MY TEN FAVORITE HORROR MOVIE VILLAINS
A key ingredient to a quality, scary horror film is a villain you can love or love to hate. Whether the boogie man is an animal, demon, person or object as the viewer you want to be scared but you also want to be able to identify in some way with the villain. You may find this connection through humor, empathy, fear or even hatred.
This week I give you 10 of my favorite horror villains in no particular order.
1. Hannibal Lecter lives in movies, a TV show, and the books where his character originated. He was created by Thomas Harris and introduced in the book Red Dragon. His character was expanded for the sequel, Silence of the Lambs, which was made into an Academy Award winning film. Hannibal is by my estimation the perfect villian. He is at once terrifying and seductive. He is polite, intelligent, and engaging. He is also as dangerous as a Great White shark or a polar bear. Do not get your flesh near their mouths!
2. The 1985 film Fright Night has one of the most handsome, clever and calculating villains I have ever encountered in a horror film. Who can forget Jerry Dandridge, the vampire who moved in next door to Charlie Brewster? Once he was all unpacked and comfy in his new home, Mr. Dandridge began draining hot women of their blood in his free time. Unfortunately, Charlie is a witness and once he reveals this to his neighbor he and his friends become the target. I must say Jerry Dandridge could have easily sexed me up then drained my blood. No hypnotism necessary. He was a handsome, smooth, dick head — just like I like em!
3. Black Christmas (1974) had a very simplistic approach to scaring its viewers. It was light on gore and heavy on atmosphere. The creep factor was over the top and part of that was a simple villain. Billy has broken into a sorority house during Christmas break and is hiding in the attic. We never see him except his eyeball and once his silhouette as he is about to kill one of the girls. We don’t hear him except for the prank calls he makes but we are not sure if that is his voice. We have no idea why he is killing or where he came from. In the end, we are not even sure what has become of him. He is quite possibly the most mysterious villian I have ever met in a horror film. I like it that way. The lack of information is what makes this character so pure but frightening at the same time.
4. I think every horror fan probably has a favorite horror movie icon. I do and it is Michael Myers. Mr. Myers has terrorized me on screen and in my nightmares for many years. What makes this particular boogie man so scary is his lack of humanity. Although every film since the first sequel including Halloween 2007 & 2009 has attempted to explain his homicidal rage, I’ve never felt like any of those explanations have stuck. He is just a one man killing machine. He cannot be reasoned with and really just exists to murder stupid teenagers and the occasional dog.
5. The Wolf Creek films are some of the most disturbing horror films I have ever seen. The secret to their creepy factor is the villain, Mick Taylor. He’s a tricky one. While backpacking in the Australian Outback some young travelers come across Mick. It seems he can help them with their car trouble. He is a serial killer seeking victims. His character uses humor and a gregarious attitude to gain his victim’s trust. Once they let him get close enough physically — he attacks! There are gore and disturbing deaths in the original Wolf Creek, which works off of a quiet dread. Once we get to the sequel, Mick really let’s his hair down raping and torturing his new victims with reckless abandon. Don’t be fooled by friendly locals while vacationing or it may be your last!
6. The next time you turn down a date with the awkward girl think about Lola, the villian in The Loved Ones. Lola is a serial killer disguised as a frumpy, awkward 16 year old. She does not like the word ‘no’! If she asks you out, you’d better say yes or you may end up thrown down her basement to die a slow and painful death after she tortures you for hours. I doubt most teens are fearful of the socially awkward bland looking kids in their class. Never judge a book by its cover.
7. Le Femme is the only name they gave to the villian in the French film Inside.
Sarah has been in a car accident. She is pregnant. Her baby survives but her husband is killed. Many months later a female intruder shows up at her home. She gets inside and begins attacking Sarah and anyone else who shows up to get in her way. This woman is relentless in her mission to steal Sarah ‘s unborn baby and kill her. For the majority of the film we have no idea who this woman is and why she wants this baby. She is a bad ass villain who only cares about getting the baby above all else including being stabbed, beaten, and burned among other things.
8. I think most of the people reading this would agree Otis, Baby, and Captain Spaulding are some amazing villians. These three lunatics are completely devoid of any sort of moral compass. Everyone is a potential victim to them. They are like a tornado of violence. They are coming your way and even with warning you may not get away in time. If you cross paths with them there is nothing you can say or do to disuade them from killing you if that is what they choose to do.
9. Let’s face it — no one wants their car breaking down in Leatherface’s neighborhood!
He may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but he sure is handy with a chainsaw. He’s a big guy with what seems like an endless supply of energy. To add to this, he seems to be controlled at least to some degree by his nutty family members. I’m not even certain he knows he is killing people and not livestock. Tobe Hooper himself has described Leatherface as a big baby who kills in self defense when he feels threatened. It is never good to feel sorry for the person trying to murder you.
10. John Kramer is a pretty amazing villian. This is a man who had a mission and while he lost site of it, he found a way to continue it after death. How many of us can say that? Your dreams usually die with you. Even if you don’t agree with the turn John took with his mission of making people grateful to be alive by escaping his traps, the other characters in these films seemed to. He was somehow so good at manipulation he was able continue his work after death with help of others including his wife and a former victim. That my friends is a master manipulator and a very smart man!
There you have it! Ten of my favorite horror villains. There are many more great baddies from horror films. Tell us what some of yours are in the comments below.