Mothers really do get a bad rep in the horror genre. They’re the cause of many a cold-blooded killing. Whether it’s due to trauma from a relationship with a mother, or if the kills are done in a mother’s name, there is no shortage of murders committed in the name of mama.

Since it’s halfway to Mother’s Day, we’re going to give the mamas a break. They deserve it. Let’s focus on several other motives that cold-blooded killers have for their streak of nastiness or, in some cases, justice.


10. Billy – Black Christmas (1974)

black christmas

One can suspect the foul-mouthed, house dweller Billy of a few different reasons as to why he slays the occupants of a sorority house. At the end of the film, we are left with much ambiguity as to Billy’s why. No reasons are given for the obscene phone calls, the use of household items as his choice of murder weapons, or why Jess (Olivia Hussey) is the one that he seems to be most focused upon. We’ll never know 1974 Billy’s motive. He does not have one.


9. Frank and Roxy – God Bless America (2011)

God Bless America’s Frank (Joel Murray) is fed up with the bullshit that life has thrown his way: a divorce, a kid who hates him, and the tumor that is destroying his brain. Roxy is a teenager who has a lot of opinions on many things happening in the world. Together, they are driven to mass murders due to the excessive nastiness and privilege of pop culture (most notably, reality television) and right-wing extremists. To boil the reason as to why they both kill to a single motive, Frank put it best: “… Why have a civilization anymore if we no longer are interested in being civilized.”


8. Beverly – Serial Mom (1994)

serial mom

Didn’t I say we were giving the moms a break? I did, but Beverly (Kathleen Turner) isn’t a crazed serial killer because of her mother. She’s a crazed serial killer because she is a mother. A mom who’s sick and tired of seeing her family used and abused by neighbors, teachers, supposed friends, and dentists. The fact that she has a hidden stash of serial killer information has absolutely nothing do with the fact that she likes to run people down in a cold-blooded fashion. Nothing.


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7. Patrick Bateman – American Pyscho (2000)

american psycho

Bateman (Christian Bale) is a successful individual. He’s an attractive individual. Smarts, looks, money, and returns his videotapes on time. Bateman has it all. So why does he kill? People get on his hecking nerves. That’s why. Not in a political stance such as Frank and Roxy from God Bless America, but in the sense that people are just annoying. Kind of a lackluster motive for such a striking person, right?


6. Josef – Creep (2014)

creep 2 mark duplass

Josef (Mark Duplass) needs love. That’s all. It’s just that Josef looks for love in all the wrong ways. I’m sure luring an innocent stranger into his home under false pretense isn’t the best way to go about gaining the friendship of a person. Josef definitely doesn’t appreciate it when his new friends can not understand him. He really doesn’t appreciate it when his new friends abandon him, leaving him alone, and with too much time to contemplate how to make them pay.


5. Jill – Scream 4 (2011)

Jill (Emma Roberts) has lived under the cloud of her cousin’s, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), celebrity status due to her being the target of many a serial killer. In the age of popularity and celebrity, Jill is just a little bit jealous. She wants to be known like Sidney is known. Jill comes up with the ultimate plan to take the spotlight away from Sidney, and place it blindingly on her. Friends? Who needs them. Family? They are not important. Beating yourself silly to show that you’re the final girl? No prob, she knows how to maniacallly destroy herself and an entire living room to make it all look perfectly real.

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4. Leslie Vernon – Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)


Leslie (Nathan Baesel) doesn’t want to be known as the survivor. He wants to be known as the cold-blooded killer. He devotes his life to constructing his entire plan of reaching the ranks of Freddy and Jason. When it comes time to execute that plan, he invites a camera crew to document the entire process. While the aforementioned Jill killed for the love that she would receive, Leslie kills for the fear that he will receive.


3. Stuntman Mike – Death Proof (2007)


What really is Stuntman Mike’s (Kurt Russell) deal? He scopes out women to brutally kill – not by his hands – but with his overtly phallic stroker of an automobile. Oh, yeah. He’s a disgusting member of the uberpatriarchy that just wants to assert dominance over the opposite sex, and gets off on it. The haha is on him, though, as he attempts to assert dominance on the wrong group of women (Tracie Thoms, Rosario Dawson, Zoe Bell). They kick his ass, and then kick his face in.


2. Sue Ann – Ma (2019)

Funny, isn’t it? The title of this film contradicts exactly why we are here. But, nah. It’s simply a moniker that Sue Ann (Octavia Spencer) inherits from the underage kids that she lets come over and party at her house. She lets them drink, smoke, and do all the things that their parents will not let them do at home. One would think, as the film progress and so does Sue Ann’s behavior, that her motive would be just like Creep’s Josef. She just wants to be loved. Oh no no. Sue Ann is out for revenge on the kid’s parents for a horrible act that was done to her as a teenager, and yanno, rightfully so. And, oh, don’t make her drink alone. Don’t make her drink alone.


1. Man in the Mask, Dollface, Pinup Girl – The Strangers (2008)

The cold-blooded killers listed are all terrible and creepy in their own right, but there is nothing as blood-curdling as the reason that The Strangers give for killing. The trio of masked individuals spend an entire night terrorizing a couple. There is no going straight for the kill, nor is there any chasing around for a few minutes before the kill. No, there’s a whole night’s worth of stalking, mind games, and relentless torture. Just as the final moments are finishing, the tortured looks up at the masked trio, and asks “Why?” Their response? “Because you were home.”

People are scary. You could never know that the person that you’re walking by on the street is a serial killer with such a motive as they think you’re annoying, or that your parents were part of a horrible act that ruined that person’s life. What if there’s one that you know?! Ha, jk. It’s just the movies. Talk about which movies features unique motives over on our Twitter, reddit, Instagram, or on The Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook!