February 25, 2016 9:00 am

Villains, cutthroats, rogues, crooks, criminals and outlaws – where would the cinema be without these bad guys? And they come in so many distinct flavours! Everybody loves a hero. But nobody ever forgets a villain. The gift of an iconic villain is the gift that keeps on giving, elevating even the most mediocre of films to cult status, and transforming good movies into truly great ones. So who is the baddest of them all? The list below gives us the Top 5 Iconic Horror Movie Characters of all time:

5. Hannibal Lecter

Hannibal Lecter is a brilliant psychiatrist and serial killer who as been known to eat his victims. Hannibal made his cinematic debut in the 1986 film Manhunter (played by Brian Cox). However, it was Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins who elevated Hannibal to a movie icon in Silence of the Lambs and its spinoffs.

4. Leatherface

Leatherface first appeared in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1974. Leatherface is a serial killer inspired by real-life figure Ed Gein. Leatherface is known for wearing masks made of human skin and wielding a chainsaw. His victims in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series are those hapless teenagers and police officers who wander too close to his dilapidated home.

3. Michael Myers

Michael Myers first appeared in John Carpenter’s film Halloween in 1978. Myers has no real emotion. He’s simply a cold, silent, remorseless killer. The various Halloween films establish that Myers was incarcerated in a mental institution as a child after killing his sister.

2. Jason Voorhees

Jason Voorhees first appeared in the film Friday the 13th in 1980. He’s instantly recognizable as the lumbering killer who hides his deformed face behind a hockey mask and wields a deadly machete. Interestingly, it wasn’t until the third Friday the 13th movie that his look was solidified.

1. Freddy Krueger

Freddy Krueger first appeared in the Wes Craven’s horror masterpiece A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. Freddy was played by Robert Englund for eight consecutive movies between 1984 and 2003, culminating in his long-awaited clash with Jason Voorhees in Freddy vs. Jason, as well as in the TV series Freddy’s Nightmares. Jackie Earle Haley took over the role in the 2010 reboot.

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This post was written by Nadia Vella