The top 100 Villains rankings of the Horror, Thriller, Mystery, & Suspense genres–Film, Literature, Mythology, Folklore, Urban Legend. The list was contrived based on the villain’s personality, characteristics, cultural impact, turpitude, originality, performance, and other various subjective factors.
Patrick Bateman (American Psycho) – Bret Easton Ellis’ lampoon and mirthful massacre on the yuppie craze of 1980s wall street. Patrick Bateman, portrayed by a pre-batman Christian Bale, was a successful Wall Street investment banker sick of taking the blue pill and putting on a jovial mask for the superficial, smug people of his social environment. Secretly, he’s a gruesome serial killer involved in the wanton axe murders of prostitutes.
Goblins (Mythology) – The radix of these foul creatures date back hundreds of years, littered in European Fairytales. Dwarfish in stature, Goblins are often portrayed as wicked, mischievous monsters with an array of magical talents. They’re notorious for their gold lust, and residing in the woodlands and caves.
Dr. James Atherton (Arachnophobia) – Another villain with a strong fixation, so strong he puts the ones around him at risk for the opportunity to further his knowledge. The spiders might be the main villains of Arachnophobia, but Atherton was the catalyst for the spider infestation. Eventually his curiosity induces his own demise after he’s attacked by a huge venomous spider while tapping the web to get a better look.
Baby Jane Hudson (What ever happened to baby Jane?) – A perpetual resident of the distant past, Jane Hudson, in her 50s, still refers to herself as Baby Jane, a stage name used in her successful days as a child actor. After years of failure in the film industry, she descends into alcoholism and mental illness. Deeply jealous, she repeatedly abuses her more successful sister Blanche in their later years. Throughout the film, she wears her pity on her cheeks, streaks of babydoll make-up melting down her decrepit visage, desperately reliving her glory days in delusional reverie.
Krug Stillo (Last House on the Left) – After escaping prison with a posse of criminals, Krug’s a man with nothing to lose. High on drugs, the convicts deceivingly abduct, brutally rape, and then kill two girls in cold blood. The type of murder you only hear about in true crime TV shows, too heinous for a horror film. And because of the film’s authentic, documentary-style tone, you can’t help but fear running into a Krug-esque type of goon. Without a doubt, they’re out there in the world. And Wes Craven’s depiction of cruelty will forever be venerated as a sadist’s fantasy.
Deadites (Evil Dead series) – Under the possession of Kandarian demons, a Deadite becomes a destructive, demonic bane that’s fixated on committing egregious misdeeds. To this day, I find these sickening characters to be as terrifying as anything else depicted in the lamentable history of horror. Deadites are a legion of demons from hell working as a synergistic force to defile and scourge the humans that unwittingly summon them.
Esther (The Orphan) – Beneath that adorable, little face, there’s something wrong with Esther. Still, her guise is the perfect facade for the extremely disturbed Russian orphan. Given her dwarfish malady, Esther eloquently inveigles her way into the Coleman family, posing as a 9 yr-old. But being a lunatic, this wasn’t enough for Leena Klammer. She’s intent on driving mommy crazy and stealing daddy for her own. Much credit is awarded to Isabelle Furhman for her dazzling portrayal inspired by The Good Son & The Bad Seed.
Dr. Herbert West (Re-Animator) – Boldly grandiose and never spineless in confrontation, Herbert West (a narcissistic med student) went into tunnel vision whenever he set his sights on a goal. A warning for those who threaten his medical progress, for he’s definitely the type to follow through on a threat. In the name of science and at the sacrifice of his morality, he persisted in his quest to resurrect the dead. If not for that zombie-like side effect, he may have been on to something grand. Time and again, epic parables have taught us the consequences of playing god, yet there will always be a Herbert West out there to arrogantly attempt the perilous craft of re-creation.
Grim Reaper (Mythology) – Since the time of medieval England, Death has been illustrated as a scythe-wielding skeletal curator of doom with the onus of ushering the freshly deceased souls of earth into the realm of the dead. In many works of fiction, the ill-fated person often beseeches the Psychopomp for another chance at life. Silently, the Grim Reaper may heed their best plea, then discern whether or not he should shirk his duty by giving them a second chance at life.
Annie Wilkes (Misery) – Stephen King’s best story sprung from his worst nightmare. After releasing the fantasy book ‘The Eyes of the Dragon’ in the mid-’80s, King received heavy censure from his readers for venturing outside of the horror genre. Like the devil he is, King turned this experience into an unforgettable book and arguably his greatest film adaptation yet. In the final showdown, it doesn’t get more poetic than Sheldon torching the Misery’s Return manuscript. For all the misery that he went through, the revenge couldn’t have been any sweeter than that.