Villains: Top Ten

Friday 18th October 2013 | Lauren

The villains are the best characters, everybody knows it. But who are the ultimate villains? Look below to find out......


1. The Joker-The Dark Night



First, the obvious one. Heath Ledger’s Joker was not only an incredible performance, but his version of the Joker hit the spot that most comic book villains continue to miss- he was genuinely scary - from his roughly applied makeup, his sudden bursts of violence (smashing a gangsters forehead onto a pencil like he was just cracking a nut) to his sadistic treatment of his henchmen (like sewing an explosive mobile phone into their stomachs). Famously the first time Michael Caine saw Ledger’s performance was the scene where he is filming himself torturing a Batman wannabe - his genuine horror says it all. 


2. Silva- Skyfall



The worst thing about Silva is that you begin to see his point of view, and start to sympathise with him. He was essentially abandoned by his ‘mother’, and ended up horribly disfigured after attempting suicide by biting into his cyanide tablet. He is everything a brilliant villain should be - charming, psychotic and he has his own island. 


3. Norman Bates-Psycho



Psychotic serial killers - you would imagine to be scary to look at - deformed like Freddie Kruger, or wearing a hideous mask like Leatherface. But, in Hitchcock’s most famous piece of work, Norman Bates is an attractive, mild-mannered young man. Hitchcock said that he wanted the audience to sympathise with Norman, and making him an attractive, boy-next-door type would allow the audience to do so. Although you could argue that the true villain in Hitchcock’s masterpiece is actually Norman’s mother, who is responsible for turning Norman into the man he becomes - by emotionally abusing him as a child, and forcing him to rely on her and only her for much of his life. 


4. Scar- The Lion King



He kills his own brother for goodness sake. Musafa may be a bit up-himself, but no one deserves to be trampled to death by a herd of wildebeests, it’s the worst way to go. Scar remains one of Disney’s most memorable villains, thanks to Jeremy Iron’s brilliant performance.


5. Regina George- Mean Girls 



The definition of high school evil: you hate her, but if she invited you to sit at her table, you would run there. She’s everything that is wrong with high school, and yet, all you want is to be her - and have her power. Mean Girls is one of the very few high school films which actually shows what it is like to be a teenage girl at school. 


6. Dolores Umbridge - Harry Potter



Voldemort is the obvious choice for the evil wizard, but Umbridge is pure, pure evil. She is bigoted, she tortures her students in detention, and relishes in the rise of Voldemort’s third-reich-style takeover. She adores power and doesn’t care whose side she is on in order to get it. 


7. Lotso- Toy Story 3



Toy Story 3 is one of the most stressful viewing experiences you can have, every moment you think the toys are safe, something comes along to put them in more danger - and that something is Lotso. As sad as it is that he was replaced after his owner lost him, there is no excuse for trying to kill Woody and the others. Even after they tried to save his life. Complete knob. 


8. Percy Wetmore- The Green Mile



The one villain that deserves absolutely no sympathy. The sadistic death row warden Percy Wetmore is as evil as evil gets. He doesn’t wet the sponge for Eduard Delacroix’s execution, resulting in one of the most horrific death scenes on film. The other warden's can’t get rid of him, thanks to his connections to the governor. Thankfully John Coffey makes sure he gets his comeuppance, but he remains one of the cruellest characters to make it into Hollywood. 


9. Colonel Hans Landa- Inglorious Basterds



Christoph Waltz pretty much won every award going for his performance as the creepily polite, horrifically evil SS Colonel Hans Landa. His worst moment? Treating heroine Shosanna Dreyfus to apple strudel, years after he murdered her family. He knew who she was. She knew who he was. It’s an example of Tarantino’s best writing, and an example of Waltz’s best acting. Truly terrifying. 


10. Nurse Ratched- One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest



There is something very disturbing about Ratched, as a nurse you would expect her to be kind and caring. In actual fact she is cruel, addicted to power, using drugs (and the threat of taking away privileges) to control and terrify her patients into doing her bidding - she manages to drive teenager Billy Bibbit to suicide, without even blinking an eye. She ends up losing her power thanks to McMurphy’s influence over the other patients, but that’s not going to bring Billy back is it?


Who else do you think should have a place in our coveted list? 


Lauren Floodgate