The top 10 scariest horror movie villains of all time
Clockwise from top: Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter, Bonnie Aarons as Demon Nun, Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger and Chucky.
Halloween is drawing near.
And who doesn’t like to be terrified at the movies?
You’ll need to get your scary mojo working, and we can help.
Here are 10 of the greatest horror movie villains for your consideration:
What’s cooking? Nothing like a tranquil visit home to bring on the psychopathic cannibals in your neighbourhood. Violent, gruesome and disgusting, this horror milestone was banned in several countries upon first release and still has the power to shock your socks off. Truly gross. Don’t miss it.
CHUCKY – CHILD’S PLAY (1988)
This is the original film that spawned all those Chucky sequels — say hello to the hideous little freckled doll hiding the soul of a serial killer. Perhaps because the movie features an innocent child in peril, villainous Chucky continues to terrify a whole new generation.
You could argue that this movie is more a thriller than a horror film, but once serial killer and doctor Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) starts killing people with household objects and biting off their faces, that's all kind of moot, don’t you think? Charm and intellect — that’s what you want in a horrifying villain.
The slasher genre is not our fave, but this movie kick-started the careers of both Robert Englund — as the hideously disfigured Freddy — and Johnny Depp, so it deserves recognition. With his trademark slice 'n' dice gloves, Freddy is a vengeance-seeking child killer caught somewhere in the twilight zone between dreams and waking. Filmmaker Wes Craven at his best.
THE THING – THE THING (1982)
John Carpenter’s classic scare-fest is based on the certain knowledge that NOT seeing can be far more disturbing than seeing — because your imagination wants to fill in all the blanks. Everybody still looks like himself, but some amongst us are monsters. Even Kurt Russell, you ask? Watch and see.
The censor board (actually, the Motion Picture Association of America) tried to ensure that nobody ever saw this movie by giving it an X-rating, the kiss of death in the days before NC-17. If you see it, you won’t soon forget actor Michael Rooker’s performance as Henry, a charming, low-key killer. Story is sort-of based on the prolific serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, and is a more a psychological thriller than a bloodbath. Still deeply upsetting, though.
Just so you know.
ANNIE WILKES – MISERY (1990)
Nothing like an attentive, apparently sweet-natured book fan to make your blood run cold. Bestselling author Paul Sheldon (James Caan) thanks his lucky stars that one of his readers is there to rescue him from a car wreck. But Annie (Kathy Bates) soon proves that ‘fan’ is just short for ‘fanatic’ — she’s a monster. Thrills, chills, and all the tension you can eat; Bates won a well-deserved Oscar for her portrayal of this unhinged villain.
PENNYWISE – IT (1990)
Let’s see if we can sneak the terrifying clown Pennywise in here, even though It was a TV miniseries and not a feature film — soon to be rectified when a movie of Stephen King's It is released next year into theatres. Small screen or large, the grotesque and sadistic clown will keep you from sleeping well at night for a long, long time. Your own worst fears will do you in.
CANDYMAN – CANDYMAN (1992)
Go ahead, we dare you — say his name five times. Love the hook this guy has for a hand, not that it limits his killing capacity in any way. Supernatural thriller stars Tony Todd as the bad guy and Virginia Madsen as the grad student just doing her research on urban legends.
It’s a gorefest, yes, but way smarter — what’s that loud buzzing noise? — than the average.
Sister Spooky in The Conjuring 2 has enough evil presence to traumatize experienced ghostbusters Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga). The Warrens are God-fearing paranormal investigators, so when things begin to go bump in the night, you can really feel the forces of good and evil have at it. In real life nuns are menacing — potentially maternal figures, meant to be respected, but still women who might just smack you upside the head with a ruler. Like Annabelle the doll, that demonic nun will get her own movie thanks to the box office success of The Conjuring 2. Scary, boys and girls, scary.