Graveyard Shift

The Greatest '90s Horror Villains  

Ranker Entertainment
552 votes 58 voters 24 items

List Rules '90s horror movie villains only.

The 1990s were an interesting time for horror films.  It was a time when most of our beloved horror icons were starting to wear a little thin, but were still hanging around anyway - sometimes perhaps a bit too long. The cynical and despondent Gen Xers had grown tired of campy one-liners and promiscuous campers getting killed off. They were craving something more for their 90s horror villains. Luckily, that change began to occur in the late ‘90s thanks to director Wes Craven, writer Kevin Williamson, and their film Scream.

It was during the 1990s when viewers began to see horror villains in a new light. Now that characters knew not to go back inside the house or to open that door, it made horror films more realistic and thus scarier to a jaded audience. Even some of our favorite horror villains knew to change with the times, just look at Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, which predates Scream by two years. So, while it may be tougher to be a great ‘90s horror villain, there are no doubt many memorable ones.

Some of the best horror villains in the 90s were Hannibal Lector from Silence of the Lambs and Annie Wilkes from Misery. They were some of the scariest horror villains in the 90s, because their spooks didn't involve the supernatural. These monsters were human. 

Pennywise the Dancing Clown from It and Ghostface are another two of the best '90s horror villains. 

Which villain is your favorite? Be sure to vote up the best 90s horror villains. And if you think a character is missing, add them to the list!

Pennywise the Dancing Clown is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest '90s Horror Villains
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Public domain

"They ALL float down here. When you're down here with us, you'll float too!"

Weapon of choice: Your worst fear

Appears In: It (1990)

Played By: Tim Curry

More Pennywise the Dancing Clown

#22 of 1257 on The Greatest Movie Villains of All Time #4 of 75 on The Most Utterly Terrifying Figures in Horror Films #2 of 128 on The Creepiest Characters in TV History #9 of 53 on 53 Behind The Scenes Photos Of Movie Villains

Are they the best villain?
see more on Pennywise the Dancing Clown
Freddy Krueger is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest '90s Horror Villains
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Public domain
2 31 VOTES

"Might be your dream, but it's my RULES!"

Weapon of choice: Bladed work glove

Appears In: Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)

Played By: Robert Englund

More Freddy Krueger

#75 of 3933 on The Best Movie Characters of All Time #5 of 1257 on The Greatest Movie Villains of All Time #3 of 75 on The Most Utterly Terrifying Figures in Horror Films #19 of 25 on Villains People Find Weirdly Attractive (Even Though They Know It's Wrong)

Are they the best villain?
see more on Freddy Krueger
Hannibal Lecter is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest '90s Horror Villains
Photo: Silence of the Lambs/Orion Pictures
3 37 VOTES

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

Weapon of choice: Superior intellect

Appears In: The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Played By: Anthony Hopkins

More Hannibal Lecter

#12 of 3933 on The Best Movie Characters of All Time #3 of 1257 on The Greatest Movie Villains of All Time #10 of 75 on The Most Utterly Terrifying Figures in Horror Films #3 of 128 on The Creepiest Characters in TV History

Are they the best villain?
see more on Hannibal Lecter
Annie Wilkes is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest '90s Horror Villains
Photo:  Misery/Columbia Pictures
4 32 VOTES

"I thought you were good, Paul. But you're not good. You're just an old dirty birdy."

Weapon of choice: Sledgehammer

Appears In: Misery (1990)

Played By: Kathy Bates

More Annie Wilkes

#31 of 1257 on The Greatest Movie Villains of All Time #36 of 370 on The Greatest Female Characters in Film History #27 of 75 on The Most Utterly Terrifying Figures in Horror Films #4 of 360 on The Greatest Female Villains

Are they the best villain?
see more on Annie Wilkes