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Top 10 Modern Horror Movie Villains

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp

Move over Freddy and Jason; it's time to give some new creeps the spotlight. From the Lipstick Face Demon, to the Witch, to Annabelle, the 2010s have definitely seen their share of terrifying horror antagonists. WatchMojo ranks the top modern horror movie villains.

Check out the voting page for this list and add your picks: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Horror+Movie+Villains+of+2010s Special thanks to our user Sebastian Shih for suggesting this idea!


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Who says they don’t make good horror movies anymore? Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Modern Horror Movie Villains.

For this list, we’re looking at the greatest villains in horror movies released after 2010. We’ll be discussing some major plot points, so a spoiler alert is in effect.

#10: The Masked Men

“You’re Next” (2011)
Picture a mix of ‘80s slasher cheese and a hefty dose of “Home Alone” and you've got “You're Next”. The plot begins in slasher fashion – a family is having a get together in a secluded house. Enter the three individuals wearing animal masks that kill their victims, and write “you’re next” on the walls. While these killers are remorseless and evil, what makes them so unique is their humanity. These aren’t indestructible slasher monsters. They’re just people who make stupid decisions, and often end up paying the price for their sloppiness. They serve as a perfect deconstruction of the slasher movie monster.

#9: Lipstick-Face Demon

“Insidious” (2010)
The Lipstick-Face Demon gave us one of the most unexpected jump scares of the decade. A demon that resides in the Further, an enigmatic location between Heaven and Earth, the Lipstick-Face demon attempts to take control of Dalton. While the Demon appears throughout the series, it’s his presence in the first film that is the most shocking, complete with the aforementioned jump scare and his creepy lair in the Further. The scariest things are those we cannot understand or imagine, and the Lipstick-Face Demon fits that bill to a tee.

#8: Gary Sitterson & Steve Hadley

“The Cabin in the Woods” (2012)
Gary Sitterson and Steve Hadley are two normal dudes, but their jobs are slightly…unconventional - they manipulate a killing field to ensure that the chosen victims play their designated slasher roles and die at the hands of various monsters. This is so they can appease the Ancient Ones living under the facility. Just roll with it. Their manipulations of the environment and characters are an intelligent deconstruction of slasher tropes, and they themselves are terrifically entertaining, mostly due to the committed and hilarious performances of Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford. It’s not often that horror villains are this much fun and enjoyable to be around.

#7: Witch

“The Witch” (2015)
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s no denying that the titular character makes for an unsettling presence. Unlike most villains, the Witch is rarely seen. Instead, the film allows us to bask in the paranoia and fear that it generates, and it’s scarier than anything that could physically be put to film. When the Witch is seen, like when she appears as a creepy old lady drinking goat blood, to seduce Caleb, or when she slathers the baby’s blood on her body, it's hella effective. Seen or not, the Witch is a gleefully scary character.

#6: Annabelle

“The Conjuring” franchise (2013-)
Creepy dolls are always good for a scare, and “The Conjuring” series certainly makes great use of this fact. Annabelle only briefly appears in the first “Conjuring” movie, but her presence was so eerie and unsettling that she received her own prequel. The simple concept of a sentient doll terrorizing people is scary enough, but its horrifying physical appearance is also enough to unsettle even the most devout doll appreciators. She began as a movie-stealing wonder and grew into a main villain, with her two movies have grossed over $500 million, proving that audiences can’t get enough of this disturbing doll.

#5: Bughuul

“Sinister” (2012)
OK, the name is silly, but Bughuul is certainly an entity you do not want to mess with. Bughuul is an ancient deity who possesses and steals the souls of children. Bughuul makes creepy appearances in the home movies that Ellison watches, and he controls children and makes them murder their own families in horrifically brutal fashions. The relative lack of knowledge surrounding Bughuul and its origins make it seem timeless and undefeatable, and the ways in which it kidnaps children is downright sickening. Its black metal-esque appearance is also deeply unsettling, making Bughuul a terrifying presence in both a physical and psychological manner.

#4: It / Pennywise the Dancing Clown

“It” (2017)
Pennywise is undoubtedly one of Stephen King’s scariest creations, and he was brought to vivid and petrifying life in the 2017 version of “It”. While Tim Curry’s Pennywise is a classic character, Bill Skarsgård filled his over-sized shoes perfectly with a more diabolical and evil interpretation. This Pennywise doesn’t play around – he scares you, toys with you, and doesn’t make any silly jokes. The various physical forms It takes throughout the film are freaky, but it’s Pennywise’s unsettling face and taunting behavior that really make him a notable onscreen presence. This is one villain that simply feels omnipresent and unbeatable.

#3: Babadook

“The Babadook” (2014)
“The Babadook” was an extremely divisive film that split audiences between those who loved the unsettling atmosphere and those who expected another “Conjuring”-esque ghost story. Like “The Witch”, the Babadook is rarely seen. Instead, we hear the sinister noises it creates and catch glimpses of it in the shadows, leaving our imaginations to do the rest. It makes for a creepy villain in the traditional sense, and serves as a fantastic metaphor for depression and grief, which helps base it in more relatable real-world fears. The Babadook is both a scary monster and a dreadful feeling, and we don’t know which is more terrifying.

#2: The Armitage Family

“Get Out” (2017)
Like most great horror stories, “Get Out” combines terrifically entertaining scares with unique real-world criticisms and anxieties. The Armitage family puts on a veneer of friendliness, welcoming Chris with open arms and trying to impress him with their liberalism. However, they can’t help but show their racism, and in the climax, we learn that they kidnap black people to use their bodies as physical vehicles for their own minds, as they believe black people to be exceptional. You can view the Armitage family through the lens of social satire or simply as an entertaining villainous family akin to “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.”

Before we unveil our top pick here are a few honorable mentions.
- Abomination Mia
“Evil Dead” (2013)

- Valak
“The Conjuring 2” (2016)

- The Neo-Nazis
“Green Room” (2015)

#1: The Entity

“It Follows” (2014)
The concept of this one alone is unnerving – it’s a mysterious and invisible entity that indefinitely pursues its victims. It doesn’t stop for rest, it isn’t phased by fear, and it’s literally unstoppable. “It Follows” gets its scares from the constant dread and paranoia that the entity generates while at the same time showcasing it in various physical and scary ways, such as the old lady and the tall man. The slow approach it takes towards its victims is dreadfully scary, and the way in which it kills its victims is grotesque. The entity is unquestionably frightful and arguably the greatest horror villain of the decade.

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