12 Horror Films Where You Gleefully Root for the Villain

Why do we watch horror movies? To take our minds off our ho-hum lives for 90 minutes? To feel something other than the soul-crushing sameness that greets each and every one of us when we wake up in the morning? Or is it to watch a masked maniac rip up some sexy teens with a machete? Great bad guys are the best part of any movie, but they can make a lackluster horror movie into a fan favorite with one or two scenes.

You don’t have to search hard to find likable horror villains; thanks to the franchising of films like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th, fans have had decades to spend with Freddy and Jason, and that kind of familiarity breeds a sense of fondness that fans don’t feel for the random sexy teens that play one and done roles in horror movies.

In the early '80s, horror movies with insufferable good guys turned into a normal thing. People began rooting for the kids to get killed, and for the villains to triumph. That style of writing has since permeated the entire world of horror, making it a structural impossibility for viewers to feel anything but malice for the protagonists. Even though you could argue that the villains are the best part about most horror films, there are a few movies where audiences actively cheer on the villain and turn the entire notion of a horror film on its head.