The art of the creepy villain is a difficult one to master. Of course, many have failed to make us jump out of our skins or give us the dreaded “ick”, feeling closer to party villains than true horrors. But for every failure, there is one success story that will haunt our dreams forever.
If Freddie Kreuger, Michael Myers and Pazuzu top our charts in being the creepiest characters in the history of films and shows, it is safe to assume that Netflix, with its wide variety of content, has a varied set of creepy characters who will make us spend many sleepless nights.
It is often more difficult to play the bad guy. Lena Headey, known for her role as the scheming and brutal Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones, revealed that people would often hate on her for her malevolence on-screen, and that made her realise that she was doing the job well.
You asked for it, and here we have compiled a list of the five scariest villains streaming on Netflix:
Five scariest villains on Netflix:
Vecna – Stranger Things
Perhaps the Duffer brothers’ greatest creation isn’t the wild and worldly character of Steve Harrington’s hair but the introduction of Eleven’s antithesis Vecna. A putrid combination of maleficent evil and a desire to corrupt innocence, Vecna is the human embodiment of Freddie Kruger, Leatherface and about 15 different demons.
An agent of the Upside Down, Vecna has been using mind control and dream infiltration to terrorise the people of Hawkins, Indiana when Eleven, Will, Mike, Dustin, Max and Lucas take on the despicable demon-inspired terror. A guaranteed nightmare stalker, we suggest this villain is best viewed from behind a sturdy sofa cushion.
Ed Kemper – Mindhunter
Mindhunter is, in itself, a fascinating watch as the two seasons trace the development of the FBI’s behavioural unit with various cold-blooded, grisly murders taking place. However, the star of the show would definitely be the calm, poised, calculative murderer, Edmund Kemper. His on-screen demeanour is eerily disturbing. His speech unsettles his interrogators; his knowledge and dignified gait almost leave them awestruck.
We wish there would have been more episodes dealing with this particular character, he is interesting and unnerving at the same time, and Cameron Britton does an incredible job playing the character who is eloquent and articulate. With a frightening amount of notorious self-awareness about his “classic displacement activity”, the character casually discusses his obsession with mutilating inanimate objects and dogs and cats before manifesting his “hideous” desire to murder his mother and humiliate her head.
Joe Goldberg – You
One of Netflix’s coldest and scariest villains with an obsessive, perverted and sadistic frame of mind is actually one of the most adored characters on our list. His voyeuristic tendencies and intense desire to possess the “objects” of his affection make him unsettling. In the first season, he has an intense saviour complex for Beck and ends up getting outwitted by the equally psychopathic Love in the second season; their match is tailormade in heaven.
Penn Badgley manages to infuse a feeling of sinister charm into his character, making it even more petrifying with his cold, unexpressive eyes and deadpan expression. As he stares into our soul by doing nothing, he gives off the “real Charles Manson” vibe. As it is incredibly disturbing to see the likes of Goldberg be romanticised on Twitter by viewers, he is indeed the most disturbing Netflix character.
Charlie – Hereditary
Milly Shapiro plays Charlie from Ari Aster’s shocking horror flick Hereditary and manages to make the already-disturbing film even more horrifying with her simple, laconic expressions. From interacting with her dead grandmother, who was involved in cult-like practices, to dying a headless death, despite her early demise in the film, Charlie’s pervading presence engulfs the screen and makes the film appear even more harrowing.
From cutting off pigeon heads and sewing them into her school projects to being incredibly blank, which is perceived as stunted mental growth by the world, Charlie is used as a vessel by the demonic Paimon until her death. She has a haunting aura and quiet menace to her appearance, making Charlie one of Aster’s creepiest characters.
Justine – Raw
The film shows a veterinary school freshman Justine who is a strict vegetarian but forced to eat meat as a part of the school’s traditional vicious hazing ritual. This event then leads Justine to develop an unhealthy attraction toward meat consumption, and she slowly begins to develop animalistic tendencies.
Filled with nudity, blood, sex and gore, the film is definitely one of the most controversial flicks streaming on Netflix. Justine’s slow but steady descent into carnivorous obsession and craving for raw flesh is dexterously portrayed by Julia Ducournau who infuses in her character the utter madness and obsession that forms the central idea of the film.