A good horror movie that gives us chills is the movie with more than just the jump scenes and mysterious plot twists. A good horror movie isn’t remembered for how the plot unfolds. But for its characters that leave a mark in our minds. Think about it: It wouldn’t be the humorous, classic horror film it is without Bill Skarsgård’s Pennywise The Dancing Clown. A child-eating demon disguised as a creepy clown. That is something one cannot forget.
Have you ever noticed how the best of the best horror films are remembered mainly because of the villains? Jigsaw from Saw. Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street. Norman Bates from Psycho. We can go on. No matter if the villain is a shape-shifting ghoul or your average everyday murderer, there’s something inexplicably fascinating about the “villain” of the story (honestly, could you even consider them villains?). Maybe it’s because they’re much more interesting than the survivors, but no matter the reason, we can all agree that a horror film isn’t without a kickass villain (and sometimes an exciting hero).
And that’s why we’ve got this list (unranked, of course) of the best horror film characters. From Octavia Spencer’s “Ma” to Michael Myers from Halloween, here are the best murders and paranormal monsters we all know and love.
Pazuzu is the antagonist in the 1973 film “The Exorcist.” A demon who possesses the protagonist, Regan MacNeil. It looks like a hybrid of a human and an animal, which is strange and terrifying. The creepier thing is how Regan calls him “Captain Howdy.”
09. Michael Myers
No matter what murder weapon Michael Myers uses, the Halloween character will forever be one of the most spine-chilling villains. From the first night he terrorizes Laurie Strode, she realizes that escaping him for good will be the most challenging thing she ever does.
Michael is powerful and won’t stop until he gets what he wants: to kill anyone he feels. However, the fact that Michael doesn’t speak and moves slowly make him one of the scariest horror movie characters. Even though Michael has appeared in several films and fans have rewatched the first 1978 film so many times, Michael remains incredibly mysterious.
08. Hannibal Lecter
While Clarice Starling is an intelligent character, The Silence Of The Lambs villain stands out more since he is so dangerous and disturbing. Hannibal Lecter has become one of the most recognizable horror characters thanks to the alarming and dark fact that he’s a cannibal.
Even non-horror fans are familiar with Hannibal thanks to this classic film and the TV series, suggesting that he has a meaningful place in popular culture. Horror fans will always want to get into Hannibal’s mind and figure out how he works.
07. Freddy Krueger
From Freddy Krueger’s costume of a striped sweater and fedora to the fact that he talks a lot, the villain from the 1984 film A Nightmare On Elm Street is always top of mind for horror fans.
Also Read: Top 10 Action Movies Of 2022.
Freddy cracks jokes and speaks a lot to his victims, and the fact that he can kill people while they’re having nightmares couldn’t be scarier. Nevertheless, Freddy will always be a favorite villain because it feels hard to stop him.
The “Scream” movie villain was less frightening and prompted more of a satirical style to the series, but the masked villain became iconic as a killer in the horror genre, known for his signature taunting of victims. A different character played Ghostface in every movie, making for another killer each time.
The “Child’s Play” doll is iconic, and while the Chucky slasher movies have their funny moments, this serial-killing villain who is reincarnated via a doll makes a children’s toy look far from Buzz Lightyear. The 1988 movie led to box office success and six sequels. A Syfy and USA Network television series arrives on Oct. 12.
04. Jason Voorhees
Summer camp anxiety to the max. Jason’s star in the “Friday the 13th” films and his sheer size and murdering ways of camp counselors at Camp Crystal Lake garners him near the top of this list. But, of course, the camp cook-turned-mass-murderer uses a machete for his kills and that infamous hockey goalie mask to hide his face.
Also Read: Ten Best Serial Killer Movies
There are countless iterations of this parasitic and murderous alien monster, but there’s nothing quite like the OG Xenomorph from the first Alien movie. This guy comes out as a weird crab-like creature that pops out of an even more mysterious fleshy egg that latches on to your face. And falls off before a little demon-alien baby (think: Bella’s vampire child but scarier) bursts out of your stomach and grows into a human-size killing machine with an extra jaw. Need I say more?
A. THE ENTITY.
If you haven’t seen It Follows, let me explain the setup: You have sex with someone infected by the entity. The entity, which can take the shape of anyone, including people you know, starts following you. The entity follows you until it kills you, or you pass it on to someone else through sex. If the entity kills that person, it comes back for you. You can never go anywhere with only one exit, you can never trust anyone, and you can never sleep again. You are fucked for all eternity. Good luck! (Bonus: For a good three or four days after watching this movie, you will believe every single person you see is a sex demon coming to murder you.)
This 2020 retelling of H. G. Wells’s classic novel of the same name modernizes the evil Dr. Griffin. By making him a super-possessive ex-boyfriend/inventor who fakes his death and makes a techy suit that turns him invisible so he can terrorize his ex-girlfriend Cecilia. His hobbies include sneaking into Cecilia’s room, pulling off the bed covers while she’s sleeping, and tackling her from behind, you know, just stuff that makes everyone around Cecilia question her sanity.
C. PATRICK BATEMAN
Nostalgia for the ’80s hits different when watching one of its most iconic characters commit brutal murders with a Rembrandt smile. But, of course, Bateman’s killing may or may not be happening in his head, which makes him somehow scarier. But, if even he doesn’t know what’s real, do you?
It’s fair that Stephen King’s It villain Pennywise haunts many people’s dreams. While there are other creepy horror movie clowns, there’s something about Pennywise that sticks with audiences. It could be his evil grin, white painted face, old-fashioned costume, or the fact that he lures kids down into the sewers of Derry, Maine.
Since Pennywise targets children, he feels eerie since he is preying on the young and innocent. Since many are already afraid of clowns, watching Pennywise is even worse. His appearance is intense, and it’s easy to imagine moviegoers having nightmares about him if they’re already scared of clowns.
Although it wasn’t based on a true story, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has a villain so terrifying you’ll forget it’s fictional. The human skin-wearing Leatherface hacked and slashed his way into our public consciousness. Even though it’s been many decades (and many not-so-great sequels, spinoffs, and reboots) since the original film, horror fans still shudder at the thought of the depraved villain.