The Top 10 Best Horror Movie Villains

Ladies and gentlemen, the witching hour is upon us.  In honor of Halloween, we decided to round up the biggest baddies in the horror movie genre and rank them in terms of who is the most…killer.  Read on, if you dare!





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10. Chuckie (Child’s Play series):

It’s hard to imagine that something under two feet tall and made of plastic could strike such fear into our hearts.  But, when serial killer Charles Lee Ray uses voodoo to transfer his soul into a “GoodGuy” doll, he transforms a child’s toy into a creature of pure terror.  Chuckie proves to be a menacing foe who refuses to go away–he’s stabbed, slashed, and sliced his way through four sequels with a fifth one in the works.  Voiced with creepy macabre by Brad Dourif, Chuckie is one doll you probably don’t want to play with.


Photo Credit: Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series):

An inbred mute with a mental disability, Leatherface quickly establishes that actions speak louder than words. He moves slow, but his attacks are lethal.  Sawing up a van full of teenagers or an innocent hitchhiker, Leatherface makes you think twice about traveling the deserted roads of the deep south.  Not only does he wear “masks” of his victims’ skin on his head, but his family also has a pretty unique chili recipe that’s…well…just don’t eat it, ok?  Though the reboot of the series upped the gore factor and gave Leatherface a compelling backstory, there’s nothing scarier than the eerie suspense of the original.


Photo Credit: Jason Vorhees (Friday the 13th series):

Ah, Camp Crystal Lake.  Once such a happy place, now home to isolated campgrounds where horny teenagers go to get hacked to pieces.  In the original Friday the 13th film, it is actually Jason’s mother Pamela who is revealed as the real monster.  But, after she’s defeated, someone has to take up the family business.  Wearing a signature hockey mask over his face and wielding a deadly machete, Jason Vorhees became a staple in the slasher film genre.  His later films may have gotten a little carried away–shooting him into space, giving him superpowers, an unfortunate crossover film with Freddy Krueger–but it still makes you think twice about renting a cabin in the woods.


Photo Credit: Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street series):

One, two, Freddy’s coming for you.  Three, four, better lock your door….”  You might be able to convince your family to skip their annual beach trip after seeing Jaws, but try never falling asleep again.  A child killer who is burned alive by the parents of his victims, Freddy comes back to stalk new victims in their dreams.  Unfortunately for the victims, his attacks have real-world consequences.  Created by horror mastermind Wes Craven, Freddy is truly a gruesome sight with severely burnt skin, menacing claws attached to his fingers, and that horribly tacky striped sweater.  In all seriousness, though, it’s hard not to be scared when the line between dreams and reality becomes blurred, and every day becomes a waking nightmare.


Photo Credit: Ghostface (Scream series):

The Scream franchise may be known more for its witty, self-referential satire than its scares, but it still provides us with a compelling villain to route against.  Played by many different characters throughout the series, Ghostface is a killer who is wise to the media-savvy, pop culture obsessed youth of today.  He uses their knowledge of horror movie tropes against them, often luring them into traps that they would normally have seen coming from miles away if they were watching it unfold onscreen.  Wearing a black, hooded cloak with a white mask contorted into the face from Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” Ghostface terrorizes the small town of Woodsboro and continually faces off against the badass Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell).  If you ever get an anonymous call from someone who asks, “Do you like scary movies?” you better hope the answer is no.


Photo Credit: Jigsaw (Saw series):

The Saw films are nowhere near perfect, especially in their later entries, but Jigsaw is a killer who will most definitely send chills down your spine.  Proof that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, Jigsaw–real name John Kramer–is a former civil engineer who discovers he is slowly dying from an inoperable brain tumor.  He receives a new outlook on life, and wants to teach those who he feels are wasting it a powerful lesson.  Teach he does, kidnapping and trapping several victims with personal flaws and forcing them to figure their way out of life-threatening situations and horrifying metal contraptions.  In truth, Jigsaw wants his victims to succeed and gain new appreciation for their lives.  Still, forcing someone to dig a key out from behind their own eye doesn’t exactly sound like the best game to play.


Photo Credit: Samara Morgan (The Ring series):

You know the drill.  Watch the tape.  Get the call.  Hear a creepy demon-child whisper “seven days” into the phone.  Proceed to freak the hell out.  Based on the japanese film Ringu, The Ring and its sequel feature a supremely spooky little girl named Samara Morgan who lives inside a cursed videotape filled with disturbing black and white images.  After watching the tape, she calls to inform her victims that they have a week left to live.  How considerate of her.  Samara spends most of the first film with her face hidden behind a curtain of long black hair.  It is a credit to the great suspense of The Ring, that when you finally see her face, you realize it is the face of fear itself.  No wonder her mother threw her down a well.


Photo Credit: Norman Bates (Psycho):

With Psycho, Master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock created what is possibly one of the most quintessential horror films of all time.  With it, comes the quintessential killer Norman Bates.  Played to perfection by Anthony Perkins, Bates is the a motel owner with some severe freudian issues.  Poor, poor Marion Crane has no idea what she’s in for when she tries to get between Norman and his mommy.  The film might not feature the same amount of blood and guts as horror films of today, but several decades later Norman is still able to make the hairs on the backs of viewers’ necks stand straight up.  Just remember, if you ever visit the Bates Motel, it might be best to skip your shower.


Photo Credit: Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs):

Anthony Hopkin’s brilliant performance as a psychiatrist-turned-cannibalistic serial killer only amounts to a little over 15 minutes of screen time.  Still, his haunting turn as Hannibal Lecter was enough to earn him some Oscar gold, and strike fear into our hearts.  Standing behind a glass wall as he is interviewed by Jodie Foster’s FBI agent, Hannibal gives off more of an eerie, sadistic evil as opposed to the menacing violence of his fellow horror movie compadres.  Hannibal is a genius; he prefers mind games to fancy weapons.  Of course, that doesn’t mean he won’t kill you in cold blood, and then eat you along with some fava beans and a nice chianti.


Photo Credit: Jack Torrance (The Shining):

The top spot on this list goes to “father” of all horror movie villains.  Jack Nicholson’s bone chilling performance in this Stanley Kubrick classic is the stuff of legend.  Watching a seemingly normal husband and father begin to lose his mind in a secluded hotel is a truly frightening sight.  Isolation from society can do a real number on one’s mind, but Jack takes things to a whole new level when he attacks the ones he’s supposed to love the most.  With crazed eyes and a sharpened ax, Jack descends upon his wife and son with reckless abandon and some great quotable lines (“Heeeeere’s Johnny!”).  Sometimes, your own family is the scariest thing of all.


What do you guys think of our list of villains?  Are there any that we missed?  And will you be dressing up as any of these horrific hooligans for Halloween this year?  Sound off in the comments below:


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