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Horror Villains Who Actually Deserve Our Sympathy

Updated August 23, 2021 9.9k votes 1.2k voters 51.8k 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: Carrie / United Artists

    The title character in Carrie is a shy high school teenager who tries to get by without being bothered or seen. At school, other students bully her, and life at home is awful, as well. Her mother, who is very religious, never listens to her or tells her about changes that will happen to her body. Instead, she locks Carrie in a closet and yells at her to pray for forgiveness. 

    A girl in her gym class, Chris, seeks revenge when she has to go to detention for bullying Carrie. Chris, who is not allowed to attend the prom, rigs the prom queen election so Carrie will win, but only so she can dump pig blood all over her. Drenched in blood, Carrie absolutely loses it, and uses her gift of telekinesis to set the gym on fire and kill nearly everyone at the prom. She goes on a killing rampage because of an immature teenager who can't live with reasonable consequences, and a mother who is abusive and mentally ill.

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  • Photo: Candyman / TriStar Pictures

    According to the Candyman legend, anyone who says his name five times in a mirror should prepare for fatal consequences. As horrible as that sounds, the Candyman had simply been a Black man in love during the 1800s. The woman he loved was white, and during their time, interracial couples were frowned upon. Due to his race, he was murdered.

    Since when is being in love a crime? 

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  • Photo: The Ring / DreamWorks Pictures

    In The Ring, young Samara is thrown down a well by her adoptive parent, survives there for a week, then passes away. Later, a mysterious tape appears with images from her life. After watching the tape, victims receive a phone call that states they are going to die in seven days, just like Samara did.

    If you were thrown down a well, you would probably be pretty upset, too. 

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  • Photo: Jennifer's Body / 20th Century Fox

    In Jennifer's Body, the title character is beautiful, likable, and popular. Unfortunately, she puts her trust in the wrong people. After surviving a horrific fire at a local bar, she leaves her best friend to hang out with a punk band whose members have not-so-good intentions. They take Jennifer into the woods and perform a satanic ritual that causes a demon to possess her body.

    She then turns into someone who hunts down and viciously murders people by eating them. This is through no fault of her own, but because of a group of men she trusted. 

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