Short List: Scariest horror movie characters
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Published: October 25, 2012
Published: October 25, 2012
Halloween is quickly approaching, and that means hours of scary movie marathons on TV. In anticipation of this week's deluge of frightening films, we're focusing on the classic characters that still keep us awake at night. Here's our top five:
Freddy Krueger, "A Nightmare On Elm Street" — You can stay out of the woods, the water, the abandoned mental hospital or any other spooky location you can come up with, but you can't stay awake forever (no matter how much Starbucks you drink). That's what made the vengeful, burned-alive Freddy Kreuger, who kills his victims in their dreams, into one of our recurring nightmares. Terrifying moment: An exhausted Glen (Johnny Depp) succumbs to sleep and is pulled into his bed by Freddy, before being shot back out as a giant geyser of blood.
Regan MacNeil, "The Exorcist" — This era of horror cinema seemed to have a thing for creepily demonic little kids, ("Rosemary's Baby," "The Omen") but no pre-teen was more terrifying than Regan MacNeil, the green-puke spewing, 360-degree-head-turning, 12-year-old possessed by the devil. Terrifying moment: Dumbfounded doctors watch as Regan thrashes around on her bed—her eyes turning completely white—showing that modern science is powerless.
Michael Myers, "Halloween" — Horror movies are full of relentless, masked maniacs, but Myers remains the standard. Having murdered his older sister as a boy, escaped mental patient Myers moves like a human but seems to possess superhuman powers that allow him to survive being shot, stabbed and set on fire. Terrifying moment: Dr. Loomis, plugs Myers with six bullets, but looks over a balcony to discover that Myers’ body has vanished.
Hannibal Lecter, "Silence of the Lambs" — He's way smarter than you, he looks like your harmless, middle-aged neighbor and he knows what wine would pair perfectly with your sautéed flesh. The biggest testament to Hannibal "the cannibal" Lecter's fear factor is that he manages to scare us simply by talking to Jodi Foster from behind a piece of glass for most of the movie. Terrifying moment: In "Hannibal," a later film where Anthony Hopkins revised his role as Lecter, he feeds a police detective a cooked piece of the detective’s own brain.
Samara, "The Ring" – Samara freaked her mother out so badly that she threw the schoolgirl down a well. After drowning, Samara's vengeful spirit passed into a video tape, causing viewers to die in seven days — the amount of time it took the child to die at the bottom of the well. Terrifying moment: Samara’s dripping wet corpse steps out from the TV screen to claim the film’s final victim.
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