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The 666 Greatest Horror Characters
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Show all 666 characters  |  Random character View A-Z by:  characters  |  films  |  actors

Played by: Adelina Poerio
Film(s): Don't Look Now (1973)

Giving dwarfs, razor blades and red coats a bad name since 1973. Thanks, Adelina Poerio!

76 76 Father Malone
Played by: Hal Holbrook
Film(s): The Fog (1980)

"Why not me, Blake?" asks Hal Holbrook's sozzled priest at the end of The Fog, before getting his answer in spectacular fashion. Prior to that, Holbrook is excellent as Malone, gradually putting together the pieces of the true fate of the Elizabeth Dane and its crew of lepers, in which his ancestors were involved, and not at all happy about it. Armed with this knowledge, and a gold cross, Malone - previously a shambles of a man - decides to redeem himself, and his family name.

75 75 Annie Wilkes
Played by: Kathy Bates
Film(s): Misery (1990)

The monstrously wholesome Annie (played by a ferocious Kathy Bates, who won an Oscar for her troubles) is completely, terrifyingly, batshit cockadoody crazy. Don't let her anywhere near your ankles.

Candyman 74
Played by: Tony Todd
Film(s): Candyman (1992)

Tony Todd's hook-handed legend has, unusually for a franchise fiend, layers of emotional depth and something of a tragic sheen. We know what happens if you say his name five times into a mirror, but what happens if you type it? Candyman. Candyman. Candyman. Candyman. Can... actually, let's leave it there.

73 73 Max Cady
Played by: Robert De Niro
Film(s): Cape Fear (1991)

Robert De Niro had already played The Devil once by the time he sank his teeth into the show-stopping villain of Martin Scorsese's brilliant remake, but he didn't let that put him off giving it another go. OK, the tattooed, Bible-quoting Max Cady may not literally be Old Nick (he is, in fact, a convict with slow-burning vengeance on his mind), but whether he's taking lumps out of a girlfriend's cheek, putting the moves on the underage daughter of his foe, Nick Nolte, or smoking in a cinema, there's no doubt about his diabolical nature.

72 72 Darryl Revok
Played by: Michael Ironside
Film(s): Scanners (1981)

Michael Ironside's cocksure scanner will blow your mind. Sometimes literally, on live TV.

Chief Brody
Played by: Roy Scheider
Film(s): Jaws (1975)

One of the wonders of Jaws is that its three heroes seem like ordinary guys, played by men who didn't wander straight out of modelling school and onto a movie set. When Roy Scheider's Martin Brody takes his shirt off, there's no rippling six-pack underneath. Brody is an ordinary guy catapulted into extraordinary circumstances, and Scheider makes him rich, relatable, human; the perfect man, then, to dispose of a villain that's everything but. Smile, you sonofabitch.

70 70 The Twins
Played by: John Hunsaker
Film(s): Just Before Dawn (1981)

A Deliverance-style duo who stalk their way around this little-seen atmospheric '80s horror. As with Ghostface in Scream, the reveal that there's actually two of them comes late in the day - too late for some characters.

69 69 Peter Vincent
Played by: Roddy McDowall
Film(s): Fright Night (1985)

Roddy McDowall's prissy, hammy horror show host, forced to discover his faith and become the thing he's pretended to be for thirty years when he's confronted with real vampires, is a delight. Miles away from David Tennant's vulgar creation in the murky remake, McDowall's turn is a reminder of a more innocent time in horror.

68 68 Prince Prospero
Played by: Vincent Price
Film(s): The Masque Of The Red Death (1964)

Vincent Price starts Roger Corman's movie as a Satan-worshipping despot who orders the burning of a village, kidnaps a girl to be his sex slave, and then throws a big old party for the rich, figuratively fiddling while Rome burns. From there, it's downhill for Prospero, but Price is on fine form throughout.

67 67 Carole Ledoux
Played by: Catherine Deneuve
Film(s): Repulsion (1965)

Catherine Deneuve is on superlative form as the repressed recluse whose awkwardness and disdain for men and sexual contact begins to eat into her psyche, first manifesting itself as hallucinations (the image of hands coming through the wall to grab at Carole has been stolen by a number of directors, most famously George A. Romero for Day Of The Dead), then as bloody murders, then as catatonia. Startling.

66 66 Michel Delasalle
Played by: Paul Meurisse
Film(s): Les Diaboliques (1955)

Meurisse's cheating husband is a grade-A scumbag, whose emotional and physical abuse of his wife, Christina, continues even after his 'murder'. Meurisse is, thanks to the very nature of the film's plot, off-screen for much of the movie, but his presence is everywhere, while he's front-and-centre of one of horror cinema's most famous shock twists.

65 65 Dick Hallorann
Played by: Scatman Crothers
Film(s): The Shining (1980)

As played by Scatman Crothers, Hallorann - the chef at the Overlook Hotel - is a kindly old man who, blessed with his own Shining, acts as Danny Torrance's guide to the dos and don'ts of the evil old hotel. As set up by Stephen King, he's the knight in armour who travels half the country to save the day. As set up by Stanley Kubrick, he's a rug pulled from under your feet.

64 64 Miss Giddens
Played by: Deborah Kerr
Film(s): The Innocents (1961)

Deborah Kerr is on fine form in Jack Clayton's elegant and creepy horror as the governess who comes to suspect that her two young charges are possessed, while we, the audience, come to suspect that she may not be the full shilling.

63 63 Jim Halsey
Played by: C. Thomas Howell
Film(s): The Hitcher (1986)

C. Thomas Howell's innocent young buck learns hard, and learns fast, that he should have listened to his mother when she told him never to give a lift to strangers. Especially psychotic strangers played by Rutger Hauer. Howell's journey from terrified victim to dead-eyed instrument of vengeance is neatly sketched and all the more creepy once you realise, in hindsight, that Hauer's John Ryder set out to create a monster, and succeeded. Halsey returns years later for about five minutes in the lamentable sequel.

Chris MacNeil
Played by: Ellen Burstyn
Film(s): The Exorcist (1973)

Ellen Burstyn bagged a deserved Oscar nomination as the Chicago mom enduring immense strain as she watches her beloved daughter turn into a raging, demonically possessed freak who does unspeakable things with crucifixes and simply ruins dinner parties. Burstyn is forever on the edge of hysteria as Regan's condition worsens. Understandably so.

61 61 Roger
Played by: Scott Reiniger
Film(s): Dawn of the Dead (1978)

OK, so Scott Reiniger's devil-may-care SWAT guy may border on the psychopathic, and contributes to his own demise, but we defy you not to will the little guy to fulfil his promise to Ken Foree's Peter that "I'm going to try not to come back". Anyone who's ever seen the back of a Dawn of the Dead VHS cover will know that he doesn't succeed.

60 60 Duc de Richleau
Played by: Christopher Lee
Film(s): The Devil Rides Out (1968)

A rare good guy turn for the great Christopher Lee in, arguably, Hammer's greatest movie. As the occult expert charged with saving Patrick Mower's rich kid from a fate worse than Emmerdale, Lee is fantastic as an uptight, upright, unswerving bastion of moral invincibility. And the facial hair - neatly devilish itself - is a winner.

59 59 Derek
Played by: Peter Jackson
Film(s): Bad Taste (1987)

Forced to take the lead role in Bad Taste because he had no other real option, Peter Jackson plays Derek as a dithering idiot who becomes dangerously unhinged when he falls off a cliff and spends most of the movie holding his brains in via judicious deployment of a belt. Jackson displays such a nifty instinct for comedy that it's a real shame that he hasn't given acting a go since; and Derek's Ash-like transformation into chainsaw-wielding badass is ludicrously satisfying. He's a Derek, and Dereks don't run.

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