For all intents and purposes, horror movie villains can generally be broken down into just three categories. Of course, you have vengeful killers like Jason and Freddy. Then you obviously have the evil villains who murder simply because they can (such as Michael Myers and Chucky.) The first may not always make sense, as the victims of grudge killings really had never done the psycho killer wrong.
This can bring into question some serious cause and effect issues. For instance, what was Freddy Kreuger so angry with the residents of Elm Street for? And how is there anyone left alive there anyways? On the other hand, the second killer categorization doesn’t warrant much afterthought at all since their implication lacks motive (at least a meaningful one.) The last category is comprised of the psychopaths that make murder their job. These are the kind of villains you can really root for. They make killing a career, allowing audiences a glimpse into these maniacal murderers’ sense of purpose.
It is a widely known and indisputable fact that John Carpenter’s The Thing was and still is the epitome of amazing horror for so very many reasons. Practically a flawless execution of the genre, The Thing’s success is no doubt due in large part to its incredible prowess as a spectacularly primal villain. I mean, no one can even claim to know what the hell it is! Not even its terminology can give it away, making it an impossible concept to grasp. With every portion of the beast living and every piece forced to work together as a whole in order to survive, its singular goal is quite simply freedom.
As its innate purpose for killing is the most basic (survival,) this ‘Thing’ proves its intelligence as it attempts to build a spacecraft in efforts to leave. Ultimately, it strategizes an escape plan which includes an old subterfuge tactic of hiding in plain sight. In many ways, the Thing was very much the James Bond of his world. If it hadn’t been for that pain in the ass Kurt Russell, he would have been able to snag some crazy cool swag for his people back home too.
Although its two ‘versus’ films are best left forgotten, the three real Predator movies portray these villains as thrill killers of mankind. Seeking little more than shits and giggles, the brutal villains of these films illustrate Earth as the wealthy businessman’s African hunting resort of choice. It may sound a bit pointless but when considered, these predators are a great deal nobler than their human counterparts. Given the fact that humans are far from endangered and can actually fight back, the aliens in Predator are forced to actually earn their supper (or trophy.)
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
While the vampire genre is now comprised mostly of sulking pansies, Bram Stoker birthed the most awesomely terrible granddaddy of them all: Dracula. He effortlessly transformed the vampires of his day from monstrous brutes to refined gentlemen, however wicked. Dracula killed out of necessity. (Hey, the guy needed to eat!) Essentially, the only reasoning for the classification of vampires as monsters comes down to their mandated food source. This could also be said of zombies, though those rotting sacks of flesh are far less loveable. It comes down to perspective as opposed to morality really. Much as PETA hates you for your love of White Castle, so should we hate vampires for feasting upon us. This makes Dracula a villain after our own hearts, perhaps both figuratively and literally.