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Top 10 Scariest Horror Villains (2017)

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Nick Spake Thanks to all those who voted, we took your votes into careful consideration when we updated our list of terrifying monsters and killers from horror movies! WatchMojo presents our new and improvied Top 10 Scariest Horror Movie Villains! And with all the amazing new characters to have come out, who will be taking the top spot on this list? Will it be Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, or Pennywise the clown? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Thanks to everyone who voted, and to help us suggest what video we should make next, check out the suggest page here: WatchMojo.commy/suggest.php

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They may commit crimes like mass murder, but these monsters do keep the Halloween spirit alive. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Scariest Horror Movie Villains.
For this list, we’re taking a look at horror movie baddies that left their bloody marks on the silver screen, and continue to plague our nightmares.

#10: The Entity
“It Follows” (2014)

Sexual intercourse almost always equals death in horror movies and “It Follows” puts a clever spin on this familiar trope. When college student Jay goes all the way with her boyfriend, they exchange more than just bodily fluids. Jay soon learns that her boyfriend has passed on to her a horrifyingly odd version of an STD: a mysterious supernatural entity that only she can see. This creature-thing relentlessly follows Jay wherever she goes and won’t stop until she’s dead. Although the force walks at a leisurely pace, the fact that it can assume any form it wants leaves Jay on guard at all times. The entity will also have the audience looking over their shoulders as they walk out of the theater.

#9: Chucky
“Child’s Play” franchise (1988-)

Originally a human serial killer, Charles Lee Ray uses his last ounce of strength to transport his soul into a Good Guy doll. From there, Chucky makes a game out of murdering people, all while trying to gain a new human host. On one hand, turning a toy doll into a horror movie monster might seem like a silly idea. Then again, we’ve all come across dolls that just seem . . . off, shedding unintentionally creepy vibes. Chucky is a possessed plaything that manages to find the right balance of being both scary and self-aware, Once you’ve seen him, you’ll never look as a Cabbage Patch Kid the same way again.

#8: Regan MacNeil [aka Pazuzu]
“The Exorcist” franchise (1973-)

When we first meet Regan MacNeil, she’s a shy, seemingly normal twelve-year-old girl. This makes her transformation all the more jarring, as the demon Pazuzu takes over her body. Between Linda Blair’s haunting performance, Mercedes McCambridge’s menacing voice, and Dick Smith’s ghastly makeup effects, Regan set the standard for sinister little girls in film. When “The Exorcist” came out in 1973, she had audiences screaming in their seats and darting out of the theater. Decades later, Regan still curdles our blood with her spinning head, spider-walk, and green vomit. Speaking of which, how many Best Picture nominees can you think of that actually were equipped with barf bags for viewers?

#7: Candyman
“Candyman” franchise (1992-)

From his spine-chilling voice to his dominating demeanor, to the hook that stands in for his hand, Candyman is like something out of a classic campfire story. As far as Helen Lyle is concerned, though, Candyman is nothing more than an urban legend. She has no qualms about saying his name five times into a mirror, which will supposedly summon the fiend. As you might expect, she made a huge mistake. What makes Candyman such a frightening foe is that he starts off largely grounded in myth, but soon emerges as the real deal. His tragic origins also give him a surprising degree of depth: torture and racism sent Candyman down a vengeful path.

#6: Pinhead
“Hellraiser” franchise (1987-)

Ironically, the Cenobite leader isn’t on screen for that long in the original “Hellraiser.” He’s not even referred to as Pinhead, a name the makeup crew came up with. Nevertheless, this Hell Priest went on to become this franchise’s mascot, and for good reason. His design is one of the most distinctive in the horror genre, looking like a heavy metal punk who got pierced by Satan himself. What’s more, performer Doug Bradley brought an elegance to the role that just wasn’t present in most slasher movie villains at the time. Director Clive Barker has cited Count Dracula as a key influence for Pinhead, who definitely shares a similar chilling je ne sais quoi.

#5: Leatherface
“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” franchise (1974-)

American serial murderer Ed Gein has inspired numerous fictional serial killers, including this chainsaw-wielding madman. Likewise, Leatherface has influenced the slasher genre in more ways than we can count. With his towering body, power tool as weapon of choice, and a mask made from human skin, this cannibal’s appearance alone is enough to strike utter dread into his victims. Granted, his personality and motivations aren’t especially complex, but the character’s simplicity is exactly why he’s so memorable. All we really need to know is that Leatherface won’t stop pursuing his targets until they’ve been slaughtered like barnyard animals. Hey, what do you expect from a guy that comes from such a messed-up family?

#4: Freddy Krueger
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise (1984-)

Even after this child-killer is burned alive, he continues to butcher people from beyond the grave, in the realm of dreams. With this power, he’s able to prey upon his slumbering victims when they’re at their most vulnerable and unsuspecting. Whereas some slasher villains hide behind a mask, Freddy isn’t afraid to show off his hideous face along with his clawed glove, striped sweater, and brown fedora. Freddy isn’t the silent type either, gleefully cracking jokes as he rips human beings apart. In addition to having a way with one-liners, Freddy is one of the most inventive villains in the history of horror, always coming up with fresh and creative ways to dispose of teenagers.

#3: It [aka Pennywise the Dancing Clown]
“It” (2017)

It’s debatable who was the best Pennywise overall: Tim Curry or Bill Skarsgård. While Curry probably scored more laughs, Skarsgård brought the terror to a whole new level, which is what matters most on this list. As the dancing clown that torments the children of Derry, Skarsgård sends a shiver down your spine from the minute Pennywise lures young Georgie into a storm drain. With an eerie voice and devilish makeup job, he’s the stuff that nightmares are made of. Of course he can also take on a variety of different forms, including a leper and a headless boy. In any case, Pennywise knows how to sink his teeth into kids (literally) and feed off their fears.

#2: Jason Voorhees

“Friday the 13th” franchise (1980-)

Jason Voorhees is synonymous with Friday the 13th, both the day itself and the horror franchise of the same name. Interestingly enough, Jason wasn’t the primary antagonist in the original 1980 classic. That distinction goes to his homicidal mother, who seeks retribution at Camp Crystal Lake decades after her son drowned. From the first sequel onward, however, Jason delivered the frights – and later acquired his signature hockey mask and machete. Like Leatherface, Jason can conjure so much terror even when given very little to work with, cementing his place as one of the all-time greats. He’s one foe you wouldn’t want to cross paths with in the woods. . . or on a space station, for that matter.
Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“Jeepers Creepers” franchise (2001-)

“The Conjuring” franchise (2013-)

“The Babadook” (2014)

#1: Michael Myers
“Halloween” franchise (1978-)

The original “Halloween” opens from Michael Myers’ perspective as he stabs his older sister to death. While that’s already horrifying, what truly shocks the audience is that Michael was only six years old at the time. If this troubled soul could commit these atrocities at such a young age, imagine what he could do as an adult . . . Well, jump ahead about fifteen years and Michael has evolved into the ultimate modern bogeyman. Armed with a knife, Michael is what Norman Bates would be if you took away all of his dialogue and gave him a mask that looked a li’l bit like William Shatner. And, as proven in 1982’s unloved, Michael-less "Halloween III: Season of the Witch", the disturbed and seemingly unstoppable killer is what makes the franchise.

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