As autumn creeps in, those seeking a seasonal decor refresh might look to Halloween rather than harvest themes for inspiration. Synonymous with this sinister holiday are the iconic horror movies that frighten even more when watched around All Hallow’s Eve. For a little gruesome design inspiration, who better to consult than the villains of such classic films as Scream or Nightmare on Elm Street?
There’s something for everyone in these film stars’ design choices. Consider the Georgia O’Keefe-inspired beige-and-desiccated-skull bedroom of Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre or the maximalist decor of Pazuzu from The Exorcist.
Those hoping to conjure summer memories year-round would do well to imitate the shabby-chic aesthetic of Friday the 13th star Jason’s Camp Crystal Lake, which was spacious enough to accommodate machetes, ice picks, and axes. For those seeking a cozy spot to curl up with the latest edition of Gray’s Anatomy (the manual for dismemberment, not the television show), consider Silence of the Lamb star Hannibal Lector’s cozy Victorian reading room, with its (presumably) leather armchair and footstool.
After identifying 13 famous horror movie villains, their traits, and details of the spaces they inhabited, we prompted Midjourney AI to imagine what these villains’ home interiors might look like had they been able to decorate according to their tastes. We included the year filmed, its setting, and its architectural style to round out these imagined home spaces.
We also identified key items that were important to each horror film and added these surprises to the images. Can you find them all?
Interior Decorating With Freddy Krueger, Chucky, and Friends
What would the houses of our favorite horror movie villains look like if they were given free rein to express their darkest urges?
Freddy Krueger in Springwood, Ohio
Krueger starred in 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street. A former child murderer burned alive by his former victims’ parents, Krueger possessed the supernatural ability to kill people through their dreams. Highlights of his interiors include a galley kitchen with red floors to hide suspicious stains and an ominous red-and-green wallpapered bedroom that calls to mind the words of the movie’s heroine, Nancy: “Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep.”
Chucky in Chicago, Illinois
A talking doll with a serial killer’s soul whose primary goal was to haunt a human body, Chucky terrorized viewers in 1988’s Child’s Play and in the franchise that followed. Chucky’s bedroom is maximalist; the living room, industrial. His pad features spectacular views of Chicago, but you’d better not stand too close to the window: Chucky has a fondness for defenestration.
Pennywise in Derry, Maine
Pennywise the Clown is a shape-shifting monster killer who appears every 27 years and preys on his victims from the sewers of the fictional town of Derry, Maine. Based on the book by Stephen King, It began as a television miniseries in 1990 and has featured other incarnations in film and television. Here, Pennywise’s house is filled with bright red balloons, carnival flags, and an Edwardian interior. Even though Pennywise may look like a modern-day clown, he’s actually been around for hundreds of years.
Candyman in Chicago, Illinois
Released in 1992, the horror movie Candyman featured a supernatural villain who could be summoned by repeating his name five times while looking in a mirror. As a human, the Candyman had been killed by a mob who attacked him with bees and set him on fire, so the undead Candyman is partially made of bees. Our AI rendering captures the bee theme perfectly, particularly with the Candyman’s sleek bedroom that looks as if it’s inside a futuristic honeycomb.
Pinhead in London, England
Appearing in the 1987 Hellraiser, Pinhead is the leader of the Cenobites, demonic beings who are summoned through a puzzle box. Here, Pinhead’s interiors feature religious ornaments, skulls and numerous pointed objects that could be used to torment victims.
Jigsaw in New Jersey
A former civil engineer who cuts puzzle pieces from his victims’ skin, John “Jigsaw” Kramer, star of 2004’s Saw and subsequent sequels, likes making puppets and toys for children in his spare time. Here, his office doubles as a lab for his creations.
Ghostface in Woodsboro, California
The killer in the 1996 movie Scream wears a ghost mask and terrorizes suburban California. At the end of the first film, it is revealed that Ghostface is actually two killers, Billy and Stu, both teens from the same friend group as some of their victims. But who wouldn’t want to be lured into Ghostface’s retro basement arcade or whip up some brownies in the 1990s kitchen with its oak laminate cabinetry?
Jason in Camp Crystal Lake, New Jersey
Recognized by his trademark hockey mask, Jason Voorhees first appeared in 1980’s Friday the 13th and continued to torment camp victims in the woods in 12 slasher films and a television series. Our AI-assisted designers envisioned a rustic shack with floor-to-ceiling windows where Jason can sharpen his machetes while contemplating nature.
Michael Myers in Haddonfield, Illinois
The villain of the 1978 film Halloween, Michael Myers was institutionalized for killing his older sister when he was only six years old. Escaping from psychiatric confinement, he returns to his former home and begins murdering teenagers. His old stomping grounds recall midcentury modern decor mixed with a rec-room basement aesthetic.
The Nun in Romania
The 2018 flick The Nun is set in a Romanian convent in 1952, where an evil spirit named Valak looks for souls to possess. A claw-footed tub and subway-tile flooring are some of this Dark Ages castle’s best features, but the kitchen, though spacious, is not a particularly appetizing setting.
Pazuzu in Washington, D.C.
In one of the OG horror movies, The Exorcist (1973), Assyrian demon Pazuzu possesses a young girl, Regan, causing deaths and other mayhem. Here, rose hues and subtle end-table lighting in the bedroom make an ideal environment for possession.
Leatherface in Kingsland, Texas
Leatherface, the villain of 1974’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre, lives deep in the heart of Texas with his abusive, cannibalistic relatives. No slouch in the serial killer department himself, Leatherface wears the skins of his victims on his face. Highlights of his residence include a bedroom whose earth tones and animal skulls provide a place of refuge for Leatherface when he isn’t busy working in his well-appointed slaughterhouse.
Hannibal Lecter in Baltimore, Maryland
Perhaps the most refined of the horror movie villains, cannibal Hannibal Lecter of 1991’s Silence of the Lambs lives in an elegant Maryland mansion. Standout spaces include a library where Lecter can listen to his favorite classical music surrounded by bound leather volumes and a transitional kitchen whose industrial touches include an easy-to-clean metal butcher’s block.
Decorating Your Home Like Freddy Krueger: Start With the Basics
A successful Halloween refresh inspired by horror-movie villains should involve a tasteful mix of trophies from various kills, a kitchen workspace with ample storage for weaponry, and a bedroom designed to facilitate better nightmares. Think skulls (animal or human), metal butcher blocks that offer ease of cleaning, and display cases for weapons such as machetes and chainsaws. Accents particular to your favorite killer, such as Pennywise’s cheerful balloons or Candyman’s bees and honeycombs, can be scattered throughout living spaces.
For paint colors, red is a perennial best choice, and Benjamin Moore’s 2023 color of the year, Raspberry Blush, dazzles with an orange-red that evokes subtle blood tones without quite hitting the viewer over the head. Wall decorations might include photos of stalking victims or satanic iconography. Subdued lighting allows for plenty of dark corners and keeps the eyes off the flooring, where Persian carpets or dark hardwoods are favored for their ability to conceal almost any stain.
Our overall advice this season? Forget bats and baby ghosts and turn to the villains who know best how to terrify when creating a space that will have trick-or-treaters running for their lives.
We studied the settings of iconic horror movies and used AI to imagine what the interiors of famous horror villains’ homes would look like had they been able to decorate according to their taste. We used Horror Film Wiki and ScreenRant to identify and research 13 famous horror villains, the homes in which each film was shot, the year filmed, each villain’s traits, and any distinct architectural styles present on screen.
We used this data to determine a design prompt for Midjourney. Here’s the prompt we used: “Design an image of the [specific room] of horror villain [Name’s] home in the [year the film was made] with [architectural style].” In some cases, there was a distinct architectural style we included in our prompt, such as the Edwardian architectural style of the Cranfield House in Port Hope, Toronto, used to film the movie It. In other cases, such as Candyman’s home, Midjourney produced some styles that were unique to the period in which the film was shot.
We also identified key items that were important to each horror film and added these elements to the images.
Questions about our study? Please contact the Reviews’ Public Relations manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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