(Photo: Warner Bros.)

The Pennywise computer franchise is a terrible thing. The Saw franchise is twisted. And Crump… Well, Krampus is just a demon. But who are the villains in the horror films of the 2000s that are the most terrifying? I hope you’re ready to answer.

We’ve listed 35 of the scariest characters from this century’s horror movies and monsters.

Our countdown is a gallery of cheats. It consists of one bloodthirsty character after another: very bad men, very bad women, very bad ghosts, and sometimes farm animals possessed by demons.

Only evil spirits, creepy sadists, scary creatures, violent circus characters and their twisted counterparts from theatrical and streaming films released in 2000 and beyond were eligible for our list. This means that Patrick Bateman (American Psycho) was present and Norman Bates (Psycho franchise) is absent.

But don’t worry, Michael Myers (Halloween franchise): Bad guys born in other decades were considered if they were resurrected in the 2000s.

Our list is full of villains of the supernatural variety – demons, bogeymen, and more. So far the 21st century has given us a century with Bathsheba, The Woman in Jennet Black, Babadook and others have given me goosebumps.

Demonic tracks aren’t missing from our countdown either, like the Doll franchises of The Conjuring and Annabelle. And if Pennywise is a clown and not a toy, then the message of this century’s horror films is the same: Beware of things that, at least on paper, are supposed to make you laugh and not scream.

So, who’s the creepy one? Pennywise, Saw, Krampus, anyone… or something else? Read on, if you dare.

Our 35 bad guys are ranked in ascending order from most disturbing to most terrible.

Sweet dreams.

35. Slender man, slim man

The internet legend comes to life in this 2018 horror film – and it’s frightening when the main character (played by Javier Bote) lights up.

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34. Sue Ann Ellington, Ma

(Photo: Universal Pictures)

Octavia Spencer plays a veterinary nurse in this disturbing film, which won an Oscar in 2019, and the calm waters are very, very deep.

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33. La Llorona, La Llorona curse

(Photo: Warner Bros.)

The melancholy of Mexican folklore should cheer you up: The ghost (played by Marisol Ramirez) in this 2019 film makes good scary stories.

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32. Nunn, deductible.

(Photo: Warner Home Video)

This unholy demon with terrifying eyes (played by Bonnie Aarons) haunted The Conjuring 2 before making his own appearance in Nunn in 2018.

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31. Dolly face, foreigners

(Photo: Warner Home Video)

This 2008 horror film features three masked psychopathic killers. The scariest of them all is the most innocent, Dollface (played by Gemma Ward). We’ll never know the real name of the owner. All we know is that he’s a real pervert.

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30. Brandon Brier, Brightburn

(Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing)

What if Kenta’s mother and father stumbled upon a future psycho killer instead of a future crime fighter? This is the question behind this brutal horror film produced by James Gunn in 2019 about a young alien (played by Jackson A. Dunn) who expresses himself in his own words – his terrifying super powers.

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29. Captain Spalding, House of 1000 bodies

(Photo: Lionsgate Home Entertainment)

In Rob Zombie’s gore-fest of 2003, Assistant Captain Spalding (played by Sid Haig) isn’t so much patriotic as twisted. Suffice to say, the four young men who visit his museum of monsters and madmen don’t fare so well.

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28. Victor, Franchise Underworld

(Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing)

In the first three films of the Underworld series, Bill Nighy’s vampire (see Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, 2009) is the supreme leader, in cold blood, and certainly the one who shouldn’t suddenly awaken from a very deep sleep.

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27. Franchise Creeper, Jeepers Creeper

You can personalize your watch with the power of evil presented in the three Jeepers Creepers movies, starting with the 2001 original: All 23 of them. Spring celebrates the liane (Jonathan Breck) 23 days in public.

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26. Chad, Tucker & Dale v. Evil.

(Photo: Magnolia Home Entertainment )

Here’s another example of evil being contained within an innocent package – in this case, a college hustler (Jesse Moss) who ruthlessly kidnaps, mutilates and murders the main characters in this bloody 2010 horror comedy.

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25. Lucille Sharp, Crimson Peak

(Photo: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)

In Guillermo del Toro’s 2015 story, the terribly focused Lucille (Jessica Chastain) really loves her brother (played by Tom Hiddleston) and hates her brother’s women.

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24. The Lipstick Devil, the treacherous franchise

(Photo: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment )

This executioner (played by Joseph Bishara) appeared in three of the four dirty movies released for 2018. You always come back to what works… in a terrifying crowd, I mean…

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23. Jerry Dandridge, Nightmare (2011)

(Photo: Walt Disney Home Entertainment Studios)

The character of the vampire next door was first played by Chris Sarandon in the 1985 film Night of Fear. In the remake, Colin Farrell presents Jerry in a dangerous combination: as seductive as it is threatening, as TheWrap critic Alonzo Durald wrote.

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22. Abalam, the last exorcism franchise

(Photo: Lion Gate)

Abalam is the name of the demon possessed by the young woman (played by Ashley Bell) in Eli Roth’s 2013 The Last Exorcism, Part II (in photos). Abalam is persistent, powerful and is bad news for farm animals.

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21. Jennet, woman in black.

(Photo: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

This is not a drill: Lock the doors and literally hide the children. The vengeful spirit of a grieving mother (played by Liz White) takes young lives in this 2012 gothic horror film.

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20. billie227, non friends

(Photo: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)

In this 2014 film, billie227 is the name of a high school student (played by Heather Sossaman) who committed suicide after an unflattering video was posted anonymously online. The ghost of a technologically savvy girl gets revenge – and she gets it, from a Skype user.

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19. Varsavia Sherman, heavy

(Photo: Warner Home Video)

In the 2013 box-office hit, this demonic spirit, played by Joseph Bishara, takes possession of a Rhode Island landlady (played by Lily Taylor) and spits blood into her mouth. So, yeah, it’s a little scary.

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18. Female, under the skin

(Photo: Lionsgate Home Entertainment)

Scarlett Johansson was praised for playing a space creature who lands in Scotland, takes female form, gets a van and then meets and kills men. The fact that it kills more out of curiosity than sporting sadism doesn’t make the 2014 film any less disturbing.

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17. Director’s Crew, Woods Cabin.

(Photo: Lionsgate Home Entertainment)

Joss Whedon’s 2012 genre film stars Sigourney Weaver as director, curator of a high-tech operation and members of her team (pictured, Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford). The group’s mission? Sadistically, five young American men kill according to archetypes of horror. It turns out that the director and her team are archetypes of horror themselves: cool, quiet, collected villains.

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16. Black Philip, Witch

(Photo: A24)

In this taut (but bloody) 2015 film set in seventeenth-century New England. In a story set in the early 20th century, the family goat is not to be trusted. Especially when he talks.

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15. Valve, Output.

(Photo: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)

In Jordan Peele’s Oscar-winning 2017 film, a privileged white family of black bodies stays together – until its bloody breakup.

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14. Sick, lame

(Photo: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)

Christmas goat folklore comes to life in this 2015 horror comedy starring Adam Scott and Tony Collette.

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13. Curse, clearance.

In Descent (2005) and Descent, Part 2 (2009), the caves and tunnels literally swarm with scary goblins and fantastic creatures called crawlies. Lesson learned: Walk on the sidewalk.

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12. Monster, Klaverveld

(Photo: Paramount Home Entertainment)

This rarely seen alien is relentless and terrifying as it walks through Manhattan in this 2008 film directed by J.J. Abrams who launched the Cloverfield universe.

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11. Mary Shaw, Dead Silence.

(Photo: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)

Is Mary Shaw that scary? Let’s list the possibilities: In James Wan’s terrifying film 2007 Kills, an artist teams up with a ventriloquist who is obsessed with a model and cuts out her tongue.

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10. Pyramid Head, Silent Hill franchise

(Photo: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)

Silent Hill’s video games are more popular than the movies they’re based on, but whatever the medium, the three-headed monster from another dimension known as the Pyramid Head (as seen here in Silent Hill: Revelation of 2012) is a raging villain of the survival horror genre.

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9. Esther, orphan

(Photo: Warner Home Video)

If I may cut in and spoil the film, which was released in 2009: Esther (played by Isabelle Fuhrman) is not a 9-year-old Russian orphan, but a 33-year-old cold-blooded killer!

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8. Abby, let me get into.

In Matt Reeves’ 2010 film, Chloe Grace Moretz’s protagonist is not without motivation to kill: he’s a vampire, she’s hungry, and she’s defending her neighbor who intimidates her. But it’s still a creature you don’t want to get in the way of.

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7. Michael Myers, Halloween (2018)

(Photo: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)

The iconic mask of serial killer John Carpenter was included here not for the character’s 40 years of bloody work, but specifically for the 2018 iteration. Played by Nick Castle (returning to his role in the 1978 film), Myers is disturbed, ruthless – and locked in a final power struggle with his sister Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis).

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6. Babadook, Babadook

(Photo: Scream Factory)

In this 2014 Australian film, a black monster from a children’s book (played by Tim Purcell) comes to life and terrorizes a mother, her son, and the film’s audience.

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5. Annabelle, Heavy Franchise.

(Photo: Warner Home Video)

Again, children’s toys are used to scare the audience. In The Conjuring, the main antagonist is a possessed porcelain doll (seen here in the 2014 film Annabelle).

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4. Samara Morgan, ring franchise

(Photo: Warner Home Video)

Samara, played by Davey Chase in the first two Ring films, 2002’s Ring and 2005’s Ring Two, is an annoying horror icon who wants you to watch a video of her sad life. (Hint: don’t watch the video).

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3. Saw, saw

(Photo: Lion Gate)

Whether in Saw 2017 (pictured) or one of Saw’s seven other films, John Kramer Saw (played by Tobin Bell) is a sick serial killer whose constant companion is a doll named Billy.

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2. Patrick Bateman, American psychopath

(Photo: Universal Home Video Studios)

Bateman (played by Christian Bale) is the costume designer for the serial killer in the 2000 film, based on Bret Easton Ellis’ novel of the same name. The film attempts to satirize Wall Street’s quest for wealth in the 1980s, but is most remembered for its axe murders, chainsaw murders and copious blood.

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1. Pennywise, Franchise IT

(Photo: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)

Stephen King’s child-killing clown has terrified audiences since the author published IT in 1986. And just as Tim Curry played Pennywise in the 1990 TV mini-series of the same name, Bill Skarsgard took this scary game to the big screen in 2017 – and in its 2019 sequel, IT’S CHAPTER TWO.

Foreword

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