© Elle Marr for I Like Scary Movies

Top 10 Horror Movie Crushes

Horror as a film genre is inherently sexy. One of the hallmarks of horror movies, especially of slashers, is a cast stacked with attractive people that are often seen running around doing sexy things (i.e. breaking horror movie survival rule Number One and having sex) before getting hacked up by some masked killer. Not to mention, science says that horror-induced horniness is totally a thing—Margee Kerr, a sociologist, fear researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, and author of Scream: Chilling Adventures In the Science of Fear, calls this unique experience “feeling sexy scared.”

Whether it’s a cocktail of hormonal responses to fear or a preexisting attraction to the actors (which is either enhanced by, or in spite of their characters), we all have our horror crushes that we stan. Our fascination with hotties in horror is confirmed by our collective Google search history, where popular searches include, “hottest male horror movie characters”, “handsome horror villains”, “hottest female horror villains”, “horror movies with hot killers”, and my personal favourite search query that made me LOL, “Who is the hottest psychopath?” as the top question in the “People also ask” tab. The popular answer: Billy Loomis from Scream, ofc. Even Cosmopolitan is out here ranking the hottest men of horror.

While we all have our opinions of who’s hot or not in horror, some crushes seem to be almost universally shared (again, refer to everyone’s fixation with Billy Loomis/Skeet Ulrich who was hilariously dubbed a “KILF” in Cosmopolitan), while some might not be—and that’s cool. We’re not here to yuck someone else’s yum, as they say (especially here in the horror community). With that being said, here is a list of my horror crushes (a.k.a. who I think are the hottest horror movie guys and girls), narrowed down to my Top 10. My ranking is a mix of popular horror movie crushes as well as some deep cuts (read: uncommon by virtue of not being mentioned in other hot horror movie character rankings I’ve read online). Some of them are the titular villains of their respective movies, some are the hapless victims, and a few of them are the final girls or final guys of their feature films. But they are all hot (at least in my humble opinion). 

Read on to see if we’re crushing on the same horror movie hotties. But beware, since some entries include revealing details about their respective characters and/or plot points, a spoiler alert is in effect.

Image via Jumpcut Online

10. Kyle Gallner (Colin Gray, Jennifer’s Body)

Kyle Gallner is one of my all-time celebrity crushes, so it’s no wonder that I had the hots for Colin Gray when I first watched Jennifer’s Body in 2009. The emo aesthetic may no longer do it for me like it did back when I was 19 and saw this movie for the first time, but there is certainly something to be said for how Kyle Gallner’s good looks and charm still manage to cut through this stereotypical emo exterior. I’ve heard of shared crushes on Colin Gray pop up in conversation in the horror community on more than a few occasions, especially on my favourite horror podcasts (Kim from Kim and Ket Stay Alive…Maybe gets it); So it’s clear that Kyle Gallner/Colin Gray deserves a spot on this list. RIP Colin, we’re sorry that you were an undeserving victim of irresistible succubus, Jennifer, and wound up looking like “lasagna with teeth.” But to be fair, no one would blame you for your untimely demise on account of you throwing caution to the wind and meeting Jennifer for a date at an abandoned house. I would risk it too, TBH (see entry #1).

What's your opinion on Kyle Gallner as Colin Gray?

Editor’s Note: Expect Rose McGowan as Tatum Riley in an entry on a Top 10 Female Horror Crushes list in the future.

Image via Netflix

9. Shia LaBeouf (Kale Brecht, Disturbia)

Sure, Disturbia may be considered too ‘soft’ for gore-loving horror fans (it admittedly does skew more thriller than horror) but this is my list, so I make the rules. Disturbia is an underrated scary movie gem full of hotties including Shia LaBeouf, Sarah Roemer, and Aaron Yoo, so it deserves a place on this list, in my books. Shia LaBeouf is hot on his own, but seeing him play the role of a sensitive badass on house arrest who is spying on his neighbour that he suspects is a killer (à la Rear Window) takes my crush to another level (maybe it’s the “murderino” in me). If I had a neighbour who looked like Shia LaBeouf, a late-night stakeout from his bedroom where we spy on a potential killer (as sexual tension simultaneously mounts) sounds like the perfect date night to me. I would happily supply the coffee and donuts.

What's your opinion on Shia LaBeouf as Kale Brecht?

Image via Amazon

8. Anton Yelchin (Charley Brewster, Fright Night, 2011)

Many horror fans may prefer the original Fright Night to this 2011 remake, but I am certainly a fan. I love a good horror-comedy, and this one delivers—I mean, it features McLovin (a.k.a. Christopher Mintz-Plasse) as a vampire—what more could you ask for? It’s hard not to fall in love with Anton Yelchin in any of the roles he’s played, and his role as nerd-turned-“cool”-guy Charley Brewster is all the more likable when delivered through Anton Yelchin’s endearing brand of slightly awkward charm. I’m still in shock when I am reminded of his tragic passing back in 2016 and will always mourn the loss of such a talented and beloved actor. I grew up crushing on him in my high school and college years for his roles in Charlie Barlett and Like Crazy, but as a horror fan, his role in Fright Night is the one I look back on him fondly for.

What's your opinion on Anton Yelchin as Charley Brewster?

7. Imogen Poots (Amy Peterson, Fright Night, 2011)

While Anton Yelchin as Charley Brewster is pretty cute in Fright Night, I have to say I was more taken with his girlfriend, Amy (perhaps this is because of my crush on Imogen Poots?) I understand that Fright Night was ultimately a man versus vampire tale and that Amy’s character existed, like other supporting characters, to simply advance the plot for the protagonist (first by challenging his belief that his neighbour is a vampire and then to be a reason to kill said vampire to ensure her protection) but I wish her character was written more three-dimensionally. However, just like its 1985 predecessor, Amy does get her moment to shine when she is momentarily transformed into a vampire in the final act, where we get to see Imogen Poots morph into one of the sexiest vampires I’ve ever seen, CGI and all.

What's your opinion on Imogen Poots as Amy Peterson?

6. Anna Paquin (Laurie, Trick ‘r Treat)

Anna Paquin stars as Laurie in the cult classic Trick ‘r Treat, a horror anthology that takes place on Halloween night. Her storyline is a satisfying subversion of the virgin trope often played out in horror movies. Laurie is initially framed as a prototypical “virgin”—an insecure, anxious, and vulnerable young woman—before expectations are blown when it is revealed in the twist ending that she is actually the predator and not the prey (spoiler alert: she is a bloodthirsty werewolf). Just when you think she is a woman who fears her sexuality (and men in general), you discover that she is actually in full control of her sexuality and weaponizing it to lure and kill men who would otherwise victimize her. Anna Paquin is stunning in every role she plays, but after being accustomed to always seeing her play the protagonist, I loved seeing her in a different light as a villainess. Who would have thought werewolves could be sexy?

What's your opinion on Anna Paquin as Laurie?

Image via The Mary Sue

5. Samara Weaving (Grace, Ready Or Not)

Watching The Babysitter is when I first fell in love with Samara Weaving and then Ready Or Not just solidified that crush. In both movies, she plays a badass female lead where she proves she’s not just a(n) (insanely) pretty face, but a capable horror movie lead to be reckoned with. Her brilliant performance in Ready Or Not makes her one of my all-time favourite final girls. Yes, she’s stunning, but more than that, she has a magnetic charm that is her own brand of dark humour with just the right amount of raunchiness. She gives me major heart eyes in every role she plays, which is why she is among the Top 5 on my list.

What's your opinion on Samara Weaving as Grace?

Image via Fanpop

4. Jared Padalecki (Clay Miller, Friday the 13th, 2009)

This 2009 remake of Friday the 13th is by no means a fan favourite among the horror community, but that won’t stop me from including this handsome lead character on this list. Jared Padalecki plays Clay Miller, a man searching for his missing sister in the small town of Crystal Lake and looks hot doing it. Aside from the obvious attractiveness of the actor himself, it’s even more of a turn-on to see Jared Padelecki playing a character who is portrayed as sensitive and altruistic which is the anthesis of the bro-y douchebag type that is often a staple of 2000s slashers. I admittedly enjoyed this reboot, which captures the essence of early aughts slashers but with a kind of CW-network veneer that I honestly don’t hate (however, I can see why devoted fans of the franchise would pan it). But regardless of your stance on this remake, it’s hard to deny Jared Padalecki’s appeal in it.

What's your opinion on Jared Padalecki as Clay Miller?

Image via IndieWire

3 Matthew Lillard (Stu Macher, Scream)

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a character from my all-time favourite horror movie, Scream on this list. But hot take: it isn’t Billy Loomis. I won’t deny that Billy/Skeet Ulrich licking red corn syrup off this finger in the final act of Scream is hot, but out of the killer duo, I think Stu Macher is hotter (his spit-punctuated killer monologuing notwithstanding). Is it his sense of humour? His physical comedy? The fact that he somehow remains endearing throughout the movie, even when revealed to be a killer (who could forget his iconic quote, “My mom and dad are gonna be so mad at me”)? Perhaps it is all of these things that make him inexplicably attractive. Not to mention, I love the queer undertones between him and Billy’s character, which kind of adds to Stu’s je ne sais quoi. Prior to his whiny regression when he’s outwitted in the final act, dare I say that because of Matthew Lillard’s performance, Stu radiants undeniable confidence—a BDE, if you will—that insecure, mama’s boy Billy Loomis majorly lacks. Plus, Matthew Lillard is just absolutely hilarious and is the reason why Stu Macher is likable let alone crush-worthy in the first place.

What's your opinion on Matthew Lillard as Stu Macher?

Image via IMDB

2. Hayden Panettiere (Kirby Reed, Scream 4)

I’m sure I speak for all Scream franchise fans when I say that Hayden Panettiere’s Kirby Reed was our dream girl. She was Scream 4’s answer to Randy, but without the lowkey simp vibes. All of us horror fanatics saw ourselves reflected in her genre knowledge and her sarcastic sense of humour (in Scream’s signature meta style we all love). Plus, dare I say that with her edgy, short haircut, this is the hottest that Hayden Panettiere has ever looked. Her character did not deserve her untimely end (being stabbed by textbook incel, Charlie Walker) but I’m hoping she will be back for the 2022 sequel. Fingers crossed!

What's your opinion on Hayden Panettiere as Kirby Reed?

Image via ScreenRant

1. Megan Fox (Jennifer Check, Jennifer’s Body)

I’m totally lesbigay for Jennifer Check (if you don’t get that reference, literally stop reading right now and go watch Jennifer’s Body). After critical backlash due to botched marketing (I will save that rant for another post), I am delighted that this iconic, feminist horror gem is having a long-overdue and well-deserved pop culture renaissance as of 2019—albeit a whole ten years after its initial release in 2009. Jennifer’s Body is an intrinsically sexy movie wherein it focuses on the emotionally complex and often sexually charged relationship that Jennifer shares with her best friend Needy, played by Amanda Seyfried.

On the surface, the plot follows a metaphorical take on the r*pe-revenge trope where Jennifer becomes possessed after a sacrifice gone wrong and begins killing and eating boys at her school while her best friend is trying to save her and simultaneously prevent her from taking any more victims. But the true story behind Jennifer’s Body is the tumultuous friendship-turned-romance between two queer women that is all at once beautiful, toxic, loving, and ultimately tragic. Interestingly, the story of their relationship and the narrative of the movie itself are told from Needy’s perspective, and therefore not through the typical male gaze. This places the hot yet tender kiss between Jennifer and Needy that was exploited in the trailer in a whole new light (misguided male marketing be damned). Newsflash: this kiss—and the whole movie for that matter—was meant to speak to women (especially queer women), not straight men. It’s no wonder that many females in the horror community who identify as lesbian, bisexual, or queer cite Jennifer’s Body and its queer subtext as playing a part of their sexual awakening—and for good reason! Hence, why Jennifer is #1 on this list.

What's your opinion on Megan Fox as Jennifer Check?

Do you agree with this list? Who are your horror movie crushes? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and start the conversation.