Villains aren’t usually the reason people watch horror movies, but the list of five that I have comprised will change the minds of those who don’t think you should root for the bad guy, or maybe it won’t. The choice is up to you. A good villain is hard to find.
CARRIE: portrayed by Sissy Spacek (1976) and Chole Grace Moretz (2013)
The loner, the outsider, the disgraced, Carrie is definitely both a villain and a hero. Why? It’s because she realizes that she can’t let others rule her life or make decisions for her. She takes the powers she is given and uses them to make those people who made her life a living Hell a dose of their own medicine. It all comes down to the bullying from the other girls in the locker room and the way her mother treats her at home. In all aspects of Carrie’s life, nothing is worth living for. Yet, she is no coward, so she decides that she has to make the choice to end all choices. The true villains are the kids who bullied her. She takes matters into her own hands and punishes those who wronged her. It’s hard to see her as a villain. I wonder if Stephen King wrote the novel that inspired the films as a sort of metaphor for bullying in high school and the consequences of your actions. Definitely one thing to learn is that you never mess with the weird kid in school.
THE DRIVER: portrayed by Luke Evans (2012)
From the movie No One Lives, The Driver is also both a hero and a villain. A villain among villains. From the get-go, you can tell that he’s not someone to mess with, yet this one thug guy feels the need to piss him off. The Driver is a murderer, kidnapper, torturer and teacher. He uses some kind of manipulation to get his kidnapee to behave with him in public as well as she does. The thugs steal his car and trailer, not knowing there is another girl tied up in the trunk. When they do find her, she tells them that The Driver will be coming for her, and for them. The Driver and the other girl are taken to a barn where the girl kills herself in order to save him. Devotion, no? The group of criminals think they can get a handsome payday when they realize the girl they found in the trunk has been on the news and a hefty sum of money is guaranteed upon her safe arrival. Just as she said he would, The Driver comes for them and his property. He is as cool as a cucumber through most of the film while he sets up traps and butchers the thugs one by one. He is supremely clever, and gets around the criminals in such ways that are almost unfathomable.
FREDDY KRUGER: portrayed by Robert Englund (1984-2003) and Jackie Earle Haley (2010)
If you don’t like Freddy Krueger, we can’t be friends. Created by the brilliant mind of Wes Craven, Freddy Krueger is one of the major teen slasher villains, along with Jason Vorhees and Michael Meyers (and Angela if you’re familiar with the Sleepaway Camp series). I’m only rooting for Freddy because he has such hilarious ways to kill these teenagers in their dreams. Dreams are the places of vast imagination, so it’s not hard to believe that any killings happening in them would be almost ridiculous or surreal. Freddy keeps his wit and banter even after being destroyed in each movie that came out in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. Although I wasn’t a fan of the remake in 2010, the original movie series will always hold a special place in my heart. I wonder what Freddy would have been like when he was alive since he’s such a funny dead guy. I root for Freddy because he’s funny. Jason and Michael aren’t funny. They don’t talk. They have somewhat more tragic life stories, but Freddy is in a league of his own.
HANNIBAL LECTER: portrayed by William Petersen (1986), Anthony Hopkins (1991, 2001, 2002), Gaspard Ulliel (2007) and Mads Mikkelsen (2013)
Hannibal Lecter is a gentleman among villains. Inspired by serial killers like Ed Gein and Ted Bundy, he is a combination of both intellect and insanity. Most famously portrayed by Anthony Hopkins, the character of Hannibal Lecter has seen both the small and big screens. Although the television series was not as popular as the films were, it was a great portrayal of the man before he was caught. The manipulative way he would work people, before and after his imprisonment. Mads Mikkelsen did an excellent job, in my opinion. He does what he believes is the right thing. Eating people that are rude or unpleasant might not be the cardinal rule for all cannibalistic murderers, but Hannibal makes it look almost justified. To play a character such as Hannibal must take a man of true talent. Manhunter wasn’t my favorite of the series, although it still had its moments. Anthony Hopkins really brought the character to life. It’s hard to top the performances.
DEATH: portrayed by ? (2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2011)
There’s only one reason people watch the Final Destinaion films: to watch how ridiculous these kids get killed by Death. Really, these kids are the bad guys because they’re trying to literally cheat death by looking for the signs someone is about to die. Why fight nature? It will always come back to bite you in the ass, and you never know, it might actually do that. I feel like Death is trying to make these deaths as gruesome as possible because the kids are cheating him. And as we’ve seen in the first movie, the list always starts over. I can remember watching the first Final Destination when it came out in 2000. I was watching it on a VHS I had rented from Blockbuster. How the times have changed. When the scene came where the girl gets hit by the bus, my friend and I’s jaws dropped, we paused the movie and laughed our asses off. I guess I had a pretty high-tech VCR because we rewound it and watched the scene again in slow motion. Her body practically exploded when the bus hit her. Other than Scream, the first installment of the Final Destination was one of my favorite movies from that time in my life.