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20 Things: Scariest Movie Villains (2000-16)

1. The Red-Faced Demon (also called The Lipstick-Face Demon) in Insidious

insidious demonThis malevolent, supernatural demon haunts and controls the dark realm known as The Further and is the main antagonist of the entire Insidious trilogy. Hearing a crackling sound is a warning that this demon is in the same room as its victims. The Red-Faced Demon is notorious for standing directly behind his unknowing victims…with a very creepy smile on his face.


2. John Kramer (Also known as The Jigsaw Killer) in Saw (2004)

Jigsaw-John-KramerJohn Kramer is different from most serial killers as he does not kill his victims directly, but instead he tortures them by relying on various lethal traps in which he places the victims. Throughout each of the seven films of the Saw horror franchise, the victims must subject themselves to excruciating pain or trauma in order to escape.

(Billy the Puppet from Saw is pretty unsettling too…)

Saw Jigsaw


3. Mr. Babadook (or The Babadook) in The Babadook (2014)

The Babadook

Mr. Babadook, simply known as The Babadook, is the titular character and the main antagonist in the 2014 Australian horror/thriller film who haunts main characters Amelia and her son Samuel throughout the movie. The Babadook haunts whoever reads its poem and hides inside a pop-up book that mysteriously appears in random houses. As The Babadook’s prey becomes more frightened, the evil supernatural creature becomes more monstrous.


4. Samara Morgan in The Ring (2002) *An adaptation of the Japanese psychological horror-thriller film, Ringu (1998)


Samara Morgan is a young girl who was adopted by avid horse breeders Anna and Richard Morgan from Moesko Island. While Anna loved her unconditionally, possibly because of her several miscarriages, Samara begins to develop strange supernatural powers, which she has no control over, resulting in her becoming an outcast in the community. Her relationship with Anna begins to sour as she unintentionally burns gruesome and disturbing images into Anna’s mind, which eventually drives her insane. Samara’s curse continues to affect others, as she somehow embeds these images on videotape, which promises to bring harm to those who watch it. If you can’t get enough of the terror Samara brings you, don’t worry…she’s back in the film’s sequel, The Ring Two (2005).


5. Emily Rose in The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

emily rose

This film based on a true story is about a single lawyer who takes on the church in state court when she fights for the life of a priest, who has performed a deadly exorcism on innocent 19-year-old Emily Rose (who has become possessed by the devil). Several flashbacks reveal the story leading up to the exorcism, including the strange and horrifying things that Emily had suddenly begun to experience, the terrifying things she saw, and the what-appeared-to-be unexplainable “medical issues” she had started suffering from.


6. Esther in Orphan (2009)

Orphan Esther

In this horror, mystery/thriller, a husband and wife who had recently lost their baby adopt a 9-year-old girl from Russia named Esther. Esther is uninterested in having relationships with her adoptive family (unless she is secretly trying to harm them) except for her adoptive father John. After a series of horrific, unexplainable “incidents”, which begin almost immediately after Esther moved into the house, the family—including John—begin to fear for their lives and soon, they realize that the 9-year-old girl is not exactly who they thought she was.


7. The Poughkeepsie Killer in The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007) *Based on the actually rapes and murders committed by real-life serial killer Kendall Francois

The Poughkeepsie killer tapes

In an abandoned house in Poughkeepsie, New York murder investigators uncover hundreds of tapes that show decades of a serial killer’s work. Although capturing a clear image of the killer is difficult due to the quality of the videotapes, viewers are able to make out the disturbing bird-masked psychopath as he slowly makes his way (often crawling) towards his trapped victims.


8. Megumi in Shutter (2008) *An adaptation of the Japanese horror film, Shutter (2004)

megumi shutter

Soon after young photographer Ben and his new bride Jane move to Tokyo for a business opportunity, the young couple is involved in a tragic car accident that results in the death of a young girl named Megumi (however, Ben and Jane do not know the girl’s identity at the time). After they regain conciousness, Ben and Jane see no trace of the girl’s body. Shortly after the accident, Ben starts noticing strange bursts and shadows in every photo he takes, which he and Jane eventually realize is more than just a film development error. At the end of the movie Ben makes a plot-twisting confession to his wife—and this confession directly involves Megumi. Was the car accident the first time Ben saw Megumi, or was she searching for him when she stood in front of the couple’s car that night…with a vengeance?


9. The Ghosts in Oculus (2013)

occulus 1

In Oculus, a young woman named Kaylie is trying to exonerate her brother Tim who, as a child, was convicted of murdering his parents. The siblings try to prove that the crime was committed not by Tim, but buy a supernatural phenomenon. This evil that plagues their childhood home however, did not arrive until after Kaylie and Tim’s father purchased a creepy-looking mirror for their house many years earlier. Unlike many horror films, Oculus doesn’t focus on one specific villain, ghost, creature and etcetera. Rather, the film is filled with a vast number of spirits that are in some way, connected to the mirror. Oculus doesn’t simply spook viewers with one main supernatural antagonist, but it keeps the viewers prepared to cover their eyes for when the next evil being will make a surprise appearance.


10. Kayako in The Grudge (2004) *An adaptation of the Japanese horror film, Ju-On: The Grudge (2002)

Kayoko the grudge

Kayako is the petrifying—looking, ghostly character in The Grudge film trilogy. In 2004 Grudge film, an American nurse living and working in Tokyo is exposed to a mysterious supernatural curse that is haunting her home—a curse that locks a person in a powerful rage before claiming their life and spreading to another victim. While Kayako is most known solely for her appearances in the Grudge films in the U.S., she actually represents a popular antagonist in Japanese culture, the vengeful ghost Onryō (literally, “vengeful spirit”). Kayako, who typically characterized by “long hair covering her pale face, unsettling wide eyes, twisted movements with crunching neck bones and a haunting death rattle” is only one example of fictional vengeance spirits. These spirits, in the case of The Grudge, Kayako, are believed to be “capable of causing harm in the world of the living, ailing or killing enemies, or even causing natural disasters to exact vengeance to redress the wrongs it received while alive.”


11. Jennet Humfrye in The Woman in Black (2012)

M130 – Leanne Best stars in Relativity Media’s The Woman in Black: Angel of Death. © Angelfish Films Limited 2014 Photo Photo Credit: Nick WallEF

When Jennet gives birth to her son out of Wedlock, she’s forced to give the child to her sister, who adopts the boy with her husband. The adoptive parents however, insist that the boy can never know that Jennet is his biological mother. Jennet goes away for a year but returns when she realized that she can no longer stay away from the boy, despite the agreement she makes with her sister and brother-in-law.

One day, after making the decision to run away with her son—with whom she was becoming very close—Jennet looks out the window of the house excited for his arrival, when she sees the pony and trap that was carrying the boy across the causeway sink in the marshes, resulting in her son’s death death. Jannet, distraught and heartbroken, hangs herself in the house’s nursery. Before hanging herself, she writes ‘You Could Have Saved Him’ on the wall in her own blood. Jannet comes back as an evil, vengeful ghost dressed in black. The locals know her as “The Woman in Black.” Whenever she is seen anywhere and by anyone, a child nearby, forced by the woman, kills his or herself. If an adult on the other hand sees The Woman in Black, their first child will die.


12. The Hill People  in The Hills Have Eyes (2006) *A remake of the original 1977 version of the film

mutants HillsHaveEyes

The Hill People is the name for the inhabitants of Yuma Flats after the nuclear testing done by the U.S. government in the 50s and 60s. The original inhabitants of the town were in the area’s mines when the testing was being carried out, leaving the children born in the mines with mutations as a result of seeping radiation that filled the shafts of the mines. The mutants soon leave when the testing ceases and they begin to kill the “normal” members of the neighboring small towns, setting up a clan system of different mutant families in different parts of the desert. They soon start killing and eating those who pass through Yuma Flats and the area quickly becomes known as a region filled with rumors of vanished people.


13. The Crawlers (often referred to as “Things”) in The Descent and (2005) & The Descent: Part 2 (2009)

crawlers the descent

The first film in the Descent series follows six women who enter an unmapped cave system and become trapped and are hunted by “The Crawlers”: flesh-eating humanoids that have stayed underground. As a result of never leaving the caves, these non-human “cavemen” have evolved in the environment for over thousands of years into a species with characteristics similar to those as a bat; as they’ve adapted to thrive in the cave. Although they are blind, they have acute hearing and sense of smell and function perfectly in the pitch black.


14. Bathsheba The Witch in The Conjuring (2013) & The Conjuring 2 (2016) *Based on true events

with the conjuring

After multiple paranormal events occur in an old Rhode Island farmhouse right after Carolyn, Roger and their five daughters move in, Carolyn decides to contact noted paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren for their help. While researching the history of the house, the investigators discover that it had once belonged to an accused witch called Bathsheba, who sacrificed her week-old child to the devil and killed herself in 1863 after putting a curse on all who take her land. The investigators discover that the property was once more than 200 acres but has since been divided up into smaller parcels. They also find reports of numerous murders and suicides in houses that have since been built upon parcels that were once part of the property.


15. Tomás in The Orphanage (2007)

thomas the orphanage

The movie focuses on Laura, who was orphaned as a child, her husband Carlos and their adopted son Simón. The family’s house is a former orphanage where Laura was raised. While at the orphanage, Simón tells Laura that he has five invisible friends, which she believes are a product of her young son’s active imagination. Laura decides to reopen the orphanage to cater for disabled children and throws a party. During the party Simón tries to persuade Laura to go and take a look at his friends cabin but she’s too busy. Later on she sees a mysterious masked little boy (Tomás), with whom she wishes she had never crossed paths. Her own son Simón however, is nowhere to be seen.


16. The Infected in 28 Days Later (2002) & 28 Days Later: The Aftermath (2007)

zombies 28 days later

28 Days Later focuses on the story of a mysterious, incurable virus that is spreading throughout the U.K. and a handful of survivors who try to find sanctuary. The Infected is a group of the gruesome antagonists in film series. They are, as their name suggests, people who have become infected with the Rage Virus, causing mindless, uncontrollable rage and aggression.


17. Buguul (or Mr. Boogie) in Sinister (2012) & Sinister 2 (2015)

mr boogie sinister

In the first film of the Sinister series, washed-up true-crome writer Ellison Oswalt finds a box of super 8 home movies that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose work dates back to the 1960s and in different cities across the country. In his research, Ellison also learns that some of the murdered families were drugged before being killed and that a child from each family went missing after every murder. Ellison then asks for help from a local professor whose expertise is the occult and demonic phenomena, to decipher the symbol in the films. The professor tells Ellison that the symbols are that of the Pagan Babylonian deity, Buguul, who would kill entire families and then take on of their children in order to consume his or her soul.


18. The Joker in The Dark Knight (2008)

the joker batman

The Joker is the supervillain and the archenemy of Batman in the popular Dark Knight film trilogy and a master criminal with a creepy clown-like appearance. The vicious, psychopathic killer has been responsible for numerous tragedies in Batman’s life, including the paralysis of Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/ Oracle) and the murders of Jason Todd (The second Robin) and Jim Gordon’s second wife Sarah Essen.


19. Santi in The Devil’s Backbone (2001)

the devils backbone

After Carlos, a 10-year-old boy whose father had died in the Spanish Civil War, arrives at a ominous orphanage for boys he discovers that the building is haunted is filled with many dark secrets. The darkest secret of all is the presence of Santi, one of the former occupants of the orphanage.


20. Mrs. Ganush in Drag Me to Hell (2009)

mrs. ganush drag me to hell

Drag Me to Hell tells the story of loan officer, who reluctantly, under orders from her boss, must refuse to extend a loan to a Romani gypsy woman named Mrs. Ganush. In retaliation, the Mrs. Ganush places a curse on the loan officer that, after three days of escalating torment, will plunge her into the depths of Hell to burn for eternity.


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