Thursday, October 31, 2013

Scary Evil!

There are two big kinds of scary - the kind that scares you in a good way and you think what you've seen is cool because of it's scariness, and the kind that just plain scares you shitless, disturbs you, gives you terrified, uncomfortable feelings, and makes you lose sleep over it. There are many villains who've invoked the former in me, but it takes very special cases to invoke the latter. So for my last October villain entry, for Halloween, these are the villains of TV and film who genuinely terrified me.

 Alex Forrest: This crazy lady really got under my skin. Glenn Closse played her a little too well. At first she had my sympathies because she was obviously not right in the head and felt she was owed this man's devotion to her, which, if her claims of being pregnant were true, she very much was. I was rooting for her to give Hell to that ass-scum Dan. But soon she started to take things a little too far with the vandalism and outright stalking. Then she got his wife and daughter involved, two complete innocents. And then she put the bunny in the boiler - now she was completely unforgivable, deranged, and frightening. She was not going to be IGNORED! And of course, who could forget the last scare in the bathtub? Made me scared to take a bath again!

 Annie Wilkes: An even crazier lady: one who seems so sweet and pleasant until you find out she has psychotic and even murderous tendencies. She's the crazy fangirl taken to the highest extreme, and she shouts, assaults, tortures, and kills in order to get her way. What she and Alex share in common is that as scary as they are when they flip out, they're even scarier when they're just on-screen acting normal, because you just know anything could set them off and you're not sure what or when, but you're constantly dreading the moment. Cathy Bates really hit a home run with her performance: successfully luring in with her likability, and then...AAAH!

 Buffalo Bill: He may be a boring villain, but damn if he wasn't a scary-ass serial killer. Everything he says and does, from his famous line about lotion to that dance he does in front of a mirror while dressing in drag and saying "Would you fuck me? I'd fuck me." is just horrifying. In fact, that's part of what makes him uncomfortable to watch. He's too real.

 The Child Catcher: The child molester whom kids see before they even know what a child molester is. He says the word "kiddy winkies" and makes it sound like the scariest thing ever! Oddly enough, I think he might be scarier to adults than he is to children due to what he represents. A strange, obviously sick stranger abducting children is a definite adult fear!

 Angelus: He's a vampire, but the way David Boreanaz plays him is so human, and not in the good way! He feels like the ultimate abusive boyfriend: every crazy, mean, domineering jackass rolled up into one. Every time he was on-screen, even when Angel was pretending to be him, I felt unnerved. I always expected him to mercilessly assault someone while cracking jokes and taking glee in it, because that's sort of what he does best. This dude is such a monster that he transcends humans or vampires, and that makes him so scary. He's such a beast!

 The Gentlemen: One of the rare occasions when setting out to make something specific actually pays off, since Joss Whedon deliberately made these guys to be the stuff of nightmares. And they are! You're never going to forget those hideous grinning faces!

 Ghost Face: It's strange that this mask has become so iconic that it's hard to really scare anyone anymore, but the first time it's seen in the first "Scream" movie, it IS scary! And the killer is scary too. He doesn't just kill his victims, he toys with them first. He's not just evil, but smart: he arranges everything to fit his sick, twisted game before going in for the kill. And his insanity is so believable. His line of how "movies don't create killers: they make the killers more creative!" is unforgettable and eerily true. He's the poster boy for bad media influence.

 HAL 9000: "I'm sorry, Dave. I cannot let you do that." HAL's nature extends to all AI villains in fiction, from GLADos to XANA. Human beings created this thing, and it's doing exactly what it was programmed to do, but now that works against us. We are the makers of our own destruction, and that is frightening! Extra scare points for that chilling monotone.

 Hannibal Lecter: Oh yes, who doesn't know of Hannibal the Cannibal? I thought he was petrifying in "Red Dragon" and "The Silence Of The Lambs", and even in "Hannibal" he was creepy due to Sir Anthony Hopkins' portrayal. Intelligent, articulate, sophisticated and cultured, he seems so appealing and polite at first, but you quickly begin to hear the creepy undertones in the way he speaks and gazes at you. As a psychiatrist, he gets into your head and plays games with your mind, finding where you're most vulnerable. And he eats people. Not out of malice, but because it's simply in his nature. He's a true human animal: a predator. Ignore his bullshit "origin": nothing happened to make him this way. He happened. Some find Dr. Lecter too larger-than-life to be scary, but that's the kicker for why he's so scary! A man like him simply should not exist, yet does. When he's in the scene, it's like you've walked into a completely different reality, one in which he is the master. He's among the most iconic horror villains for a reason. He gives me the chills!

 Judge Doom: Christopher Lloyd as this villain is pretty creepy already, but then he's revealed to be a crazy toon serial killer who killed Eddie Valiant's brother. He has bulging red eyes and a high-pitched squeaky voice. And he is just nightmarish. You never learn exactly who he was or why he went wrong, but you don't want to find out. You're just glad he's gone!

 Samara: The decrepit, decaying little girl with overgrown hair who crawls out of the well and through the TV screen to kill you. That might be spoiling things, but just about everyone knows it. "The Ring" is one of the scariest movies for this reason among others.

 Kayako: The decrepit, decaying young Japanese woman with overgrown hair who haunts a cursed house. Quite possibly even scarier than Samara. Her hideously warped face, her contorting movements, that sound she makes whenever she's present..it's freaky!

 Pazzuzu: Six words: your mother sucks cocks in Hell! This demonic entity that possessed and corrupted a young girl was so terrifying and believable that it made many claim that the Devil was really present on the set of "The Exorcist." The low, raspy, androgynous voice that comes out of her is just bonechilling, and that face...eeeewww! Such details make this movie one of the scariest films of all time. You're so scared, you forget it's only a movie!

 Michael Myers: Only from the first "Halloween" movie, mind you. He scared me less and less as the films kept getting made and they refused to let him go. But in the original, more self-contained film, Michael had no origin, no background, no motivation for his killings. As Dr. Loomis describes, he was simply pure evil ever since he was a child. There's literally nothing inside of him but malice. The closing lines of the film describe what he is perfectly. "It was the boogeyman." "Yes...in fact, it was." Michael is the boogeyman. And that's all he ever needed be.

 Mola Ram: "CALI MA! CALI MAAAAA!" Maybe it was just the general unpleasant tone of this movie coupled with this creepy skull-head guy and all that he did, but
I thought he was just horrifying. He rips out hearts and burns them, and sentences several children to abuse, labor, and misery. All in the name of his religious fanaticism, which seems downright Satanic!

 Mr. Dark: Owner of the Dark Pandemonium Carnival that visits Green Town every few autumns. He is in truth the embodiment of darkness. He and his troupe prey off of sorrow, fear, insecurity, and desire: it is what sustains them. The nature of the carnival attracts people with what they want most, only to take it away from them and claim their souls. And this man here was a very sinister villain, played to perfection by Johnathan Pryce. He just exudes pure evil and made me hate him as much as I feared him. Everything he said and did shook me to the core.

 Moodi Mamudi: Not a particularly well-written character, but Alfred Molina's acting made up for that in how deranged and intimidating he was. As with Alex Forrest and Annie Wilkes, I was scared of him on principle because I knew that if the stress of his family problems overwhelmed him or his wife did something she wasn't allowed to do, he'd fly off the handle. In his rage, he is blind and will strike, slap, choke, or even attempt murder on his wife. He displays the most barbaric of human nature. This wasn't a horror movie, but this guy was scary!

 Norman Bates: Each and every time he showed up dressed like mother, wielding a knife as that screeching music played in the background, I was seized with fear. And that last scene with him all alone, thinking to himself in his mother's voice? So haunting!

 Jack Torrance and the Overlook: Jack Nicholson is the go-to guy for crazy, and this was no doubt his scariest psychopath performance. He really captured a mentally disturbed guy slowly going absolutely bonkers. All of his deranged moments and lines delivered with convincing madness are both memorable and terrifying. But if I had to be completely honest with myself, I'd say Jack was actually the least scary of the scary things that accompany the Overlook Hotel in this film. That is how freaking scary that thing is! The creepy twins, the hideously decrepit woman, the guy in the dog suit, the blood flooding from the elevator, and all the frightening sound effects...it's a dark, disturbing whirlwind of horror that makes this one of the scariest of films.

 Sweeney Todd: I didn't think Johnny Depp could scare me, so I was completely unprepared for this performance. I felt for Benjamin Barker, but I feared Sweeney Todd. This is a man with nothing but pain and hatred inside of him, and he'll do anything to satisfy these feelings. The more he pursues his revenge, the less redeemable he becomes. And his method of slitting men's throats while shaving them invokes fears that men could have about their barbers.

 The Joker: Damn, this clown is just a horrifying creature. He amuses me, but then he also scares me. He terrified me so much when I first saw this movie at the cinema. And most of that is certainly due to Heath Ledger's convincing performance as a completely unhinged psychopath who lives by absolutely no rules, has no goal other than to create chaos, and has no good reason to hurt people other than he finds it fun. But I'd be lying if I said it wasn't also due to the "dead man walking" feeling I get from watching Ledger in his final role. I wish he was still with us today, but I am glad that before passing away, he left us a performance that is truly immortal.

 Frank Booth: Dennis Hopper's performance as the villain of David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" was just bone-chilling in how totally unrestrained the character was. He was meant to embody the worst of human evil, a living incarnation of Hell itself despite being just a regular guy. And boy does he ever. He's one of the most memorable film psychopaths for a reason!

 Candyman: Not only is the idea behind the character scary, but Tony Todd's on-screen presence and deep voiced, insidious performance just gives me the willes!

 The White Rabbit: The Czech film "Alice" is pretty much the perfect nightmare put to film, and this guy was the prime offender. A foppishly dressed rabbit with googly eyes, sharp teeth, and always looking like he's decaying, it is he who lures Alice into the strange domain of terrors. Since he is the Queen of Heart's lord high executioner, he always carries a pair of scissors that he uses to cut heads with. He's such a frightening, freakish creation, just as the whole movie is a brilliant way to make one lose sleep. One of the most underrated horror villains.

 The Haunted Mask: I could handle most "Goosebumps" stories, but this thing scared the crap out of me as a kid. The way it looks, the voice it gives it's wearers, and just the whole concept of a mask that turns the nature of the wearer ugly so it can grow strong enough to become that person's face was just really horrifying. It's less scary now, but geez. 

 Lily D: Yet again an R.L. Stine show played it scariest card first. Nothing else on the show ever got even close to getting under my skin as much as this demon doll did. She was especially horrifying in the series premiere, where she started stealing the love a family had for it's daughter away and even momentarily traded places with the daughter! So unsettling!

 The Carnataurus: This scary-ass mofo terrified me when I encountered it on a ride at the Animal Kingdom in Disney World, and it's still scary in "Dinosaur!"

 The Xenomorph: Watch "Alien" for yourself. It will terrify you!

 The Wicked Witch Of The West: What child wasn't scared shitless by this evil green faced hag? The character just embodied pure, unadulterated nastiness and Margaret Hamilton played the part to perfection, balancing theatrical hamminess with genuine malice.

 Kira: The main protagonist of "Death Note", Light Yagami, is one of the scariest characters you could come across in a fictional series. He's not a supernatural being, not an evil sorceror, warlord, or supervillain - he's a human being, albeit one with a genius intellect. Upon obtaining the power to kill anyone he deems unjust and unfit to live, he transforms into an evil, narcissistic, self righteous, sociopathic mass murderer called Kira, who kills in the name of his views of justice, hoping to create his ideal world free of crime and injustice, where he reigns supreme as God of the new world. The scariest part about Light is that he starts off with a position that so many people can identify with and seems capable of being a good guy who could do great things for the world, so to see what he lets himself become instead is as horrific as it is tragic.

 Ego The Living Planet: No Marvel movie villain legitimately scared me before this guy. Just the idea that he can put up the facade of a warm, kind, charming father with his share of funny and touching moments only to reveal himself as a true monster in all senses of the word, all of it played masterfully by Kurt Russel. The reveal of what became of all his previous defective children was horrific, and his twisted goals and what he did to Peter Quill's mother made him despicable. And by the time of "THIS is the sea!", I was close to wetting my pants in fear!

 The Truck And The Shark: Both are the same basic concept from Spielberg, and both are equally terrifying and believable. The truck is driven by some unknown psychopath who wants to pursue and kill some guy for no certain reason at all. That we never see the face of evil here is truly unsettling. It embodies a fear of just going out on the road and into a very unpredictable life. The shark, meanwhile, embodies fear of water. While in the movie it's what leads the hero to ultimately overcoming his fear of the ocean, it gave several people in real life a fear of going into the ocean - and a fear of sharks, too! And after seeing the movie, I can understand why.

 The Babadook: Despite the ridiculous name, this thing was subject to one of the most genuinely terrifying horror movies in recent years. The introduction to the titular monster through a children's pop-up book and the subsequent build-up of fear, paranoia, and psychological terror was like watching a nightmare coming to life, and then we actually hear it's voice over the phone. "Baaabaadooook!" I admit that I was actually more scared of it due to what I thought it was all leading to rather than the payoff we actually got, but that payoff and what the Babadook actually represented still was very freaking scary! Thankfully, that horror is mitigated by the ending and the Babadook's newfound status as a raging LGBTQ icon thanks to a hilarious Netflix error.

 The Homunculi: The humanoid rodent monsters from "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark". While very freaky looking and subject of much jump scares, I was never really that scared of them so much as I was scared for the people they were targeting. I was creeped out by their sheer wickedness and the situations they created. The climax of the movie where they cut off all the power in that big fancy house suddenly made them a terrifying threat. And that ending...holy fuck!

 The Conjuring Spirits: The malevolent witch ghost Bathsheba, the creepy possessed doll Annabelle, and the demon nun Valak - all of them are some of the most downright sinister and horrific entities put to film. There's never a moment where they're not scary!

 Jim Renshaw: One could call "The Elephant Man" a horror film, and the horror is human nature itself. And no one shows that better than Sunny Jim, the night porter. This guy represents the absolute worst of humanity. He's vile, greedy, selfish, mean-spirited, and utterly unapologetic for all of it. He gets kicks off of tormenting others, and a "freak" like John Merrick was just the sort of person he could take full advantage of. The scene where he leads the drunken party into Merrick's room in order to assault and humiliate him is one of the most terrifying, gutwrenching, infuriating, and disturbing sequences in any movie I've ever seen. His nature is dark, he exploits the nature of others, and he feels proud of it. What absolute scum. And that's scarier than most monsters or supernatural beings can manage. It's such a relief when this guy gets it in the end.

 The Blair Witch: Never seen, only felt. But just....DAMN.

 The Demon: One of THE scariest movie villains I've ever seen. Like the Blair Witch, it's never seen, but it's presence is felt everywhere. But what makes it worse is that we gradually begin to understand it's character and goals, all the while never seeing it or hearing a word from it! And the more Micah and Katie learn about it, the more agitated it becomes, and that leads to the endangerment of lives. Each night, you're always scared that the Demon will come through that door and make something happen, but you're never sure what. By the end where the Demon takes possession of Katie's body, I'd completely checked out with fear. I do not care for all the sequels they're making and releasing each year. Like Michael, this one needs no further story.

 The Twilight Zone: Certain episodes and aspects of "The Twilight Zone" have seriously scared and disturbed me. Special mention goes to "The Midnight Sun" (an episode I actually refuse to re-watch) and the build-up in the Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror ride.

 Gollum: The character in general is disturbing and frightening, but the Rankin-Bass version voiced by Brother Theodore was my first exposure. Not only did he look and sound creepy, but his last scene was haunting. "THIEF! BAGGINS! WE HATES HIM FOREVER!"

 The Wegman Dogs: Okay, these things weren't villains but they might as well have been given how unintentionally dark and creepy they were when their segments showed up on Sesame Street, with the creepy dressed up dogs and the monotone narration. Especially the Three Bears one, which always had be bolting and screaming from the room!

 The Wild Things: An old book on video tape of "Where The Wild Things Are" I once saw came off as scary and made these guys extra frightening for me. Though the movie adaptation where one of them is voiced by Tony Soprano really didn't make it much better!

 The Mad Hatter: This character in any version of Wonderland has the potential to be very silly or very unsettling. The "Once Upon A Time" version, Jefferson, was the latter. He actually scared me a good deal in his debut episode, especially due to Sebastian Stan giving a chilling performance of a small time crook gone mad and even murderous. "Get it to work!"

 Peter Pan: The only classic literary character that "Once Upon A Time" made as scary as the Mad Hatter would be Peter Pan, played with devious sociopathic menace by Robbie Kay. I talked about him in the last entry, but he's seriously the scariest little shit!

 Moriarty: In both "Sherlock" and "Elementary", the character of Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes' greatest adversary, was incredibly terrifying in the way he or she was built up and the things they were able to do. If anything, "Napoleon of Crime" is seriously understating it!

 Sauron: This guy IS evil itself! No better way to describe him!

 Chernabog and Fire Bird: Both big, scary, evil beings in the "Fantasia" movies are legitimately terrifying. Chernabog being the Devil, and the Fire Bird being the spirit of death and destruction itself, the anti-thesis to the spirit of life. They both really disturbed me.

 The Old Crone: The evil Queen Grimhilde was always a scary, imposing villainess, but when she transformed into the Old Crone, she showed the depravity, wickedness, and ugliness that she always had within her heart, brought to the outside for all to see.

 The Coachman: One of Disney's most monstrous villains. When you first see him, he looks so kindly and gentle, and then as he explains his vile, inhumane business on Pleasure Island, his face changes into what you see there. He goes back to his regular face afterwards, but you're not fooled. You know what he really is. And what he causes is one of the most horrifying things to be put into a Disney animated movie. This sinister creep is just a nightmare.

 The Big Bad Wolf: Not the Big Bad Wolf from the Disney cartoons, who was always more comical than menacing. The one from the Disney storybook and tape that accompanied it, which I had as a child. For some reason the Wolf is drawn to look darker and scarier, with yellow eyes, a sleeker look, and very sharp fangs. And his voice on the tape - good lord, it could make one piss themselves in fright! Completely unlike the Wolf in the cartoons! They even make his sheep disguise moment sound menacing! As a kid, this scared the Hell out of me!

 Maleficent And Jafar: Two of a kind when it comes to being the best Disney villains, these two never scared me when I watched their movies. It was well before I saw either of them when they scared me - with Maleficent, it was again in a storybook on tape, the way it described the part where Maleficent enchanted Briar Rose with a beam of light and made her prick her finger. With Jafar, it was his song on the soundtrack. More precisely, how he ended his song!

 The Headless Horseman: DAT LAUGH. The visuals are scary, the build-up is just too perfect, and that is one of the most terrifying evil laughs ever! EVER!

 Judge Claude Frollo: In just my last entry, I mentioned that he was the scariest Disney villain due to his realism. Well, even as a kid, I was aware of this. I knew something was wrong with this guy, I just wasn't quite sure what. I felt dirty watching the "Hellfire" sequence, and also very frightened, but I didn't know why. It flew over my head. And his complete succumbing to evil and madness at the end ("And he shall smite the wicked..") was no doubt the source of many of my nightmares at that age. Frollo was evil, scary, and just so evil that it's scary.

 Slade: Normally Slade doesn't scare me. He's super creepy at worst, totally awesome at best. But there was this one episode titled "Haunted" where he scared the shit outta me. Robin was fighting him but never laying a hit, and he was beating him up to near death. The whole time, the other titans claimed Slade wasn't really there: that Robin's hallucinating. And killing himself. Slade kept on toying with Robin, and making me fear him in doing so. It all came to a head with his absolutely chilling words at the climax. "No, Robin. I will not stop. Not now, not ever. I am the thing that keeps you up at night: the evil that haunts every dark corner of your mind. I will never rest...and neither will you!" By the end, I was expecting him to never go away. It was so scary!

 Professor Pericles: How did "Scooby Doo" get such a genuinely terrifying villain? The Freak of Crystal Cove and the Nibiru Entity from the same series frightened me too, but this fucking parrot is the one who was consistently bone chilling and kept on topping himself in how scary he could be. The character's freakish intelligence and Udo Kier's vocal performance always sent shivers down my spine. Pericles was crafty, malevolent, and murderous!

 Bill Cipher: I thought Bill was pretty creepy to begin with but he was mostly funny and endearing in a crazy, evil sort of way. The Season 2 showed us all the horror that Bill truly was. Like Pericles, he just kept topping himself in scariness up to the very end.

 Toffee: Like Bill, he was just kinda creepy to begin with but had a certain charm to him and even a few amusing moments that kept me from fearing him as much. That was before merged his spirit with all the magic inside the wand space and became an evil entity who drained and absorbed all magic in Mewni, could communicate with and corrupt Ludo through his own wand, possessed Ludo's body thanks to dark magic and could suck the magic and life out of anyone in his way. All this coupled with Michael C. Hall's voice made Toffee so damn terrifying!

 XANA: Only this digital devil could rival HAL as a scary as hell AI. It's theme music, it's creations, it's intellect, and all the creative ways in which it attempted to destroy the world and wipe out the human species for fun made him a suspenseful villain to watch.

 Ryoko Asakura: Like Slade, she usually doesn't really scare me at all. But that scene in "The Disappearance Of Haruhi Suzumiya"...I think I almost died of fright!

 Femto: The emissary of God's Hand that Griffith morphed into. I'm not so much scared of the guy himself as much as I am of who he used to be, what he does, and what he represents If there was any doubt that Griffith was evil, this really should've put them to rest.

 Johan Liebert: Did you not see my Top Thirty Anime Villains?

 Oyashiro Sama: At first this unseen demon god and the curse it supposedly inflicted upon the village of Hinamizawa was a straight-up scare, everything relating to Oyashiro's curse being unsettling and all events that transpired because of it being horrifying. But then it was majorly subverted when we meet Oyashiro and see how she really is! Aaaaauuuuuuu!

 Shou Tucker: If you've watched the anime or read the manga, you know this guy, you know the scene, you know what he does. He's a despicable mad alchemist who killed his own wife with his experiments and turns his own daughter and her dog into a chimera. And this comes right the fuck out of nowhere, too! The way the scene plays out, especially in the original anime, horrifies and disturbs me like few things in fiction do. Such a disgusting man he is.

 Vicious: He scared me the most in his first appearance, where we knew next to nothing about him other than the fact that he and Spike used to be partners, and that he's bad news. His look, his low, rasping voice, his bird...everything about him was chilling.

 Tongpu: The scariest part of the scariest episode of "Cowboy Bebop." Just looking at him freaks me out. He's got a false-looking grinning face and a balloon-like body, and loaded with artillery for killing people. And he only gets more frightening from there. He starts the episode capable of normal speech, but he regresses as it goes on: soon he's screaming every word, then he's reduced to nothing but mad cackling, and finally he starts moaning and crying like a toddler when he feels pain. We never get his full story, but like Spike, we don't feel we want to.

 The D-Reaper: OK, who the hell put this thing on a Digimon show and who let it be broadcast on children's networks! It's now the source of many nightmares.

 The "Real" Mima: The main antagonist of the mind-screw anime psychological horror film "Perfect Blue". She's not necessarily one character, but an apparition who appears in the psyches of three different characters in the film, the third of which is the most horrifying and leads to both the climax of the film and the explanation behind much of what's been going on in it the whole time. I don't want to spoil much, but I can say this chick genuinely creeped me out. Basically, they made a cute, upbeat Japanese pop idol into the most frightening thing ever.

 Emperor Griffon: The character isn't really THAT scary, but his initial reveal actually did frighten me a great deal. He's just the most unexpectedly nonthreatening looking thing beneath that hood, yet he's supposed to be the ruler of darkness. And then he starts kicking your ass and going crazy while a haunting battle theme plays. I was then very, very afraid of him. Then he transforms into a griffon man with a snarling voice performed by Mark Hamill. Yikes!

 JENOVA: Anything having to do with this alien monstrosity freaked me right the fuck out! It set the tone for the game's Big Bad when it broke out of it's hold at Shinra HQ and murdered countless people, including President Shinra himself, leaving behind a trail of blood. And if that wasn't scary enough, wait 'til you fight the damn thing! At least four times! This is the malignant entity whose legacy Sephiroth has inherited. It's the source of the worst scares.

 Sin: Similar to the above, anything having to do with this monstrosity was heart-poundingly scary. To the denizens of Spira, this thing is death itself, embodied by a humongous whale-like armor and capable of attacking land, sea, or sky. Like the shark from "Jaws", you're only shown parts of Sin but never the full creature until towards the very end of the story. So when you finally see it on the outskirts of Zanarkand, you shake with dread at the sight of it!

 The Unknown: "Kingdom Hearts" is filled with dark and scary things but I don't think anything got scarier than the most powerful secret boss of the original game's Final Mix edition, later revealed to be Organization XIII's leader, Xemnas. The way he comes in, the fight he gives you, the way he leaves and the cryptic things he says...all of it is so dann frightening!

 Majora's Mask: The mask itself, the alien entity behind it, and it's entire game are the epitome of the Nightmare Fuel that the "Legend Of Zelda" series has much of.

 Saavedro: A pained, broken, vengeful psychopath played to menacing perfection by Brad Dourif, Saavedro is another memorable antagonist who genuinely terrified me.  Since the "Myst" games are like computer games where you're not playing as any character or avatar, and Saavedro is being played by a real person, something about the moments where he speaks to you seem so real.  Like the TV/computer screen is the only thing separating him from you, and you're always fearing that he could break through at any moment and try to kill you.

 Pyramid Head: A silent killer devoid of feeling, this guy is the ultimate boogeyman. His name describes exactly what he is, and his design is what terrifies me the most. He literally wears a long, sharp, triangular shaped helm where his head should be. It has no expression or symbol on it, and it looks even scarier when he turns to the side. He never speaks, only moans and grunts like your typical slasher, but that actually adds to his creepiness. In the plot, he symbolizes deep psychological fear of, and even desire for, death. And that is just super scary.

 Psycho Mantis: This is a guy who can control entire rooms, turn background music against you, mind control others, read your mind and even see beyond the fourth wall, reading your system's memory card and making the controller vibrate with his powers! There's really no way he can't freak you out, and it takes an exceptionally smart strategy to beat him. He got a bit Nightmare Retardant in MS4, where he got astounded by the PS3 and died like a punk!

 Scarecrow and Killer Croc: "Arkham Asylum" is a game that really made the self proclaimed Master Of Fear live up to his title, with him getting Batman with his fear toxin at three unexpected points in the game that scare the player just as much, especially with how random and increasingly psychological the scares are and how they're always followed by facing a giant version of Scarecrow. But after he's dealt with for good, Killer Croc proves to be even scarier than he was, running at you in dark tunnels and snarling at you with Steve Blum's scariest voicework!

 Lusamine And The Ultra Beasts: While the Pokemon franchise has produced many terrors, the Ultra Beasts were the first whose creepiness and otherworldly factor made my skin crawl, and Lusamine is pretty easily the scariest major villain in the main game series, being completely out of her mind and dealing in villainy that's both fantastical and chillingly real. When she merges with Nihilego to become the Mother Beast, it's the biggest horror the series has had yet!

 Game Glitches: Let's face it, glitches in computer games are scary things. The most notorious example is probably Missingno. from the original Pokemon games, a formless glitch that acts as a secret Pokemon residing along the coast of Cinnabar Island. It was not meant to be in the game, yet it is. It should not exist, yet it does. No wonder Linkara made it so evil!

 The Path: The entire game, but especially Gradma's House.

 Five Night's At Freddy's: If The Path is like The Blair Witch Project, then this game is Paranormal Activity. Freddy Krueger doesn't scare me. This Freddy does!

 IT: IT, particularly it's main avatar, Pennywise the Dancing Clown, was meant to be fear incarnate and the single greatest cosmic horror in existence, but that never really came off in the 1990 TV mini series starring Tim Curry as the clown - I cannot ever be truly afraid of Tim Curry, he's just too much fun! Then Bill Skarsgard played him in the movie made 27 years later, and he was petrifyingly scary in the role. Not even just his voice, movements, and overall performance made him so horrifying - the effects, the sounds, the music, the tension, the actions...all of it pure terror that made me feel afraid and sold this evil creature as Stephen King's ultimate horror!

 Rumpelstiltskin: This fairy tale always creeped me out, and
I owe it to a Rabbit Ears version narrated by Kathleen Turner that I saw once but I cannot remember where and when. The whole atmosphere and soundtrack was dark and mysterious in this version, and the little man himself was just scary, particularly his dance around the campfire and his "THE DEVIL TOLD YOU THAT!" breakdown at the end. I didn't quite follow it entirely, but it disturbed me. I think Robert Carlye's portrayal on "Once Upon A Time" reawakened my fear of Rumpelstiltskin, but he manages to be scary in the cool way, and I got used to him fast. Still I wonder..WTF was this?

 The monsters of "Pan's Labyrinth": All the monsters in this brilliant movie kept getting scarier and scarier. The faun man was frightening, but also pretty funny in his hamminess. The big toad was both scary and disgusting. The child-eating Pale Man was so damn terrifying that allegedly even Stephen King was uncomfortable watching him. And the fascist Captain Vidal, a human being, was the scariest monster in the movie. He had zero redeeming qualities, committed atrocious acts of violence, and was all too willing to use, abuse, and dispose of his new family. Everything about these monstrosities won't ever be leaving my head.

14 comments:

  1. Some really excellent choices, Eric. I'm not familiar with all the characters you listed but those I do know definitely send shivers down my spine. As for me, I think the most frightening villain I've encountered in fiction would be Judge Holden from the novel Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.

    Others would include Bernard Loredo and his mom from The Witcher 2 (two humans that are by far the scariest beings in a game that has no shortage of monsters), Arthur Mitchell from Dexter and the Preacher from The Night of the Hunter, among others. Between them they prove one thing; that the night is dark and full of terrors.





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've yet to see "Dexter", nut Arthur Mitchell interests me since he's played by John Lithgow, and is supposedly bone chillingly terrifying in spite of this. It's a performance I have to see sometime.

      Oh, and Reverend Harry Powell from Night Of The Hunter? He was scary, but I only didn't put him here because he's one of those villains where my fear gets outweighed by my pure contempt. That man was just EVIL.

      Delete
  2. Your comment on the Big Bad Wolf thing reminded me; I did a video of me as the Disney Big Bad Wolf (the "real" one, not the menacing one shown) reviewing that book-and-audio set, and not being amused at how he's portrayed on it...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD8Xjv4ngo8

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, that Big Bad Wolf was the same one who used to give me nightmares when I was a kid, too. There was a single "bust"/mug shot of him in another Disney story book (part of a big set of 4 hardback volumes that had a heavy cardboard sleeve, green covers and the spines were each 1 red, 1 blue, 1 yellow and 1 lighter green). In that version of him I couldn't even open the book to his page because he followed you around with his evil eyes, no joke! Totally horrifying. And I loved it!

      Delete
  3. I'll be honest and say, I never found the Coachman to be all that scary as a kid, I do as an adult because of the implications, but when his face contorted into that hellish grin, bearing in mind, I was only 8, I thought "Oh, his face went all Satanic, that's weird." It's probably because Fantasia was the first film I ever watched and a part of me probably thought, "If you can survive Chernabog, you can survive anything." I will say though, one of my school friends who actually went to college with me, sent me 2 Disney Screamers, one was the Notre Dame waterspout that came to life before Frollo's death and the other was the Coachman's grin and each time, I'd be like "You piece of sh*t!"

    I also never really found the Headless Horseman scary, but I thought the scene building up to his appearance was unnerving, probably the closest to a suspenseful horror movie scene that Disney Animation's ever done.

    I actually listened to the Three Little Pigs Read-Along when I read this article and at first I thought, "How bad can it be?"

    "Out of the woods popped the BIG BAD WOLF!"
    "GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!"

    I hadn't thrown the headphones off that violently since I was 6. I mean Good God, it didn't help that it had an echo effect, that made him sound demonic. It was a good reminder that I always found audio play a lot more frightening than visual media, I mean the BBC Audio Adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, scariest portrayal of Shelob's Lair, bar none.

    Also, Something Wicked This Way Comes is the one Disney film that I can't finish, mainly because of the spider bit, brrrr!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found the Coachman and everything about Pleasure Island to be the scariest part of the film as a kid, but yeah I'm actually a bit more disturbed by him now than I was back then due to all the implications he raises.

      The build-up to his appearance and then his big entrance with that scary-ass laugh is what makes him so scary for me. The big chase afterwards ended up being less scary and more on the comical side, but geez that build-up is my pick for single spookiest Disney animated moment.

      I know, right? And while the audio is frigtenhing on it's own, when you put it to the visual of the wolf that's shown up there in the entry it's just nightmarish. Billy Bletcher's voice and the animated Big Bad Wolf weren't at all like that, so what the effing Hell Disney?

      I actually would recommend watching everything past the spider bit - past that point is what I consider the best parts of the whole movie, though Mr. Dark is still freaking terrifying throughout the whole climax.

      Delete
    2. here's a fun fact about Pericles and the Coachman, There's a live-action Pinocchio film called The Adventures of Pinocchio, and its villain (A mixture of the puppetmaster and the Coachman) is played my the actor that later voiced Pericles.

      Delete
  4. I recently binge-watched Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated, enjoyed it very much and yeah, Professor Pericles was fricking scary; a parrot in a Scooby-Doo cartoon should not be this frightening.

    I also find Brad and Judy scary, because over the course of the series, we see them mentally deteriorate as a result of the curse; we see them go from two fairly reasonable people who seem to genuinely care about their son, even if they are a little distant to spiteful callous sociopaths, with next to no humanity left in them, not even any love for their son or one another. Add the plastic surgery they undergo to further their goals and you don't recognise them anymore.

    I found them scary in a more subtle way than Pericles, not better, but subtle, enough to feel unnerving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh good lord, Brad and Judy got terrifying as the show went on. And yes, that's exactly what made them so interesting and scary - they actually ARE pretty decent people when we first meet them and we get shown just how much the Nibiru curse devolves them into such horrible, evil creatures, making us realize how people like Mayor Jones and Mr. E got to be the way they are.

      As scary as Pericles or Brad and Judy are, though, the Evil Entity of Nibiru might actually be the most horrifying thing on that show. If you saw the finale, you know exactly why.

      Delete
  5. Just finished binge watching Gravity Falls and I have to say the scariest bit was when Pacifica's dad gets his face contorted by Bill, I've gasped when Disney did something shocking, but I never screamed like a little more girl.

    For me Bill Cipher is a little scarier than the Niburu Entity, because with Niburu, I could guess how to stop him, but it took some guessing how to stop Bill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bill is sort of like if Pericles and the Nibiru Entity were one character in terms of role in the story. I'd say he's a bit less scary than Pericles due to the look, the voice, and being so funny, but he's a more fearsome threat than the Nibiru Entity and is on a Brad and Judy level of unsettling.

      Aside from what he did to Preston's face, the scariest bit for me was when he turned into that...thing I put up there as his image and chased Dipper and Mabel around while screaming about how he was going to kill them. *shudder*

      Delete
  6. One frightening villain that I can't believe I forgot about is the Grundel from the Real Ghostbusters. Oh my God, I must have missed that episode, because I definitely would have remembered that. Compared to the Coachman, the child molester undertones were so lacking in subtlety as to be considered overtones. Just the way he says "fresh" and "pure," makes me want to shower. I saw this episode for the first time as an adult and I nearly switched it off, I knew everything would turn out all right in the end, but the Grundel was that scary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never saw the Grundel but I've heard of him and yeah that sounds about right.

      Delete