Best Movies of All Time + [villain]

The Best: HORROR VILLAINS

The effectiveness of a horror film lies in its ability to scare its audience. While the best horror flicks combine suspense and jump-out-of-your-seat scares to keep the audience engaged, it takes a legitimate villain to make any of the scares worthwhile. If your principal villain isn't frightening, you're going to risk losing your audience from the very start. Luckily, a slew of fantastic villains have graced the silver screen in horror films over the years. For this post, I've counted down my ten favorite horror villains. Mind you, I'm still not entirely well-versed in the horror genre, so if there's any particular villain missing that you think belongs, I simply may not have seen that particular film just yet. That being said, I hope you enjoy the list!

10. Jack Torrance
Played by: Jack Nicholson
The Shining (1980)

While I'm not the biggest fan of the film, there's no denying that Nicholson puts on a show in The Shining. His manic personality works exceptionally well for the role of Jack Torrance, and his gradual descent into madness is all the more realistic as a result.

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9. Jigsaw / John Kramer
Played by: Tobin Bell
Saw (2004)

A horror villain for the 21st century, Jigsaw leaves his victims' fates in their own hands, giving them the option of whether they want to live or die. Sure, his methods are a little sadistic, but there might be some sound reasoning behind all the blood and gore.

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8. Dracula
Played by: Bela Lugosi
Dracula (1931)

Easily Bela Lugosi's most recognizable - and best - role, Dracula is simply a horror icon. From the moment he uttered, "I am Dracula," I was hooked on his character. Smart, clever, and completely evil, it's hard not to like the king of the vampires.

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7. Hannibal Lecter
Played by: Anthony Hopkins
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Sure, it's not quite a horror film, but there's something truly sadistic about Hannibal Lecter as a villain. Hopkins plays him exceptionally well, and the thought of him having a census taker's liver with some fava beans and a Chianti is enough to tingle the spine.

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6. Freddy Krueger
Played by: Robert Englund
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

The man is essentially a burn victim with a fedora and knives for fingers. Oh, and he comes and kills teenagers in their dreams. That's probably the worst part - he attacks you when you're most vulnerable, all with a biting sense of humor to boot.

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5. Patrick Bateman
Played by: Christian Bale
American Psycho (2000)

Again, not entirely a horror film, but this is simply a brilliant performance from Christian Bale. Bateman is a man who seemingly has a lust for blood, but as things start to get out of hand, even he doesn't really know what's happening anymore. That just adds to the scariness of his character.

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4. Mr. Hyde
Played by: John Barrymore
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1920)

You'd be hard-pressed to think this was a scary film nowadays, but the fantastic performance from John Barrymore as the dual-personality Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde is so stunningly perfect that there was no way I could leave it off this list.

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3. Michael Myers
Played by: Nick Castle
Halloween (1978)

As I've mentioned before, Michael Myers is probably the horror character that scares me most. A silent, hulking Shape that simply stalks and kills, he's the epitome of a relentless murderer and could very possibly be evil incarnate.

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2. Pennywise
Played by: Tim Curry
It (1990)

I have a bit of a fascination with anything Tim Curry does, and his portrayal of Pennywise the clown is so bitingly hilarious that you almost forget the fact that he's also terribly creepy. I'm sure this one put a lot of people off clowns for a while.

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1. Norman Bates
Played by: Anthony Perkins
Psycho (1960)

The king of horror villains, Norman Bates showed that an everyday man could be hiding a terrible, terrible secret. Perkins played the part to a tee, to the point where he would be applauded after takes on set. That's how good he was, and that's how brilliantly he created the character. I've got mad love for Norman Bates.