Horror films are often known for their suspense, jump scares, and outright gore – but there is more than violence and anticipation to fear. Words can create fear alone, and it takes a great actor to instill fear in viewers with just a speech. Below, we’ve picked two of our favorite monologues from superstar actors, Al Pacino and Christian Bale in different horror films, which are both poetic and chilling.
Al Pacino – The Devil’s Advocate
This legendary actor cemented his place in the acting hall of fame with his epic portrayal of Corleone in The Godfather (1972) before furthering his legacy with an awe-inspiring performance as a gangster in the cultural classic Scarface (1983). In what may come as a surprise, PIA reported that the actor was close to landing the role of Han Solo in the Star Wars franchise between these two masterpieces (1977) but eventually passed on the opportunity.
After struggling with illness during the filming of Revolution (1985), the actor would co-star with Keanu Reeves some years later in The Devil’s Advocate and deliver a gripping speech that had to be included in this short article. Teeming with anger at the state of the world and the unfair treatment of God, Al Pacino passionately delves into his monologue, criticizing the futility of serving a merciless God. Exploring the dichotomies of man that lead to a constant cycle of suffering, Al Pacino declares that a “sick” God was laughing at his struggle. Instead of submitting to God, he swears to rule by the devil’s laws. As Keanu puts it: “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven, is that it?”.
Christian Bale – American Psycho
Typically known as either Batman or Bateman, Christian Bale is one of the greatest actors to grace the 21st century, delivering hit film after hit film. His commitment to his roles has seen his body weight fluctuate to abnormal levels – Screenrant estimates that Bale has lost and gained over 610 pounds during his career. It is no surprise that an actor so committed to his art could produce one of the most iconic, chilling monologues in modern media. In one of the film’s earliest scenes, we have Patrick Bateman (Bale) talking viewers through his morning skincare routine.
While this seems trivial and normal at first, the production of the scene gives viewers a slightly unsettling feeling. Bateman is, in fact, an incredibly played psychopath – who refuses to believe that he is a real person. The scene ends with a chilling description of how Patrick Bateman is nothing but a figment of people’s imagination: a tangible shell of a man that contains no humanity. This justifies his senseless killing throughout the film. The monologue is the perfect introduction to Bateman in this movie, which CBR deem “one of the creepiest psychological horrors of all time.”
Horror is a growing genre and has come a long way from poor special effects and basic jump scares. Creating a lasting feeling of fear in viewers with just one’s words is a talent in both the scriptwriter and the actor delivering it. These are just some of the most iconic monologues out there, guaranteed to get the hairs on your neck standing. If you haven’t seen them, what are you waiting for? Maybe don’t watch these films alone at night, though.