in his tracks. With Michael Myers, family means nothing to him, as he succeeds in killing one sister and constantly tries to do the same to another, plus his niece in the now non-canon Thorn Trilogy. Speaking of which, the "Producer's Cut" of The Curse of Michael Myers revealed that Michael actually impregnated his niece Jamie Lloyd. This was forcibly done by the Cult of Thorn, but it showcases just how vile the Haddonfield killer ultimately is. This is a line that even Jason wouldn't cross, and this is just one of a few ways in which Michael Myers is easily the most evil of the two iconic horror characters.

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