Some of the best characters in film history have fought on the wrong side of the good/evil divide. Consider the James Bond franchise, for example: it’s no coincidence that the large majority of the highest-rated films are the ones with the most memorable and intriguing villains. Add other characters like Star Wars’ Darth Vader and Se7en’s John Doe to the mix and it quickly becomes apparent we’re all suckers for a well-written villain.
Of course, this is especially true with regards to the horror genre due to the fact that the bad guy is usually the main reason we watch the film in the first place. Nevertheless, some of these characters fall into a category in their own in that they’re either pure evil personified or crazy as mules. With that being said, below is a brief rundown of the most psychotic and unhinged horror movie villains. Perhaps you should read it with the light on, though.
Normal Bates (Psycho)
It’s impossible to overstate the impact that Psycho and Norman Bates, in particular, had on the horror genre as a whole. When the film premiered in New York City on January 16, 1960, audiences were left both enthralled and stunned in equal measure and the 45-second shower murder scene probably remains the most famous scene in the genre even to this day. The most chilling aspect of Bates’ character revolves around his apparent ability to function as a ‘normal’ human being and as a result, you can’t help but sympathise with him. That is, of course, until he turns into a psychopath and starts murdering at will.
Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street)
We’re not quite sure whether it’s Freddy’s comedic genius or the fact that he attacks people in their sleep when they’re at their most vulnerable which makes him such a terrifying foe but we won’t be sticking around to find out. Kruger’s iconic claw and mask have since popped up in various areas of pop culture including appearances in songs such as ‘Sweet Dreams’ and ‘A Nightmare On My Street’ as well various video games such as 888casino’s Nightmare on Elm Street, which comes with a free bet no deposit bonus, which can come in handy when trying to stay one step ahead of Kruger and his razor sharp claws (and wit).
Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
No, we’re not referencing the 2017 film of the same name (if you haven’t seen it then don’t). We are of course talking about Leatherface’s chilling appearance in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which is as unexpected as it is spine-chillingly casual. From the moment that the young, unsuspecting teen takes the wrong turn and promptly gets his head caved in with a mallet, you know you’re dealing with an utter psychopath. Add in the fact that Leatherface is so called because his mask is literally made of someone else’s skin and you’ve got the quintessential derange villain. Oh, and it’s based on a true story too, which makes it all the more galling if you ask us.
Let’s face it, you wouldn’t wanna meet any of these guys in a dark alley. However, villains like this often make the film what it is and so at the risk of a few sleepless nights, we implore future horror directors to continue to create new villains who are both terrifying and intriguing in equal measure because in our humble opinion, this is exactly what the genre has been missing recently.