What makes a villain that we love to hate? Is it the actor? The circumstances they find themselves in? Or the characterization of the villain? Is it the fact that they don’t give a damn – or that they care way too much about something? Could it be a little bit of all of the above?
There are a lot of things that make a villain, but there are a lot of villains that we LOVE. These villains hold a special place in our hearts, because they’re just so good at being bad. Let’s take a look at the 10 Horror Movie Villains We Love and we all end up rooting for ’til the very end.
10. Mick Taylor (Wolf Creek, 2005)
One thing I love about Wolf Creek is how much I root for Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) anytime I watch the film. The character of Mick Taylor is based off the stories of serial killer Ivan Milat, who killed people traveling through Australia. With Mick, the Australian hospitality (at first) is so refreshing, but that quickly turns on time, and you’re brought into unforgiving torture. John Jarret plays Taylor as such a captivating character – unhinged but very funny! Mick does terrible and unspeakable things to girls and there is no real motive. He tortures and kills because he wants. Villains with no rhyme or reason are always something to root for, possibly only in my opinion.
9. Chucky (Child’s Play, 1988)
Chucky is one of those dolls that you can’t help but think, “Why would anyone want to buy this for their kid?” Yet you must love the Good Guy. A possessed doll with a potty mouth and a criminal thirst for destruction, Chucky is a villain you just can’t keep down. Chucky is like the Terminator. You can burn him, bruise him, kick him, dismantle and dismember him. He’s going to come back and thirsty for more. One of the best things about Chucky is the undeniable brilliance of Brad Dourif voicing him. He makes Chucky sinister and menacing, but you still want to see him hack, slash and verbally assault his way to getting what he wants.
8. Death (Final Destination, 2000)
Death is something that comes for all of us sooner or later. So, who doesn’t love when teenagers bite the dust thanks to it? Death in Final Destination can be compared to the Blair Witch in a sense. They are more of… manifestations of an occurrence that stalks its victims relentlessly until it gets what it wants: their demise. Death in Final Destination is so much fun to watch that it’s impossible not to love it. The more times you see how creative Death can be gears you up for one the next one, and then the next. It’s a little bit voyeuristic on our part, but Death knows how to give us a good show.
7. Hayley (Hard Candy, 2006)
Just like Jigsaw, Hayley is another character with a message to send. Hayley (Ellen Page, Juno) is a 14-year-old girl vigilante who tracks down predators. She aims to make them confess and pay for their crimes by torturing them until she gets what she wants. With Hard Candy, you’re left in the stickiest of situations. Jeff (Patrick Wilson, Insidious) is a charming fellow who did something VERY wrong, but at the end of the day, you have to root for Hayley. She’s taking “To Catch a Predator” to a whole new level, and you love her for that. She’s nothing short of a hero, and our girl walks away with another day saved and another predator off the streets.
6. Candyman (Candyman, 1992)
Candyman was born from an urban legend, but with such a tragic end that you can’t help but root for him to get what he wants. One of the most romantic yet brutal villains, you can’t help but swoon. Most of this is because of the remarkable acting of Tony Todd as the lead character. It’s also because Candyman himself is such a sympathetic villain. One who was brutalized and tortured because he couldn’t love who he wanted. Now, he seeks to turn that around and torture a whole project complex. You don’t agree with his motives in the slightest, but you have to admit that he’s the smoothest around.
5. Jigsaw (Saw, 2004)
Jigsaw aka John Kramer is more a misunderstood anti-hero with “okay-ish” intentions rather than a full-out villain. Throughout the Saw films, he’s been the main antagonist and has been dead, alive, dead, and alive. He puts participants through a series of “games.” These “games” come at a price, where those who fail to complete the test die and those who complete the tests are grateful to still hold on to their life. Jigsaw holds a pretty strong vendetta in the later Saw films when we learn more of his personal and tragic story. We see WHY he’s killing and the lengths he goes through to get that moral message delivered. You have to admit, you were pretty on-board the first time he laid out his philosophy.
4. Mister Babadook (The Babadook, 2014)
Mister Babadook is a villain to love for the simple reason that he actually helped a family instead of outright hurting them. I mean, yes, he does try to attack and is legit terrifying, but he also taps into something real – grief and depression. You more or less root for Mister Babadook because of his close association to Amelia (Essie Davis, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) and him being the manifestation of her mental state. You want her to do better, so you end up adoring him.
3. Norman Bates (Psycho, 1960)
Norman Bates is not your typical villain. We first see him as a sweet, awkward, quirky, shy type of a guy. Then, lurking beneath the surface, there’s a dark side to this mama’s boy that no one would ever have anticipated. Hitchcock lays out both of those sides of Norman cinematically throughout the film, closing with a final shot that leaves you haunted. Anthony Perkins is absolute perfection as a sweet mama’s boy one minute, then his knife-wielding mother the next. You understand him more and more, finally rooting for him not to get caught as the film rolls on.
2. Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street, 1984)
There’s a lot of slashers that own your heart, but Freddy Krueger is a slasher that possesses your dreams. (See what I did there? I’m terrible, I know.) Freddy’s a lot of things that slasher villains generally aren’t. He’s charismatic, funny, wickedly powerful and someone who you can’t help but root for once you take a deep dive into his massive franchise. Now- Freddy is still pretty vile at the end of the day, but there’s always existed a playful nature about him that makes you want to cheer him on. He’s a creative when it comes to his kills and he giving the best one-liners you could ever hope for. What’s not to love?
1. Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs, 1991)
There’s no other villain on this list (excluding Candyman) that gives horror fans the amount of charm, smarts, and brilliant manipulation that Hannibal Lecter can. You can’t help respect the man. He puts a smile on your face as he dines on your brain and that’s just how you’ll like it. With Anthony Hopkins playing the title role in the notorious Hannibal Lecter franchise (Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, Red Dragon, and Hannibal Rising), it amps this up ten-fold. Hannibal Lecter is an incredibly intelligent and cunning villain, but isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when the time is needed. A man after all of our hearts. Literally.