Ethan Hawke’s The Black Phone character The Grabber will definitely be considered a classic horror villain. From the black balloons that he keeps in his van to the various masks that he wears depending on his emotions, he is tough to forget about. The fact that he takes kids who are walking home from school and keeps them in his basement is tragic and unforgettable.
There are many other memorable characters from horror movies that fans find alarming and chilling. Audiences have voted on Ranker and shared the villains and, in one case, main character, who will always feel perfectly creepy.
Note: Ranker lists are live and continue to accrue votes, so some rankings may have changed after this publishing.
Pazuzu is the villain in the 1973 film The Exorcist, a demon who takes over the protagonist, Regan MacNeil. Pazuzu looks like a hybrid of an animal and human, which is definitely terrifying and strange to look at.
What might even be creepier than Pazuzu’s appearance is how Regan calls him „Captain Howdy“ for a while. The ranking of this villain makes sense because while he’s absolutely part of horror history and the film is a classic horror movie, Pazuzu isn’t the most talked about villain.
9 The Thing
John Carpenter’s 1982 movie The Thing features a horrible alien who can reproduce, something that the main characters are scared of once they learn more about it. The Thing needs to make sure that it can survive and that makes it incredibly dangerous.
While The Thing is one of the most beloved films about creatures, not every horror fan likes movies with science-fiction elements. The alien is scary and gross to look at, but since it doesn’t feel like this creature could really exist, that makes it seem a bit less alarming.
The villain in the 1979 movie Alien is essentially a killing machine and can reproduce if they find a host. Because they are pretty wise, they are a huge threat to the main characters, who are figuring out how to outsmart them.
Similar to The Thing, Xenomorph can’t really exist, unlike a serial killer or villain who is human, which makes them feel a bit less scary than a serial killer or human villain.
Chatterer is one of the villains in Hellraiser, a cenobite who is a member of the main villain Pinhead’s circle. Before becoming a cenobite, he was named Jim and he had a tragic and terrible life. He loves causing others pain as he experienced a lot of it himself in his former existence.
Since Hellraiser isn’t quite as popular as some other horror franchises, as the story isn’t for everyone, this character is ranked a bit lower than some more beloved ones.
6 Michael Myers
No matter what murder weapon Michael Myers is using, the Halloween character will forever be one of the most spine-chilling villains. From the first night when he terrorizes Laurie Strode, she realizes that escaping him for good will be the toughest thing that she ever does.
Michael is incredibly strong and won’t stop until he gets what he wants which is, of course, to kill anyone he feels like. The fact that Michael doesn’t speak and moves so slowly makes him one of the scariest horror movie characters. Even though Michael has appeared in several films and fans have rewatched the first 1978 film so many times, Michael remains incredibly mysterious.
5 Hannibal Lecter
While Clarice Starling is an intelligent character, The Silence Of The Lambs villain definitely stands out more since he is so dangerous and disturbing. Hannibal Lecter has become one of the most recognizable horror characters thanks to the alarming and dark fact that he’s a cannibal.
Even non-horror fans are familiar with Hannibal thanks to this classic film and also the TV series, which suggests that he has a meaningful place in popular culture. Horror fans will always want to get into Hannibal’s mind and figure out the way that he works.
It’s fair to say that Stephen King’s It villain Pennywise haunts a lot of people’s dreams. While there are other creepy horror movie clowns, there’s something about Pennywise that sticks with audiences. It could be his evil grin, his white painted face, his old-fashioned costume, or the fact that he lures kids down into the sewers of Derry, Maine.
Since Pennywise targets children, he feels particularly eerie, since he is preying on the young and innocent. Since many are already afraid of clowns, watching Pennywise is even worse. His appearance is intense and it’s easy to imagine moviegoers having nightmares about him if they’re already scared of clowns.
3 Regan MacNeil
Regan MacNeil goes through quite the journey in The Exorcist. Her life becomes confusing, dark and terrifying when she becomes possessed by a demon, and since she begins acting strangely, she scares everyone around her.
Since The Exorcist was groundbreaking at the time and is the gold standard for films about demons possessing humans, it makes sense that Regan would be rated so highly. Because Regan is taken over and not in control of her own mind and body, she feels horrifying.
2 Freddy Krueger
From Freddy Krueger’s costume of a striped sweater and fedora to the fact that he talks a lot, the villain from the 1984 film A Nightmare On Elm Street is always top of mind for horror fans.
Freddy cracks jokes and speaks a lot to his victims, and the fact that he can kill people while they’re having nightmares couldn’t be scarier. Freddy will always be a favorite villain because it feels very hard to stop him.
Leatherface was voted the number one most horrifying character from a horror film, and this makes perfect sense. The villain in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre franchise is impossible to forget about and just might be the most disturbing one.
While every villain commits murders and, in many cases, stalks and plays games with their victims, Leatherface’s appearance is what sets him apart. The character wears masks that he has formed out of the skin of his victims. While fans would never want to come across any villain, there’s something extra scary about Leatherface, thanks to his gruesome face.
NEXT: Leatherface’s 10 Strongest Enemies, Ranked
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