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Stephen King named the 10 greatest villains of all time

Stephen King has built an entire career out of constructing terrifying creations, a skill that he has in abundance. The ‘King of Horror’ is one of the most prolific and celebrated writers around, continuing to remain an integral part of the world of horror fiction and films. Adaptations of his latest as well as older works are still being churned out and are being amplified by extremely popular streaming platforms such as Netflix.

Due to King’s incredible stature in all things horror, many have flocked to the internet to find out about his favourite horror books and the cinematic masterpieces that he enjoys. King has mentioned in his columns as well as on social media that he enjoys a lot of modern horror films, especially projects such as The Witch by Robert Eggers.

When it comes to his favourite villains, however, King has a fascinating taste as he has previously mentioned that he found the acclaimed TV show The Wire to be incredibly scary and a reflection of the horrors of socioeconomic reality. He even singled out The Wire’s Snoop (played by Felicia Pearson) as a truly terrifying villain.

Unfortunately, Pearson did not make the cut for King’s top 10 list where he selected a really eclectic mixture of characters. Ranging from the immortal figure of Count Dracula to Cormac McCarthy’s Anton Chigurh (played by Javier Bardem in the Coen brothers film) who was voted as the most realistic psychopath, King’s picks are wide-ranging.

King heaped praise upon Robert Mitchum’s powerhouse performance in The Night of the Hunter, commenting: “The preacher who hounds two children through the pages of Davis Grubb’s Night of the Hunter. Has LOVE tattooed on the fingers of one hand and HATE on the fingers of the other. In the film version, Robert Mitchum gave him the face that caused a thousand nightmares.”

However, he reserved the top spot for Count Dracula: “Bram Stoker’s courtly, sinister creation is still literature’s greatest villain, and although he’s been portrayed on the screen by a dozen actors — Christopher Lee is surely the best of them — none can equal the one in the book. And Stoker’s most amazing achievement? After the first 100 pages, the sanguinary count mostly lurks off stage. It’s a lesson for all of us: Villains are scarier in the shadows.”

Check out the full list below.

Stephen King’s 10 favourite villains:

  • Count Dracula (Bram Stoker, Dracula)
  • Pazuzu (William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist)
  • Sauron (J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings)
  • Voldemort (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter)
  • Rhoda Penmark (William March, The Bad Seed)
  • Harry Powell (Charles Laughton, The Night of the Hunter)
  • Big Brother (George Orwell, 1984)
  • Popeye (William Faulkner, Sanctuary)
  • Anton Chigurh (Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men)
  • Max Cady (John D. MacDonald, The Executioners)

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