The 10 Scariest Horror Film Villains
It's Halloween tomorrow and that can only mean one thing - it's time to break out the horror flicks. In tribute to the most ghoulish night of the year, we bring you our rundown of the 10 most terrifying bad guys (and girls) from the silver screen. Scare yourself senseless.
10. The Candyman
Tony Todd plays the evil Candyman in Bernard Rose’s 1992 horror of the same name. Summoned from the netherworld in which he dwells by saying his name in the mirror 3 times, The Candyman is determined to prove he is more than just a fictional urban legend. His mission to see Helen (Virginia Madsen) continue his legacy sees him kidnap a baby and decapitate a Rottweiler before sending Madsen’s character insane. This hook-handed monster makes Abu Hamza look cuddly.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
He wears a mask made of the human skin of his victims and wields a chainsaw. Enough said.
8. Jack Torrance
Stanley Kubrick’s timeless adaptation of Stephen King’s novel introduced us to Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), an author who moves his family into a spooky, deserted hotel while he works on his latest novel. Haunted by the hotel’s ghostly apparitions that only he can see, it isn’t long before Jack’s mind begins to unravel, culminating in a murderous rampage that sees him trying to kill his own family and bringing us one of the most often quoted lines in cinema: “Here’s Johnny!” Chilling.
7. Hannibal Lecter
The Silence of the Lambs
Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter, played by Anthony Hopkins, is a bone fide evil genius whose help is enlisted by Agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) as she tries to catch a serial killer named Buffalo Bill. A doctor of psychology, Lecter is both frighteningly intelligent and terrifyingly malevolent. An all-time great performance from Hopkins brings this horror to life, encapsulated perfectly by the line “I ate his liver with some fovver beans and a nice Chianti.” Shudderingly brilliant.
6. Asami Yamazaki
A widowed husband (Ryo Ishibashi) takes up his film-director friend’s offer to set up a special round of auditions – ostensibly for a new TV show, but in reality a quest to find him a new wife. Unfortunately for the film’s protagonist, he chooses Asami (Eihi Shiina), who is anything but the sweet young girl she appears to be. A psychotic sadist with a penchant for drugging and paralysing – but not anaesthetising – her victims, Asami is the ultimate femme fatale.
5. Freddy Krueger
A Nightmare on Elm Street
A stalwart at every Halloween fancy dress party you’re ever likely to attend, what makes Freddy truly terrifying is his ability to attack his victims in their dreams. Wes Craven’s child-murdering, razor-clawed character is a nightmarish creation responsible for the consumption of gallons of coffee by people too scared to fall asleep.
“But he’s just a little kid” we hear you cry. Well, yes, but this kid also happens to be the Antichrist. Switched at birth, Damien is raised by an American ambassador (Gregory Peck) and his wife (Lee Remick) and all appears to be normal until his 5th birthday, when his nanny hangs herself from the roof at his birthday party, seemingly under Damien’s control. Assisted by a creepy new nanny and her slavering hound, Damien proceeds to wipe out all who suspect him, including the insistent Father Brennan (Patrick Troughton), who repeatedly tries to warn the father of the child’s origins. Jerry Goldsmith’s iconic score helps make Damien the scariest infant in cinema.
3. Michael Myers
The disturbed Michael Myers from John Carpenter’s classic 1978 horror is undoubtedly one of the scariest characters ever committed to celluloid. Sent to a psychiatric facility at the age of 6 after murdering one of his sisters on Halloween in 1963, Michael escapes 15 years later with the intention of doing the same to his surviving sister, played by a young Jamie Lee Curtis. Sporting black, hollow eyes and characterised by all who meet him as ‘pure evil’, Michael is one of the most relentless, unfeeling killers ever created.
2. Sadako Yamamura
There are few scarier concepts than things that crawl out of the TV, and the antagonist from the original Japanese version of Ring is surely the most chillingly disturbing example. Sadako’s supernatural powers leave her victims with their faces twisted in fear, and the film’s concept of a video tape that dooms its viewers to certain death makes Ringu one of those films that is even more scary at home than in the cinema. Motivated by revenge and unaffected by the boundaries of physical existence, Sadako is film’s most frightening female.
Stephen King's 'It'
Many people have a phobia of clowns and it’s a fair bet that a good portion of these people saw Stephen King’s It when they were young. Pennywise (Tim Curry) is as malevolent as they come. An inhuman entity that preys on children by exploiting their worst fears, he is a shape-shifter and can appear as anything he wants – but what he wants most is to appear as the single most twisted, evil-looking clown imaginable. Living in the sewers and with the ability to perform a range of horrifying tricks (such as reanimating corpses or causing tap water to turn into blood), Pennywise is, in our opinion, the creepiest, scariest and most evil creation ever to appear on the big screen. You will never want to go to a children’s birthday party again.