Hollywood has given us many horror movies that are remembered till now. And clearly, the 1970s gave rise to a lot of big horror-movie names. After all, you can’t forget the killer in The Shining or the excess use of blood used in Jaws. Still, it takes more than just one scary guy to be a successful movie – case in point; the malevolent presence of grief works well enough in Don’t Look Now. But there is no denying that when made right, horror movies work really well if they include some really scary villains.
The 1970s was a truly frightening time. The release of Halloween revealed to fans in the film community new psycho slasher villains like Michael Myers and Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface, who bore terrifying masks. Unlike some slasher villains, however, these monsters were not the only monsters in town. There were also 25-foot sharks like the one from Jaws and seven-foot xenomorphs (also known as aliens). With that being said, these are the 5 best horror movie villains, ranked in ascending order –
Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes is the perfect example of a wildly underrated movie that screws with our expectations by turning conventions completely on their heads. The film begins with terrifyingly relatable circumstances, as the Carter family happens to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere. And it only gets worse from there as they find themselves being hunted by repulsive mutants who are essentially bloodthirsty inversions of suburbanite protagonists. These mutants are led by Papa Jupiter and they’re ostensibly every parent’s nightmare.
Before he directed the superhero and buddy cop hits Superman and Lethal Weapon, Richard Donner brought something that earned him attention: The Omen. During the movie, it becomes clear to Gregory Peck and Lee Remick that the child they adopted and named Damien is more than just a normal boy. He is in fact a very real threat to them whose origins lie far beyond his childhood years when he came from adoption into their family as an infant.
Steven Spielberg created a new genre in movie making with his 1975 classic Jaws, which was the first summer blockbuster film. Spielberg used two main tools to develop a terrifying presence: suspense and imagination. In Jaws, there is no shot of any actual shark until about two-thirds of the way through the film. Although most viewers saw only the 25-foot great white shark on screen for about 2 minutes, it was what was embedded in their minds that made the movie scary. This is because it’s almost impossible to understand how that image could manifest itself in your mind in such a powerful way.
The antagonist of The Exorcist doesn’t have a physical appearance. Pazuzu appears as an ominous statue in the opening premonition and later possesses 12-year-old Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair). Instead of showing their evil through their facial appearance, they make use of people’s deepest insecurities to create a sense of panic and distress. The creature can look into people’s souls and crudely reflect their worst insecurities back at them.
The opening scene of John Carpenter’s Halloween is a stark and powerful portrayal of the story’s killer Michael Myers. It swiftly sets up his backstory, showing how he first became a remorseless murderer as a child. In the rest of the 1978 film, we see an adult version referred to only as Myers. The young killer is wearing a branded mask as part of an old-fashioned Halloween costume. And he shambles around town aimlessly in this outfit targeting anyone who gets into his path. Surrounded by Donald Pleasence’s mystified psychiatrist, Michael Myers has become notorious for being beyond the reach of psychological understanding.