If you’re making a horror movie these days, your main villain has some pretty big shoes to fill. Iconic baddies like Freddy Krueger, Hannibal Lecter and Jigsaw sent plenty of chills down spines in their films, and still do when you catch a glimpse of them on a poster or film cover.
That kind of recognizable evil is what we’re talking about. The most terrifying film villains don’t necessarily all come from the horror genre, but they’ve all certainly left an impression. Click through to see if your opinion of scariest movie villain made the list!
#12 Michael Myers – Halloween (1978)
Let’s start simple with one we can all agree on, shall we? In 1978, John Carpenter defined modern, low-budget horror with the suspenseful slasher Halloween, featuring “The Shape” as the main villain. Barely on camera and adorned in a dark jumpsuit and harrowing white mask, “The Shape” was intended to represent evil as a force of nature, though later films added the name Michael Myers and fleshed out a backstory.
He’s easily one of the most iconic villains on the list, kind of like #3!
#11 The Candyman – Candyman (1992)
You’ve probably heard of the “Bloody Mary” fable. “Candyman” is an alternate version — say it 3 times, and the candyman will appear. The urban legend inspired the Candyman films, featuring Tony Todd as the mysterious and supernatural villain. One of many iconic scenes featured Todd opening his coat to release a swarm of bees. Yikes!
#10 Chucky – Child’s Play (1988)
Chucky is based on the fear that your creepy dolls come alive while you’re sleeping. The primary antagonist of the Child’s Play film series is a “Good Guy” doll possessed by serial killer Charles Lee Ray. The first movie was a box office hit and spawned five sequels, probably because a possessed serial killer doll is one of the most horrifying things you could think of!
#9 Dracula – Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Dracula was famous in fiction long before his film appearances; his popularity is so enduring that he has been featured in well over 200 films. His portrayal by Gary Oldman in 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula will probably go down as one of the most definitive. It’s certainly one of the most complex, and chilling.
#8 Pennywise the Clown – IT (1990)
There is just something about a clown that lives in the sewer and draws little kids to their deaths. We don’t know about you, but if this demonic clown offered us a balloon from a storm drain, we would have booked it in the opposite direction. Makes you wonder about the recent clown epidemic, doesn’t it?