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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

Nurse Alex Price
Played by: Jenny Agutter
Film(s): An American Werewolf In London (1981)

As the kindly nurse who takes a very personal interest in the welfare of wounded American tourist David Kessler, Jenny Agutter sparked a thousand teenage fantasies with that shower scene. But there's more here than just pervy nonsense: Alex's growing love and compassion for David makes her the Beauty to his Beast. It's heartbreaking, therefore, when Wolf-David snarls and makes that last leap for her in Piccadilly Circus.

57 57 Henry
Played by: Michael Rooker
Film(s): Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Michael Rooker's frighteningly humdrum performance as a no-nonsense monster in John MacNaughton's dead-eyed character study gave audiences everywhere chills... and Rooker a career that sees him playing heavies and weirdos to this day.

56 56 Frank
Played by: Dennis Hopper
Film(s): Blue Velvet (1986)

Make no mistake: for every second that Dennis Hopper's unforgettable, oxygen-huffing, Heineken-disparaging, ear-severing brute is on screen, Blue Velvet is a horror movie.

Tangina 55
Played by: Zelda Rubinstein
Film(s): Poltergeist (1982)

'When your little girl/Has been kidnapped by The Beast, who you gonna call?' Zelda Rubinstein, apparently. The 4'3" actress, with a voice that sounds like a possessed doll, is a weird and unforgettable presence in Tobe Hooper's brilliant haunted house movie, showing up near the end to do battle with the darkness armed with nothing but a rope, some tennis balls and unshakeable faith.

54 54 Tommy Jarvis
Played by: Corey Feldman, John Shepherd, Thom Mathews
Film(s): Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

The only opponent worthy of defeating Jason Voorhees, Tommy was played across three different films by three actors, beginning with Corey Feldman in the laughably-titled Final Chapter. Back then, he was a kid obsessed with movie make-up who uses his skills to lure Jason to his death. Part V's A New Beginning saw him become a borderline Jason himself; Jason Lives saw genre favourite Thom Mathews inadvertently resurrect Jason, then spend the rest of the movie Keystone Kopping his way around Camp Crystal Lake while scores of innocents perished. Dr. Loomis he ain't.

Played by: Wesley Snipes
Film(s): Blade (1998), Blade II (2002), Blade: Trinity (2004)

Unusually violent for a Marvel property, Blade avoids the moral ambiguities of the similarly trigger-happy Punisher by only slaughtering vampires. He's also cooler than Steve McQueen at the South Pole.

52 52 Asami
Played by: Eihi Shiina
Film(s): Audition (1999)

She's a serial seducer and torturer who keeps her victims in sacks. Remember, words create lies but pain can be trusted. Kiri kiri kiri...

51 51 Mystery Man
Played by: Robert Blake
Film(s): Lost Highway (1997)

A deeply troubling character inexplicably capable of being in two places at once. In fact, he's in your house right now. Give him a ring. Top notch headfuckery from David Lynch

50 50 Pazuzu
Played by: Mercedes McCambridge (voice)
Film(s): The Exorcist (1973)

It's the mocking, malevolent entity that seizes hold of an innocent young girl and proceeds to turn her into a hellish shock jock, so that it can settle old scores with two priests. Besides that, Pazuzu has a lot to answer for: virtually every screen demon since has been a thinly-veiled rip-off, down to the face (yes, Pazuzu's true visage is glimpsed subliminally, but there's no doubt that it can also be seen in Regan's twisted, mutated features) and Mercedes McCambridge's eggs-fags-and-whiskey voice.

49 49 Van Helsing
Played by: Peter Cushing
Film(s): Horror of Dracula (1958)

Not the original iteration of Bram Stoker's vampire killing Dutch doctor, of course, but by far the best. Cushing plays his Van Helsing with a cut-glass English accent, and a sense of moral rectitude and purpose as sharp as his stakes. His look of triumph upon reducing Christopher Lee's Dracula to ash in the original Hammer movie is as dastardly as this good Doctor (Cushing actually played the role several times, although it wasn't always the same Van Helsing) ever gets.

48 48 Count Orlok
Played by: Max Schreck
Film(s): Nosferatu (1922)

Monster monster! The original - and some would say, best - screen vampire is a balding, rat-like, inhuman creature whose very shadow has more personality and menace than a thousand imitators.

47 47 Jack Griffin
Played by: Claude Rains
Film(s): The Invisible Man (1933)

Rains is unnervingly crazy as the scientist who accidentally disappears himself. The invisibility effects, to this day, border on magic. "What do you think of that, eh?!"

46 46 Cesare
Played by: Conrad Veidt
Film(s): The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920)

The great Conrad Veidt is touching as the sleepwalking slave - very nearly a homunculus - of Dr. Caligari, forced to murder innocents until he's beguiled by the beauty of Lil Dagover's Jane. Cesare meets his end, in somewhat unorthodox fashion for a Big Bad, from exhaustion.

Victor Frankenstein
Played by: Peter Cushing
Film(s): The Curse Of Frankenstein (1957)

For a man who was known as the Nicest Guy In Showbiz, Peter Cushing did have an amazing talent for playing rotten bastards. His take on Baron Victor Frankenstein is a bold one, a 180 from Colin Clive's noble scientist in the Universal films. Victor is a wild-eyed nutter, entirely focused on his goal of creating life from death - and if, along the way, he has to create a few deaths from life in order to get that little bit closer to being a living God, then so be it. Cushing, steely-eyed and dastardly from the off, is fantastic here, creating a character that would reappear in six sequels (one of which doesn't star Cushing).

44 44 John Rider
Played by: Rutger Hauer
Film(s): The Hitcher (1986)

Enigmatic evil from Rutger Hauer, as the hitch-hiking psychopath desperate to be stopped by a worthy opponent. He's ruthless enough to tear someone in half with a truck, playful enough to place a severed finger in a plate of French fries.

43 43 Carrie White
Played by: Sissy Spacek
Film(s): Carrie (1976)

Oppressed, bullied and ignored, Carrie White (a gift of a role for Sissy Spacek) is a powder keg of burgeoning telekinetic power, just waiting to explode at her school prom. Many die at Carrie's hand - or, more accurately, mind - that night, but impressively she remains the film's true victim.

42 42 Herbert West
Played by: Jeffrey Combs
Film(s): Re-Animator (1985)

One of cinema's greatest mad scientists, Jeffrey Combs' nerdish psychopath is a morbid delight, whether it's beating a zombie cat to death or struggling to escape from killer intestines.

41 41 The Phantom
Played by: Lon Chaney
Film(s): The Phantom Of The Opera (1925)

Lon Chaney was famously known as The Man Of A Thousand Faces, but really one stands out above the other 999: Erik, the masked madman who lurks in the bowels of the Paris Opera House and develops a dangerous obsession with a young ingenue. When she finally pulls off his mask, the results, especially for a 1925 audience, were horrifying. Chaney, of course, came up with the make-up, redolent of Skeletor's chartered accountant cousin Norman - himself.

Jason Voorhees
Played by: Various
Film(s): Freddy vs. Jason (2003), Friday the 13th (2009), Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981), Friday the 13th Part III (1981), Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Jason X (2001)

Let's be frank: when it comes to chopping up teenagers, Jason may be more creative than Michael Myers, but he has none of the genuine menace or the interesting backstory. In fact, when Jason shows up as a readymade killing machine in Friday The 13th Part 2, it makes next-to-no-sense, given the events of the first film. Still, the mask, the machete and the massacring are all too iconic for him not to rank highly, even if he did descend into self-parody long before the end.

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