The 15 Most Terrifying Villains From Horror Movies

Most Terrifying Villains From Horror Movies, The 15 Most Terrifying Villains From Horror Movies
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The Original Nightmare: Freddy Krueger

Everyone loves a good villain.

It must be human nature to be preoccupied with criminals and scary incidents. Horror movies attract our attention with their heinous criminals, grotesque goblins and frightening apparitions. Who are your favorite antiheroes? Below are our top 15 Most Terrifying Villains from Horror Movies.

15. Mary Shaw

Mary Shaw (Dead Silence) is a ventriloquist. After a child insults her act, she kidnaps him because of his sassy tongue. After the townsfolk murder her, she has an axe to grind. Well, more precisely, she has a few tongues to rip out. She is an angry Undead and wants nothing more than for you to scream. Go ahead, scream - she's a scary mofo after all. But if you dare, she'll tear out your tongue! Mary is scary because of her pale eyes and decayed face. Quite the looker, isn't she? Just don't get too close, and definitely do not make a peep!

This lovely lady likes to hear you scream. Look into her creepy, dead eyes and get scared. Yes, she likes that. And if you dare scream, she’ll be happy to tear out your tongue!

14. The Cloyne

Think Chucky the doll meets Stephen King's It, meets comedian Carrot Top. Now throw in some Joker and you get The Cloyne (Clown). Poor Kent has merged with an ancient demon through a skin-and-hair clown costume. Clowns have long terrified children and adults alike. If we take Cloyne as an example, that fear explains itself quite simply. Feed the demon five children and it will set its host (Kent) free. Or hey Kent, why not decapitate yourself and spare those kiddies? It would be a small sacrifice to rid yourself of this awful curse, and spare the young'uns, no? A gruesome dilemma with a treacherous outcome either way.

The worst thing about a clown costume is when it refuses to come off. Kent should have never dressed up for his kid’s birthday party. Now he’s stuck like this. And eats kiddies for breakfast. Run, children, run!

13. Regan

Otherwise known as the possessed Linda Blair (The Exorcist), little Regan is the kind of kid you’d want to punish and lock in her room. Get that soap ready to wash out her mouth because this is one foul-mouthed child. But hey, it's not her fault if she douses herself in vomit or curses her whole family to Hell. She is possessed by an a$$hole of a demon, okay? With swear words not fit for anyone under age 13, Regan can not only cuss like a trucker, but also levitate, and spin her head around like an owl. This child is repulsive and still as cringe-worthy as she was back in 1973. You'll wish you were dead just to not be subjected to the little wretch’s filthy mouth!

Regan was such a cute kid. A shame what happens when she gets taken by the foulest-mouthed demon ever known to horror cinema. If you were her parent, you too would lock her in her room. Just look at her. She’s a mess! Turn around, Creepy. There’s nothing to see here.

12. Look-See

It would seem that the Look-See creature (from the short films of the same name) is an allegory to loss and grieving. Whether it is a metaphor for grief, or an actual physical being, is unclear. But this is part of the effectiveness of the ‘threat’. The entity does not speak, lingers mostly off-camera, has no facial features, and is made to be threatening mostly by anticipation and atmosphere. The enigma of its motivation and existence adds to the victims' fear. If you refuse to let go of whatever emotional weight you carry, Look-See will take a piece of you. And it'll hurt.

Do you mind? I’m trying to take a dump, here. Isn’t the whole point of public bathroom stalls that they offer a bit of privacy? The Look-See just doesn’t seem to care. As if we don’t know he sees us despite having no eyes. What a perverted jerk.

11. Victor Crowley

It's terrible when kids bully each other. In horror movie land this usually results in a traumatized and vengeful grownup. Victor Crowley (Hatchet) is one such result. Deformed at birth and accidentally killed by the only person who loved him – his father – all Victor wants is to reunite with his long dead parent. That, and slay a ton of innocent people that had nothing to do with his crappy life (and death). Victor is frightening because he seems to grow bigger and more deformed in every sequel. He has no specific mode of operation. This means he will rip people limb from limb, use weapons, his bare hands, anything to get the dead deadest. Gruesome and heartless, there doesn’t seem to be any method to this killer’s madness, and that’s why his crimes are so loathsome.

Victor Crowley has definitely seen better days. Sure, kids teased him when he was younger. Sure, he wasn’t the most handsome child in the neighborhood. But as an adult, the least he could do is have his teeth looked at. Orthodontic Clinic up the street, buddy.

10. Gordon Crowley

A monster-professor with a ravenous appetite. For his students. Professor Crowley (Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer) is not the run of the mill villain. His antics are often ridiculous, and hinge on the grotesque. He is funny-scary rather than poop-your-pants terrifying. Casting Robert England (Freddy in Nightmare on Elm Street) was a smart move, as the actor had already shown a sick sense of humor in the Freddy character. How do you outrun a Jabba the Hut with tentacles the length of a school corridor? You don't.

Professor Gordon Crowley has turned into a massive glob of green goo. With tentacles. And an appetite. That’s actor Robert Englund hidden under the prosthetic disguise. We loved him as Freddy Krueger, but this Crowley is in a whole different category of scary. Awww...he’s so cute, I think I’ll call him Gord.

9. The Creeper

A demon of ancient times is said to feed on human victims every 23 years. Whatever parts he consumes further his lifespan. If his eyesight is failing, he can eat some delicious eyeballs. And if he's having trouble breathing, he can nosh on a pair of lungs. Not big on words, The Creeper (Jeepers Creepers) prefers to whistle children's rhymes and make contemporary art projects from whatever body remnants he does not devour. He is sadistic, and is therefore not content to let his victims simply perish. He likes to make his prey suffer by sniffing out their worst fears.

Every 23 years, this loathsome creature appears. Quite the art-lover, his hobby is making 3D sculptures from human remains. But before he can indulge in leisure time, he will make sure to murder the whole town, in the most gruesome ways imaginable. Surprised? Well, where did you think he obtained the supplies for his art installations?

8. Sadako

While Hollywood relies on jump scares and special FX, Japan uses creeping dread and slow-moving eeriness to scare the heck out of audiences. Sadako (Ringu) is a villain that does not touch her victims, but instead curses them through a bizarre videotape. What she wants is for someone to pass on her curse. First, she'll predict your demise. Then, your face will appear distorted if you pose for any photographs. Seven days later, she will climb out of an old well, then out of your TV set and scare you quite literally - to death. Just the sight of her long black hair and backwards-limb movements (the scenes where she moves were filmed in reverse to make her extra creepy) is enough to make your skin crawl! You may also gain a paranoia of recording devices, reflective surfaces (such as TVs) or telephones.

Sadako lives by herself in a well in the forest. Sometimes she gets so lonely, that she creeps through the city, looking for playmates. Too bad she never learned how to make proper friends, though. All she seems to do is scare them to death. She’ll warn you ahead of time, which is pretty considerate. But then she’ll interrupt your favorite show by crawling out of your TV screen. How rude. With friends like these... Girl, no. Go back to your well.

7. Bughuul

With a mangled face, Bughuul (Sinister) is a child-devourer. He needs kid-souls to thrive. He burns down family homes and possesses children to lure more children. The child abductor is actually modeled after a pagan deity and may be recognized under his nickname Mr. Boogie. Notice also the similarity to the Bogeyman, who kids see in their closets and under their beds while parents tell them there’s nothing there. Come on Parents…Bughuul is real! Save your kids! Spontaneous human combustion isn't just a myth – ask Bughuul how he does it, and save a few kiddies while you’re at it.

We’ve heard of man-eaters. Meet Bughuul, the child-eater. He sure does devour a lot of kids, considering he has no mouth. He also likes to burn things down. Watch your home, your pets, and especially your children.

6. Candyman

Urban legend or not, say his name five times and this Candyman (of the film with the same name) will not be bringing you any candy. Beware the hook in his bloody stump (formerly a hand), and steer clear of your bathroom mirror. Unless you’re really stupid and want to tangle with a ruthless killer. At first, the serial murderer wants to avenge his wrongful death. But then he accepts to let the townsfolk off the hook (get it? hook?) if they agree to keep his story alive by spreading it. Or, then again, maybe he’ll keep killing anyway.

Candyman, the bespoke gentleman. He looks harmless enough. Just don’t tempt fate by calling his name five times. Candyman, Candyman, Candym—

5. Mia

Don't do drugs, kids. Mia (Evil Dead 2013) is trying to quit cold turkey. But things don’t go well when a drug addict begins withdrawal symptoms. Is she going insane or is it just the withdrawal? Or maybe she’s possessed by spirits. Maybe she wants to kill all her friends for forcing her to stay at this secluded cabin in the woods. While her soul is raped by trees, her flesh projectile-vomits blood and terrorizes her friends. This biatch just wants a hit – is that so bad? Ripping off her own hand isn't enough, is it? Someone put her out of her misery, please.

Nobody believes a drug addict. They’re prone to hallucinations. They suffer crazy withdrawal symptoms. Mia’s friends don’t trust her when she warns them they’re all going to die. They should have listened, though, because now look at Mia. Remember - drugs are bad. But possessed friends are worse.

4. Leatherface

What makes certain horror movie villains scarier than others isn’t necessarily their kill method. The strong silent type with obvious mental illness can be even more terrifying because it’s hard to comprehend or bargain with them. Someone like Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) is horrific, does not speak, and wields a live chainsaw while running, flailing and dancing around. A victim can't beg for mercy if the killer only communicates with a weapon. And besides, wearing a mask made of the skin of previous victims is just nasty! Throw into the mix the dude's cannibal family members, and watch the victim try to run for their life. Disturbing even in modern days.

Run, Forest, run! Escaping from Leatherface, the flailing lunatic with a chainsaw is not how you want to enjoy this sunsrise.

3. Diana Walter

Diana (Lights Out) is kinda like that imaginary friend gone terribly wrong. A ghost who penetrates the psyche of a mentally troubled teen sticks with her far past her welcome.  Come adulthood, and that’s where the fun begins. Kill everything. Destroy the victim’s relationships. So, someone killed you. Why not take revenge by inhabiting an innocent person and ruining her life? Ghosts can be so selfish! Diana only appears in darkness. The use of alternating dark and light creates some effective jump scares. Add to that a scary skin condition, and you have a very creepy villain.

Behold the eyes of evil. A ghost who can infiltrate the mind of the weak is only powerful in the dark. If the power's gone out, light some candles, and power up a generator. If not, dear Diana might come after you.

2. Valak

Imagine Marilyn Manson in a nun costume. That's the visual of Valak (The Conjuring 2) – a demonic presence that can manipulate how its victims perceive it. In other words, it is not always in its nun form. This powerful presence can disturb and control its victims by showing them visions of the brutal deaths of loved ones. It haunts families as well as the demon hunters known as Ed and Lorraine Warren, who can just barely keep it under control. A spook with no mission other than to spook and kill, is a formidable enemy because there is no way to reason with it. Such a menace must instead be destroyed before it destroys others.

Marilyn Manson, is that you? This evil nun has already spawned her own spin-off movie. Masochism might influence audiences to watch it, but for those who appreciate their sanity, it might be best to abstain. For real, just look at those beady yellow eyes, and that ugly scowl! This demonic entity does not work for God, despite the misleading nun attire.

1. Freddy Krueger

Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street) was and still is one of the most horrific menaces in horror cinema. With a burn-victim's allure and knives for fingers, he is not someone you want to encounter in your dreams. He will haunt you into insomnia and blur your nightmares with reality. If that weren't enough, he also has a penchant for teasing and taunting his victims like a schoolyard bully. Freddy is not just a serial killer, but also a former child molester. Even death didn't keep him from continuing his reign of terror on teenagers. Stay clear of the striped red shirt and pocky skin! And oh, definitely do NOT fall asleep!

Meet the original nightmare. A child molester. A burn victim. A dude with claws that’ll slice through you in your seep. Ever since Freddy Krueger, nightmares have taken on a whole new meaning.

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Daria is an octopus (multi-tasker!). Since graduating from Film Studies, she has freelanced as an arts & culture writer. Currently she focuses on film critique – specializing in horror and genre film.
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