A great horror movie villain can really sell the movie in general. It can be hard considering the villain might not appear on screen that much, or even have much dialogue. However if you can really develop them and bring them to life then they can make sure a movie is remembered. Over the years horror movies have created some ok villains, forgettable ones, and those that are truly great. These are some of my favorites.
Michael Meyers (Early Halloween)
I included the words early Halloween for Michael Meyers because that’s when he is one of my favorites. To me what makes Meyers so good in the first Halloween is the complete and utter lack of motivation. He is an evil child that seems to have no reason for killing his sister. His doctor talks about him as being a soulless being that can’t be helped, and he stalks and kills a bunch of teenagers because… well we don’t really know why. It’s perfect. Giving good motivation to a killer can actually be great in the context of horror, but sometimes it’s nice to see killers that just want to kill.
One of the greatest examples of the sympathetic monster is The Monster. In the first movie if you take away the “abnormal brain” moment (which was forced on the movie makers) you have a seemingly innocent being. He is confused, abused, and very likely in extreme amounts of pain. He is actually a lot more likeable than the man that made him. In the second movie he bonds with and becomes close to a blind man and is once again abused and mistreated by all others. Watching The Monster is brilliant and heartbreaking.
It’s really easy to forget that Friday the 13th didn’t actually start with the supernatural killer Jason Voorhees. In fact Scream plays on that very fact. At the time of the first Friday the 13th Slasher Films hadn’t taken off like they would later, but they were part of horror enough that no one suspected Mrs. Voorhees. It had to be Jason, the formula told us it was, but it wasn’t. It was a mother that was so torn up by the loss of her son that she went on a murderous rampage against seemingly innocent teens. It was well done and shocked a lot of people.
Now it’s pretty much common knowledge what the big twist of Psycho is. Most people see the movie knowing the secret of Bates and his mother. When the movie first came out it really shocked audiences though, the twist was so well handled that no one saw it coming. Even if you do know the secret before watching the movie it’s still so well done. Norman is creepy but seemingly innocent, and the mental break between him and his mother is handled perfectly.
One word, puns. The entire idea of Freddy is very scary. He is a sick man that uses the after life to continue to be a sick man. Being killed in your dreams, in horrific ways, is rather scary. Then you throw into that that he’s hilarious. He is constantly making bad puns that make you giggle at very inappropriate moments. It keeps it entertaining, and creepy.
Any Vincent Price Villain In Any Movie
Pick a random horror film in which Price plays the main bad guy and I would be willing to bet he leaves an impression. The voice alone is enough to grab at audiences, but Price is just such a great actor. He can be flamboyant, creepy, and give off the feeling of just pure evil. Price owns the horror movie villain, and did it in so many great roles.