Instead, I chose to focus on the movie characters that actually frightened me from the movies I'd seen them in, featuring a short log for each character explaining their fright factor to me. They range from the dramatic role to the comedic role to the human to the inhuman. Some of these characters are not at all from horror movies, but they all have some significant level of uncomfortable that they force me to feel, a fact that can be attributed to the director, the writer, the make-up artist and so many others that create a character moreso than just the usual assumption of the actor, who does the part just as well.
All things considered, its the real character of these guys that frightened me.
- Count Orlock (Max Schreck) from Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922) - Just look at the appearance of the thing. I said 'thing' too, not guy. It's too frightening to imagine.
- Tony Camonte (Paul Muni) from Scarface (1932) - While Pacino's character may kill out of a short temper or paranoia, Camonte kills for the sheer thrill of the kill. He loves what he does and never thinks about the damage.
- Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) from Psycho (1960) - A charismatic momma's boy to the end.
- HAL 9000 (Douglas Rain) from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - Cold, calculating, ready to murder, HAL is the 'electric eye' (in the words of the immortal metal deities Judas Priest!) of the third segment of the picture.
- Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell) from A Clockwork Orange (1971) - It's tough to make such an evil character so sympathetic. Perhaps that's part of the horror of the movie.
AFTER-THOUGHT: I'd like to include the majority of the cast in this movie. The crippled husband of a raped wife, his muscular laconic valet, the rest of Alex's droogs, the government officials, the cat lady who Alex murders... They've all got their creeps.
- Carrie and Margaret White (Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie) from Carrie (1976) - As a high school bully, Carrie White may or may not be your worst nightmare of retribution. But she's really a product of her environment when it comes to her psychotic mother.
- The Xenomorph (Bolaji Badejo) from Alien (1979) - Look at the way this beast moves. How in the shadows he is. We barely see him. He's like Jaws, except frightening on its concept, rather than solely an environmental antagonist. And let's not forget to add in the obvious rape allegory factor.
- Lloyd the Bartender (Joe Turkel) from The Shining (1980) - Yea, Jack's the monster of the thing, but the ghosts (namely Lloyd) are the ones pulling the strings on him. And Lloyd is extra-Kubrick-eerie. Jack's deffo an honorable mention.
- The Thing from The Thing (1982) - We never really know which character is the thing at what time. We never really are safe from infection. And we have no method of escape. It's a creature we can't fight, we can't quarantine and we can't avoid. And it wants us.
- Tony Montana (Al Pacino) from Scarface (1983) - Like I said, Camonte's scarier because he has no morality (we are revealed later on in an important scene that Montana has some morals, however few). But paranoia just as frightening when you're sitting next to the guy with the best intentions but don't know if he means well too... Really how some of the fright to DePalma, the editor and composer for eliciting this paranoia.
- Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper) from Blue Velvet (1986) - The guy is just a nutjob. Candy-colored clown, baby wants to fuck, the gas mask... He's a serious trip when you watch this movie late at night with no sleep... which is unfortunately how I prefer to watch David Lynch's works.
AFTERTHOUGHT: It's too bad I can't add tv characters, because Killer BOB from Twin Peaks would certainly be up here. And he's a lot worse than Frank.
- Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) from the Nightmare on Elm Street series (1986-2003) - The first movie character to actually scare me based solely on appearance. When I actually became old enough to start watching the movie, I really got exposed to sadism of Krueger, the glee of his heinous acts. It did not help my impression of the character... Now, Robert Englund is one of my favorite actors, based on many performances, but largely on this.
- Mickey and Mallory Knox (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis) from Natural Born Killers (1994) - Again, very likable protagonists, only because, even when they're a bunch of serial killers, everybody else in the movie is a whole lot worse than them. Won't be winning no Cutest Couple awards anytime soon, though.
- Brick Top (Alan Ford) from Snatch. (2001) - My first cinematic encounter with a really savage gangster character. Brick Top is ruthless and his speech on 'pig farmers' really shows his creepy colors.
- Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) from No Country for Old Men (2007) - He's pretty much a slasher element in a Western environment and he's got the personality to boot it.