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Horror Villains Who Actually Deserve Our Sympathy

Updated August 23, 2021 10.5k votes 1.3k voters 54.9k views13 items

List RulesVote up the "heinous" horror villains who really need a hug.

In horror movies, the villains can be blamed for countless evil acts including killing, betraying, and lying. However, when you take the time to analyze their childhoods or motives, they might not be as evil as they seem - or they may at least garner a bit of sympathy. This list in no way condones the villains' actions; it just suggests that, hey, maybe they wouldn't have acted so terribly if their past had been different, or if they had been treated more kindly.

When you know the true reason behind the madness, you might even feel sorry for these horror villains. 

  • Photo: Jaws / Universal Pictures

    In Jaws, the shark is a wild animal in its natural habitat throughout the movie. Beachgoers entering shark territory surely know the risk. The mayor should have shut down the beach to keep people safe.

    The moral of the story: if there are warnings about shark attacks at your local beach, don't go in the water. 

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  • Photo: Friday the 13th / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Poor Jason Voorhees, the infamous serial killer of Friday the 13th who stalks and murders people who dare to enter Camp Crystal Lake. Before the murders began, he was an innocent kid who drowned in a lake because the lifeguards weren’t doing their job.

    He sought revenge after the death of his mother, and although his actions can't be condoned, it's understandable that he is angry. 

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  • Photo: Hannibal Rising / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

    Hannibal Lecter is a fictional serial killer who slays his victims and then eats them. Hannibal Rising takes viewers on a journey through his early years and the awful things he witnessed at a young age that led him to life as a killer: the brutal deaths of his parents and sister during WWII. After the incident, he is considered an orphan until his relatives take him in.

    He goes through some serious trauma that no one should ever have to experience.  

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  • Photo: Friday the 13th / Paramount Pictures

    In Friday the 13th, Pamela Voorhees's son, Jason, dies by drowning at Camp Crystal Lake, which could have been avoided if the lifeguards did their job and saved him. To get revenge, she goes after the teenagers responsible for the incident. It's understandable that Pamela is devastated: Her son didn't deserve to die.

    Pamela's rampage made her the original killer in the film, starting the beginning of an endless murder spree over 12 movies.

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