Although not all Stephen King projects got positive reviews from critics and viewers, it is impossible to ignore the very fact that at least some of them are unforgettable. After watching classic hits such as Carrie, The Shawshank Redemption, and It, it becomes crystal clear that his influence on cinema is undeniable.
Of course, even the best-written characters need someone to fight against, so here are 10 most terrifying King villains in cinema.
1. Jack Torrance — The Shining
A novelist seeking inspiration, played by Jack Nicholson, slowly turns into a crazy monster throughout the story, and as soon as he picks up the ax, the movie kicks up at least five notches. The scary part is that Jack is still a human after all. Sure, some evil ghosts may have whispered a word or two into his ear, but no monster is as terrifying as a deranged human.
2. Cujo — Cujo
Everyone loves dogs, but Cujo’s viciousness and the horror he inflicts on the family make him an outstanding villain. He may not be a very serious threat or even a full-fledged villain, but he has scared more than one child and has likely appeared in your nightmares more than once if you watched that movie as a kid.
3. Richard Vickers — Creepshow
Movie fans probably know Leslie Nielsen from The Naked Gun movies and other comedies, but there was a time when he played a really-really bad guy in the adaptation of Stephen King’s Creepshow. Vickers is a calculating monster who enjoys watching his victims suffer, and Nielsen’s acting skills make the character so intimidating.
4. Mrs. Carmody — The Mist
She loves the power her blind faith gave her, and even more, she likes when people obey her. Marcia Gay Harden’s performance as Mrs. Carmody is much scarier than any of the unspeakably horrific creatures in The Mist.
5. Green Goblin Face Truck — Maximum Overdrive
The only real tension in the film adaptation comes when this beast attacks, and the mask makes it feel like the evil truck has a mind of its own. It was a smart choice on King’s part to give the villain a face that laughs as he runs over his victims, splattering their insides across the road.
6. Warden Norton — The Shawshank Redemption
Even though he is religious, Norton is not bothered by the prisoners and forces Andy to launder money for him. He is so determined to keep the banker in prison that he even kills another prisoner who can prove his innocence. Luckily, Andy gets his revenge in the finale by exposing Norton and showing what kind of person he really is. You may think it’s not that scary, but psychological horror is also a genre.
7. Dwight Renfield — Night Flight
Renfield’s vampiric design is very spine-chilling, and he enjoys toying with his potential victims, knowing that they hardly pose any threat to him. His blood can cause powerful hallucinations, and Renfield uses this ability to the fullest.
8. Christine — Christine
Cristine is, of course, a car, but not just any car, a haunted one! She can repair any damage done to her, making her pretty much invulnerable. She looks so vicious when chasing her prey, and nothing can stop her, even being set on fire. It must have been difficult to turn such a regular car into a terrifying monster, but Carpenter did it.
9. The Man in Black — The Dark Tower
The Man in Black is mainly portrayed as a devil, using his magic and sorcery to influence people and defeat his enemies. He is completely ruthless in his methods, but he loves being evil and enjoys the misery he spreads. He also looks super cool.
10. Pennywise — It
A creepy monster that can turn into people’s deepest fears is easily the scariest creature on this list. And it’s not just due to its appearance, but also the way It behaves. His true form as a large otherworldly spider may be bland to some, but It is still one of the memorable characters in the horror genre.