Over the years, the horror genre has created many iconic villains. From silent stalkers like Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees to crowd favorite Freddy Krueger, franchises have been created based solely on the strength of these villains’ characters. With these villains spanning decades and cultivating a cult of personality, it’s easy to overlook some of the other villains that have emerged over the years.
This list examines five of the most underrated and overlooked horror movie villains of the 2010s. Featuring otherworldly monsters, bizarre clowns, and normal-looking people who hide in plain sight. all, these films feature villains who should be recognized more for their ability to scare.
Guillermo Del Toro’s hauntingly lavish gothic ghost story stars Tom Hiddleston as Thomas Sharpe, Mia Wasikowska as Edith Cushing and Jessica Chastain as Lucille Sharpe, the latter as the creepy sister of Thomas. When Edith meets Thomas Sharpe, she soon finds herself in love with him and married. She moves into her family home, also occupied by her cold and distant sister Lucille. Edith soon sees omens of doom and horrible ghosts around Allerdale Hall and finds herself embroiled in a mystery she could never have imagined.
In a film filled with horrible spirits and visions of death, the real villain of the play is Lucille Sharpe. A cold and calculating serial killer, Lucille has an incestuous relationship with her brother, and they have tricked wealthy women into marrying Thomas and then killing them for their money. Although Thomas tries to redeem himself during the film, Lucille stays focused on her goals until its abrupt end.
Beginning as a character in several short films, Art first rose to prominence in the 2011 anthology film All Hallows Eve then found further fame in his own starring villain role in 2016 Terrifying. Art stalks his victims through the city while carrying a trash bag full of weapons, a mute but very expressive and scary clown. Brutal killings and theatrical performances mark Art’s reign of terror as he fixates on a woman, mowing down anyone who gets in his way.
Lively and extreme in his kills, Art’s unique look and demeanor made him a cult hit, even leading to the release of a creepy sequel later in 2022. The art may not be a household name just yet, but its uniqueness should be more than enough to elevate it to slasher movie infamy.
At Jordan Peele We, a family is confronted by government-created genetic clones known as the Tethered. Consisting of mother Adelaide, father Gabe, and children Zora and Jason, the Wilson family is enjoying a vacation when the Tethered begin to appear. The family is subjected to a night of terror as their clones hunt and torture them, wishing to detach their souls and live a life of freedom in the sun. As Adelaide’s clone Red leads the charge, it becomes clear that they aren’t the only Tethered in the land.
As the film unfolds, it becomes clear that Red is different from the other Tethereds; she has more autonomy and intelligence in her actions. As Adelaide recalls her childhood first encounter with Red at a funhouse, the waters become muddy as to who Adelaide really is and what is right and wrong. Not only is Red a menacing and relentless figure, but she also looks killer, wearing a red jumpsuit, leather glove, and wielding a pair of gold scissors.
Christmas horror movie 2015 Krampus sees Max Engel and the rest of his family lose sense of the season. While a Hallmark movie would end with family reuniting and rediscovering the Christmas spirit, Krampus is a little less forgiving. The family’s ingratitude angers Krampus, a figure in Austrian and Bavarian folklore who punishes those who don’t believe in the spirit of the season.
The demon isolates the family and the surrounding suburbs in a monster blizzard before sending his minions, creepy snowmen and terrifying toys to besiege the family in their home. Krampus deserves to be a more iconic film and a more iconic titular villain. Not only does Krampus simply not care whether his victims feel remorse or not, he also wears what appears to be a Santa Claus skin costume.
Though it’s often named one of the scariest movies of all time, 2012’s main horror villain Claim is often overlooked. Bughuul is a monster who murders families and steals their children, while recording it on film. Crime writer Ellison Oswalt moves with his family to a house where previous murders have taken place where he discovers a projector and film reels in the attic. The film reels span several decades and several murders, and once he watches them, strange things start happening in the house.
Bughuul is an excellent villain, where the images of him serve as a gateway for him to enter the world. His use of cinema to perpetuate his existence is brilliant, assuring him that he will always have access to families and a way to control their children. Bughuul is a particularly insidious villain, using children to do his dirty work while reveling in the destruction of youth and life.
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