The striking success of M. Night Shyamalan‘s newest film “Split” has reaped nearly $125 million in domestic box-office after only a month in release to become the first big hit of 2017. Its anti-hero Kevin Wendell Crumb is played by James MacAvoy in a tour-de-force performance embodying a number of horror personae and has already become a bit of a horror icon.
Who are the 20 greatest horror movie villains of all time? Take a tour through our haunted photo gallery above to find out what blood-curdling baddies made the cut… if you dare. We’ve tried to stay away from horror legends (Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy and The Creature From the Black Lagoon) who have gone soft via comedy parodies but instead focus intensely on those horror characters that still evoke a chill from us.
We searched far and wide through every goblin, ghoul, and goth to come up with a comprehensive list, and while there were plenty of demented killers or demon-possessed tykes to consider, we couldn’t include everyone. So don’t take our heads off if your favorite didn’t make it (or perhaps you should, given the spirit of things).
Some were obvious choices. What list of spooky bad guys would be complete without the mother-obsessed Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) in Alfred Hitchcock‘s classic thriller “Psycho” (1960) or everyone’s favorite dinner guest, Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), in Jonathan Demme‘s Best Picture Oscar winner “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)? And let’s not forget that adorable little devil Regan (Linda Blair) in William Friedkin‘s gross-out hit “The Exorcist” (1973) and the not-so-dull Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) in Stanley Kubrick‘s supernatural chiller “The Shining” (1980).
Click through our photo gallery of the 20 greatest horror movie villains of all time to see who slashed up the competition, then let us know if we left out your favorites.
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on February 26 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.