Weekly Top Ten-#27
The 10 Creepiest Movie Characters
There have been a number of films featuring some very off-putting people. Characters that would shock us in terror if they happened to be real. There have been many characters that have gotten under my skin over the years, characters that haunted my dreams, that burned themselves into my psyche. Since October is quickly coming to a close, I decided to make a list of the 10 creepiest characters from the gargantuan list of films I have seen. I'm sure you'll agree this is a list of some of Hollywood's biggest creepers.
10. Willy Wonka, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory
Even though the Roald Dahl's book was intended to be a children's tale, the book had its creepy moments. I think those moments came to life well in the 1970's Willy Wonka movie. Those moments were brought to life blissfully by Gene Wilder. There is always something constantly off about the character, and his big moment when he takes his guests down the chocolate river really pays off in a huge way. Its a strange scene, but effective nonetheless.
9. Issac, Children of the Corn
Children in horror films? Creepy. Children who systematically killed every adult in a small town because a pagan version of Jesus told them to? Even creepier. Issac really milks out the terror more so than the other children. His cold, dead eyes, sinister glare is enough to give anybody nightmares. Even though "Children of the Corn" never reached the bizarre terror the short story reached, Issac was enough to leave an everlasting watermark in the horror genre.
8. Mystery Man, Lost Highway
Imagine going to a party with friends and a creepy, clownish, guy coming up to you and telling you everything going on in your life? Yeah rather upsetting in the least. The Mystery Man is just another powerful presence in another bizarre, disturbing David Lynch movie. But like in all of Lynch's best works, the creepers stick out like a sore thumb and disturb me deeply.
7. Annie, Misery
If your somebody semi-famous, my best guess is that a stalker is scary. I am sure overly-obsessive stalkers are even scarier, but how about somebody who is willing to break your legs so that you never leave their side? I can't imagine that being something you'd want to think about. Kathy Bates makes the role memorable for being absolutely subtle. A truly remarkable performance.
6. Carrie White, Carrie
Carrie White was the first female character who truly haunted my dreams. The mixture of the powerful direction as well as Sissy Spacek's wide, blue eyes created an unforgettable character. Her innocence and tender mannerisms only made the character more horrifying, because when the inevitable prank happens, her sudden turn to terror is instantly disturbing.
5. Frank Booth, Blue Velvet
When a psychopath is naturally unstable, that can be pretty freaky. But when an unstable psychopath breathes in psycho-juice on a regular basis? Oooh, not good at all. Frank Booth is a deranged invention, and Dennis Hopper was definitely the right man to bring this crazy character to life, his precision with the character is a marvel to watch. Only Hopper could make Roy Orbison scary.
4. Jack Torrance, The Shining
Jack Nicholson has a particular talent for bringing big creepers to life. Arguably, his best work comes from "The Shining" as his transition from family man to possessed madman is great acting and powerful writing. To describe the creepiest scene in this movie involving Torrance is a tough one. Nicholson really captured the character from the book well, but also made something genuinely original from it.
3. Buffalo Bill, The Silence of the Lambs
Everybody likes to say how creepy Anthony Hopkins was as Dr. Hannibal Lectre. However while the performance was brilliant, there was a slickness to the role that made it easier to identify with Lectre. That I feel made the character a lot less creepy. Buffalo Bill, on the other-hand, always creeped me out. That insidious voice of Ted Levine brought great life to his character. The character had strange mannerisms and odd tendencies which electrified the screen. I mean Bill dancing to Q Lazaraus? Yuck.
2. Man Behind Winkie's Mulholland Drive
Let me just say that the character was involved in the greatest boo scare in all of movies. I remember showing this movie to a house full of girls one night in high school. When the character's big moment occurred, each girl jolted back and let out a shriek, all in unison. One of my guests dug their fingernails rather hard into my wrist as well.
1. Norman Bates, Psycho
"Psycho" was a movie that was ahead of its time, which is why its one of the best movies of its genre. Alfred Hitchcock tapped into something primal when he adapted "Psycho" into a film. The bold choices he made created an instant classic, especially the portrayal of Norman Bates. Its a powerful creation brought to life by Anthony Perkins. His work is very creepy throughout and even for a 1960's film, it scares today. There isn't another image like the final disturbing smile before the credits roll, and that mix of smile and skull has burned itself into my memory forever.
There's my list. Who is on yours?