25 Scariest Movie Villains of All Time. Who Was Your Favorite?

Why so serious? Heath Ledger’s legendary dialogue in The Dark Knight doesn’t fail to elicit shivers and raise a few goose bumps. Now, imagine the same dialogue delivered by Jack Nicholson who essayed the role of Joker in Batman (1982). Doesn’t really have the same effect, does it?

We’ve seen a number of villainous characters portrayed in differing degrees of genius over the years. But only a rare few actors are revered and remembered for the negative roles they have played on screen. Here’s a list of 25 most iconic and scariest villains who have made audiences either shriek in fear or go wide-eyed in awe.

1) Hannibal Lector (Anthony Hopkins) in The Silence of the Lambs

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With cultured taste and charisma that give most heroes a run for their money, Hannibal Lector is the perfect villain. As an intelligent forensic psychologist, Anthony Hopkins has outdone himself in this role by fuelling the perfect amount of class into murders. Whether it’s killing people with household objects or biting off his victim’s face, Hannibal Lector is one diabolical villain.

2) Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) in American Psycho

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It takes a special kind of villain to have the audience hate you with a vengeance for the character you played. This is exactly what Christian Bale achieves in his role as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. His seamless transition from a narcissistic wall-street investment banker to a violent sociopath with a fetish for killing innocent strangers leaves you with shivers down your spine.

3) Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

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Louise Fletcher does justice to the role of Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by perfectly portraying the cold and merciless nature of the character. With near-absolute power in the mental institution that she works in, Nurse Ratched exercises a tyrannical rule where she controls patients’ medications, privileges and basic necessities. She drugs her patients and forces them to do humiliating things for her entertainment.

4) Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) in No Country for Old Men

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As a hitman with no remorse or compassion, Javier Bardem’s portrayal of Anton Chigurh doesn’t leave much to desire in a bad guy. With a ruthless demeanour and a twisted set of morals, Chigurh is the embodiment of a gun-toting villain from the Wild West. He gives his victims a chance to survive by making a deal or flipping a coin.

5) Amon Göth (Ralph Fiennes) in Schindler’s List

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Ralph Fiennes accurately portrayed Amon Göth in Schindler’s List- what happens when a sadistic and ruthless individual finds a government sanctioned outlet for cruelty. As a member of the Nazi Party in the Third Reich, he views Jews as creatures who are inferior to humans and kills without hesitation or provocation.

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