Horror’s most manipulative villains, ranked

    the horror The film genre strives to provide entertainment that arouses fear or loathing in the audience and explores dark themes that involve transgressive themes or themes. Horror movies include elements of monsters, horrific events, religion, folklore, and more. Horror has been around for centuries, and films using cinematic techniques have been shown to trigger psychological reactions in the audience. Horror varies in content and style across the world. Developed from the beliefs and myths of various cultures and religions, gothic and horror literature by authors Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, and Mary Shelley, among others. After the release of a 1931 film adaptation of Stoker DraculaHorror has become a codified genre, with many subgenres emerging through the decades, including physical horror, comedy, supernatural, and psychological horror.

    Throughout the evolution of the horror film genre, notable films featuring horror’s most manipulative villains have been developed to grace the big screen, striking terror in audiences everywhere. A villain character is “a malignant, monstrous person engaged in or dedicated to evil or crime; a scoundrel; or a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot”. The villain character’s structural purpose is to act as an opposition to its antipode, the hero character, to its own evil motives and actions. The character of a villain is also defined by acts of selfishness, evil, arrogance, cruelty, cunning, and display of immoral behavior that opposes justice. From the horror films of the 1930s, to the action of today, horror’s most manipulative villains are here, in order.

    Related: 20 Most Important Horror Movies Of All Time

    10 Billy and Stu – Scream (1996)

    Billy and Stu in the original 1996 Scream movie
    Dimension movies

    Billy and Stu are the horror villains from ScreamAnd A 1996 slasher film about a high school student and a group of her friends who become targets of a killer known as Ghostface. Central discount in Scream It’s Billy LoomisAnd A horror movie fanatic who manipulated his best friends into committing a series of murders out of anger at his parents’ separation. He is also the posthumous overall antagonist of the other installments in the Scream film series. Billy’s best friend falling for his ruse is Stu Macher, the secondary antagonist, Ghostface’s decoy, and Billy’s sidekick. The real Stu helps Ghostface with his master plan to kill Sidney Prescott and her family. The characters of Billy and Stu manipulate their abilities to persuade other characters to do their bidding and the outcome of the maneuver that serves them.

    9 Pennywise – IT (2017)

    Pictures Warner Bros

    Pennywise He is a horror villain from the 2017 supernatural horror movie He. SheIt’s about a group of outcasts who are terrorized by an entity that emerges from the sewers and forces them to confront their own demons. Known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, the entity is an evil being that appears every 27 years to wreak havoc among its victims in the small town of Derry, Maine. IT’s identity is uncertain, as it is a billion-year-old shape-shifting creature that originated on an outer world in space known as the Macroverse. Her ability to transform into any human, animal, or object manipulates her victims by appearing as the target’s loved ones or worst psychic fear to lure them into a trap. Pennywise the Dancing Clown is the preferred and most popular body form for staying a shapeshifter because it is the easiest disguise to fool people.

    8 Panorama – SAW (2004-2017)


    Jigsaw is a horror villain from opinion movie series, tormenting retarded or guilty victims to force them to appreciate their existence on Earth. the opinion The film series follows Jigsaw as he tests his victims’ will to live by playing deadly “games” that involve inflicting pain and torture on themselves in order to survive. The series’ narrative explains the background of Jigsaw, whose real name is John Kramer, a former civil engineer dying of an inoperable frontal lobe tumor. John attempted suicide but survived and discovered a new appreciation for life, deciding to dedicate himself to inspiring others with the same appreciation by testing their will to live. Jigsaw is manipulative in his tactics which involve exploiting his victim’s inner turmoil in cruel games against them and forcing them to evaluate the lives they have taken for granted.

    7 Freddy Krueger – A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

    A scene from A Nightmare on Elm Street
    New Line Cinema

    Freddy Krueger is a horror villain A Nightmare on Elm Street film series, she appeared as the malevolent spirit of a child killer who was burned to death by the parents of his victims. The premise of the film involves the struggle to differentiate between the conscious reality and the subconscious of the dreams shown by Freddy’s victims. Freddy manipulates his tactics to terrorize his victims by killing them in their dreams, which also causes them to die in real life. Although he is a powerful and invulnerable force in the dream world, he has normal human weaknesses in the real world and can be destroyed. Critics praised the film for pushing “the boundaries between the fictional and the real” by manipulating audience perceptions.

    6 Dr. Jack Griffin – The Invisible Man (1933)

    Invisible Man
    Universal Pictures Corp.

    Dr. Jack Griffin is a horror villain from the 1933 movie Invisible Man About a scientist who discovers an equation that makes humans invisible. Griffin’s motivation for the experiment was a misguided attempt to advance science and mankind, and was created out of love for his fiancée. After taking the formula, he is unable to reverse the invisibility’s effect on himself and eventually goes insane, proving his superiority over others by playing pranks that turn into murder. Invisible Man Recognized for its depiction of abuse victim manipulation and depiction of domestic violence. Griffin’s manipulation is also carried over in the 2020 adaptation of the 1931 film by deploying the same techniques to manipulate and control his victim, Cecilia.

    Related: 8 Horror Movies Where The Main Character Is Actually The Villain

    5 Patrick Bateman – American Psycho (2000)

    Patrick Bateman
    Lionsgate Movies

    Patrick Bateman is a horror villain in the 2000 movie American PsychoAbout an investment banker who lives a double life as a serial killer. The film fuses horror with black comedy in a way that satirizes the dysfunctional yuppie culture and consumerism of the 1980s, as exemplified by Bateman. Despite his wealth and high social status, Bateman suffers from severe anxiety and low self-esteem, which causes him to choose victims who make him feel inadequate. Bateman manipulates the strategies he uses to kill his victims by playing on their selfishness and insecurities, leaving them unaware of their fate.

    4 Jack Torrance – The Shining (1980)

    the shining
    Warner Bros.

    Jack Torrance is a horror villain from the 1980 movie the shining, about an aspiring writer who works at a hotel in the Colorado Rockies as CEO during the recession. Jack accepts the position after losing his previous job as a teacher at a prestigious prep school due to his alcoholism and violent temper. As Jack is staying at the hotel with his wife Wendy and son Danny, who has psychic abilities called “the Shining”, he has lost his mind due to the supernatural forces that inhabit the hotel. Jack is manipulative, using people as pawns to get what he wants. He gives in to his instincts and lets them control him instead of him, and uses manipulative tactics to commit outrageous acts.

    3 Hannibal Lector – Silence of the Lambs (1991)

    Hannibal teacher
    Orion Pictures

    Dr. Hannibal Lector is a horror villain from the 1991 movie Silence of the LambsAbout a cannibal serial killer sought by the FBI to help solve other murders. Hannibal is portrayed in the film by Anthony Hopkins, who previously described him as “the Robin Hood of murderers, [who kills] Rude.” Hannibal is also described in all the media in which he appears as intellectually intelligent, cultured, and sophisticated, with refined tastes in art, music, and cuisine. He manipulates his shrewdness and uses his wit to confuse and trick others into sticking to his order. He prepares gourmet meals from the flesh of his victims, with his streak being most famous,” a census taker once tried to put me to the test. I ate his liver with some beans and my delicious chianti.”

    2 Pazuzu – The Exorcist (1973)

    The Exorcist
    Warner Bros.

    Pazuzu is a horror villain The Exorcist Novels and movie series about a demon possessing a 12-year-old girl named Regan MacNeil. The character of Pazuzu is derived from Assyrian and Babylonian mythology, which includes Pazuzu as the king of the demons of the wind and the son of the god Hanabi. Pazuzu is depicted as part animal and part human, with the body of a man, the head of a lion, the feet of eagles, wings, the tail of a scorpion, and a serpentine penis. When Pazuzu possessed Regan, the child’s form is preserved but demonic attributes, a man’s voice, and bile fluids are produced. Aside from the power of taking possession of victims, Pazuzu manipulates others by erasing, altering, and restoring their memories and can also generate and manipulate hellfire.

    1 Dracula (1931)

    Universal Pictures

    Dracula is a horror villain Dracula Novels and movies based on a vampire who has the ability to manipulate the minds of his victims. Dracula is demonic in his tactics, including controlling the plasticity of a frightened mind through the use of suggestive powers to inflict thoughts into the minds of others that benefit his own motives. He lures prey by persuading them to accompany him outside or to let him into their homes, as is the case with Lucy, who was dragged out of her house in her sleep. When she succumbed to Dracula’s trance, he was able to bite her, drawing blood and turning her into a vampire. Dracula’s manipulation is similarly used with his victims, with the goal of changing situations to work in his favour.

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