In most horror movies, there's usually one unstoppable dude who does the scaring. He freaks people out, kills them, eats them, or whatever other horrible thing movie bad guys do, and that's it. That is unless you come from a crazy family. If you're one of the lucky few characters on this list, you don't have to go looking for a partner in terror because you've got one sleeping in the room next to you.
6. The Fireflys - The House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects
For a bunch of people named after Groucho Marx characters, the extended Firefly family of Rob Zombie's The House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects aren't very much fun. Oh sure, they really enjoy what they do, but for anyone unfortunate enough to stumble across their particular corner of the South, they can be a real bummer. You see, despite being so humorously named, they are one of the nastiest, killingest clans in movie history.
Whether it's at their rundown combination ranch house/torture cave in the first movie or on the run in the second, they make ritualistic murder and gory dismemberment a family affair. An homage to the numerous horrible families that have been a staple of horror movies since at least the ‘70s, they represent the very best in familial carnage. All the classic family members are there: the creepy Mom, the even creepier uncle, the sadistic brother, and the sexy, yet crazy sister. They even have their own deformed man-hulk skulking around the woods outside. But despite their individual quirks, the Fireflys know that while victims come and go, family is forever.
5. The Stewart Family - The Others
Source: Dimension Films
At first glance, the Stewart Family in the 2001 spook movie The Others doesn't seem all that weird. Sure, they may be a little pasty and repressed, but aren't all British people? Comprised of mother Grace (played by Nicole Kidman- one of the few women who can make pasty look hot) and kids Anne and Nicholas, they wile away the days hiding out in a huge mansion in the middle of nowhere. Since the kids sufferer from a rare photosensitivity disease, they can't be exposed to any sunlight. Unluckily for them, their condition means they have to have the shades drawn at all times. This makes it extra scary when the family starts to see some creepy apparitions.
Grace's staunch English reserve crumbles as things get scarier and scarier. Things deteriorate until the big reveal..
It seems the Stewart Family's pale skin and dead eyes aren't just because they grew up English; they are the ghosts. Driven to insanity by the crappy English weather and cuisine, Mom actually killed the two kids and herself years ago. Once they realize they aren't alive anymore, the family starts to get along a lot better. Who knew all it took for a family to really gel was for all of them to be the disembodied spirits of people who died horrible, senseless deaths?
4. The Jupiter Clan - The Hills Have Eyes
The mutated desert hillbilly scavengers in Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes, the Jupiter Clan are a family of monstrous murderers and cannibals who (of course) terrify a passing family of holiday makers who happen to break down in the wrong place. Leader Papa Jupiter, evil ex-prostitute Mama, and their three sons Mars, Pluto, and Jupiter eke out a living trapping and eating anyone that happens to pass by. With their barbarian wardrobes and extremely causal approach to hygiene, they mess the family up something awful until they finally get theirs. But in the end, it's hard not to feel a little sorry for Jupiter's flock. Living in a cave in the hot arid desert can drive just about anyone mad. Add to that being raised by a psychotic monster and fed human remains from the time you're a child, and the members of the Jupiter Clan didn't have much chance of growing up to be accountants.
3. The Mantle Brothers - Dead Ringers
Source: 20th Century Fox
The standard killer movie family may be a pack of inbred hicks with a penchant for murder, but not all of them are backwater psychos. Some of them are positively urbane. Take for example the twin gynecologists of David Cronenberg's 1988 freakfest Dead Ringers. Elliot and Beverly Mantle (both played by a simultaneously charming and creepy Jeremy Irons) are a pair of highly respected and totally insane doctors who specialize in "lady parts." As the film progresses, the brothers get weirder and weirder as they explore the darkest corners of being a twin and gynecology. Yes, it is a very disturbing movie.
Once the odder twin (well, the slightly odder twin) decides to invent his own gynecological tools, things go from very weird to totally f-ed up. It's a great scary movie full of the body horror Cronenberg is famous for. It's also a wonderful reminder that as much as they may be alike, twins should always pursue different careers. Or at least not ones that involve genitalia and surgery.
2. The Hillbillies - Deliverance
Source: Warner Bros.
Although a blood relation is only hinted at in the film, the Hillbillies in the 1972 thriller Deliverance are probably the most realistic of all the killer families on the list. And by realistic, we mean they are crudely drawn stereotypes of poor people rather than rampaging maniacs who wear masks made of their victims' skin. Despite their lack of mutations or signature costumes (or maybe because of it) they are just as scary as any other family on this list.
Encountered by a group of "city boys" out for a weekend of adventure in the Georgia wilderness, these mountain folk have strange ideas about hospitality. After agreeing to drive the city slickers' cars downriver, they instead stalk them and in one of the most famous scenes in movie history, teach Ned Beatty how to squeal like a pig and the harsh realities about hillbilly "romance." A few deaths and injuries later, three of the heroes make it out alive and learn a valuable lesson about life in the mountains: if you ain't kin, you ain't welcome.
1. The Sawyers - The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Source: New Line Cinema
The granddaddies, daddies, and brothers of all hideous sociopathic murderous families, The Sawyers (yes, they actually have a name) from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre films wrote the blood-soaked book on being a crazy pack of wild killers who share not only a little DNA, but an insatiable lust for violence and people who get lost on country roads. From their first appearance in the classic 1974 original to the slew of sequels and remakes that followed, the Sawyers have been terrorizing and mutilating their wayward victims in an orgy of chainsaw fuelled destruction.
Whether it's the insane hitchhiking son who slashes strangers for fun, the dad with the award winning chilli recipe, the nearly dead grandpa who still tries to kill even though he can barely hold a hammer, or the favorite son Leatherface, this is one family that's as devoted to unspeakable acts of inhumanity as they are to each other.
It's almost kind of sweet, if it wasn't for all the torture and cannibalism.