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 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.
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.
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 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.
Sunny Jim: 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, heartwrenching, 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: May well be THE scariest villain I've ever seen. Like the Blair Witch, it's never seen, but it's presence is felt everywhere. But what makes it scarier 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.
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 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!
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. 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.
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?
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 "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.
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.
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!
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 monstorsities won't ever be leaving my head.