We all know good old Michael Myers. The Halloween franchise has made a star of this stone-cold psychopath. He killed his family, never spoke again — and never stopped killing. Ever since he debuted in 1978, he’s been scaring the hell out of audiences. He’s such an awesome villain that his legacy continues to this day, with a new trilogy of movies that will continue with this year’s Halloween Kills.
He’s got the mask, the jumpsuit, and the knife. He’ll murder you without skipping a beat. He walks and never runs, and seems absolutely unstoppable — don’t even try killing him, because it absolutely will not work. He’s a fantastic antagonist to the legions of characters that have faced his wrath, but he’s definitely not the most heinous character in horror. Here are ten villains that make Michael Myers look downright loveable.
10. Xenomorph – Alien
If I saw Michael Myers, I’d be scared out of my mind, but at least he’s a human being. He has eyes, a nose, only one mouth — all things that cannot be said about the titular alien in the ongoing Alien franchise. The xenomorph has a mouth inside its mouth, acidic blood, and can creep around buildings like an insect.
Everything about it can kill you, and that’s truly frightening. Maybe if there were more Ripleys in the world, they wouldn’t seem so bad, but we aren’t that lucky.
9. Art the Clown – Terrifier
Clowns have been rebranded as horrifying ever since Stephen King came out with It, but Art the Clown is on a different level of pancake-makeup mayhem. After debuting in several short films, Art the Clown was fully introduced in 2016’s Terrifier.
Like Michael Myers, Art doesn’t talk at all, and also like Michael, Art, well, kills people. However, while Michael’s kills are quick, Art is going to make you suffer. Facial mutilation is a special favorite of his it seems, and he’ll do it with all of the joy and spunk of a film-star from the silent era, with exaggerated facial expressions and gestures that are absolutely grotesque in this context of blood and gore.
8. Society – Society
Probably the oddest entry into this list, Society isn’t some conceptual horror of the community we live in — Society is an entity. A monster.
The 1989 film directed by Brian Yuzna depicts Society as a fleshy amalgamation of social elites that dissolve into each other until they are merely a mass of putrid squishiness that absorbs outsiders. While the concept is maybe a little sillier than Michael Myers, the sheer nastiness of Society is what earns it a spot here.
7. Bagul – Sinister
No, that’s not a misspelling of a breakfast bread with a hole in the middle, it’s the demon from the 2012 film, Sinister, as well as its sequel. Bagul itself does very little in the films — it merely influences from the shadows. It corrupts children with snuff films created by previous families that were afflicted by its presence, until the child becomes possessed to make their own snuff film and kills their family.
Not only is that absolutely terrifying, but seeing Ethan Hawke’s character watch those snuff films and discover what’s going on in Sinister is something Michael Myers’ direct homicidal presence just can’t compete with.
6. Jack – The House that Jack Built
Jack is perhaps the name most associated with the serial killer, but this entry isn’t about Jack the Ripper — it’s about a different Jack, from Lars von Trier’s The House that Jack Built. Also, a serial killer, Jack is an awkward, wannabe architect who relates stories of his kills to “Virge” as he’s guided through Hell.
Jack is more disturbing than Michael Myers because Jack plays with his prey. Michael will kill you, and it would be frightening for a moment, but then that’s it. Jack lets his victims wallow in the realization that something is wrong — that they will, in fact, die. It’s so heavy to see on screen, and makes The House that Jack Built one of the most intense, watch-between-your-fingers experiences you will ever have.
5. The Cenobites – Hellraiser
BDSM may still not be totally mainstream, but it’s not actually scary. Unless it involves the Cenobites from Clive Barker’s Hellraiser series. Not quite aliens, and certainly not human (at least not anymore), these extra-dimensional creatures live in an existence where pain is literally pleasure. Summon them, and you’ll be in a world of hurt.
What makes them more frightening than Michael Myers is that Michael is so obviously evil, and is motivated by rage. The Cenobites have no morality. They torture — and it is simply what they do. That chaotic lack of motivation keeps them from proper comprehension, and there is nothing more terrifying than something we cannot understand.
4. Peter – August Underground
Fred Vogul’s August Underground trilogy is known even amongst hardcore horror fans as some of the most difficult films to watch, on account of their brutal violence, portrayed with awful candor and realism. Vogul himself portrays the main subject of the films — a guy named Peter: a young man filled with rage who’ll torture and kill just for the hell of it.
He never shows a shred of remorse, and gleefully experiments with new atrocities with his serial killer brethren Crusty and Maggot. If the names don’t give away the content of these films, just know it includes feces, decapitated babies, vomit, and self-mutilation. Michael Myers, voiceless as he is, might even mutter, “Jeez… that’s messed up.”
3. The Thing – The Thing
John Carpenter’s depiction of The Thing shows that it can be anything — and everything. But whatever it is, it’s just never quite right. It’s a deformed version of whatever it’s trying to be, and to be fair, a dog sounds difficult to turn into, but when The Things tries manifesting as a canine, you’ll be so disturbed that you might turn into a cat person.
With Michael Myers, you know what you’re getting: a crazy guy in a mask who is going to try his best to stab the hell out of you. But with The Thing, you’re never sure until you see it, thus creating paranoia and dread the way Michael can’t.
2. The Masters – Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom
As the antagonists of the movie Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom, the Masters are revoltingly villainous. As fascists in the World War II Italian government, the Masters organize depraved activities between themselves and youths they kidnap. Former sex-workers are brought in as “Storytellers” to act as inspiration. What follows includes a buffet of human fecal matter, plenty of rape, and vicious murders.
The Masters act as violent metaphors for how fascist governments operate in general, and strike so much fear because what they represent is what millions of people around the world have to deal with daily. A book by the Marquis de Sade served as source material for this story and these characters, and that is far worse than the mind that invented Michael Myers.
1. Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole – Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Michael Myers is a scary dude, for sure — but at the end of the day, he’s a fictional character. Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole are one-hundred percent real. In Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer, you’ll see these two nomadic killers slice a true path of terror across America.
Incestuous, cannibalistic, necrophilic, and sadistic, these two vile human beings are not only amongst the most unpalatable characters ever depicted on screen, they are also two of the most disgusting human beings to ever walk this earth. They are likely responsible for several dozen killings, and Lucas has bragged about killing far, far more than that.
There you have it: ten villains more ruthless and gory than Michael Myers. If you dare watch all of the films mentioned in this article, I guarantee that the next time you see a Michael Myers mask, it’ll fill your heart only with joy and calm — because you’ll know how much worse a horror villain can be.
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