10 Deeply Depressing Origin Stories Of Horror Villains

And you thought you had a tough childhood?

Paramount Pictures

What makes a good horror movie villain? Sure, cool kills, a neat gimmick and a really big knife are all important, but that's not what makes your Jason Voorheeses and your Freddy Kruegers truly compelling, iconic monsters. Well, not completely... the glove and the hockey mask are cool.

No, what often separates the best horror villains from the worst are those glimpses of humanity; that 'one bad day' which turned them from Regular Joe to unstoppable killing machine. The best horror villains are those who we can sympathise with, to an extent; a tragic figure like the Phantom of the Opera, or Frankenstein's monster, who we can root for even once the blood starts flowing.

That's not the case every time though, and sometimes less is indeed more, but what links each of the figures on this list is that 'one bad day' (or several years, for some) which inexorably changed the face of cinema forever. Even if you don't sympathise with them, you'll understand. Even if the film itself is bad, you'll feel for what they endured. Here, then, are ten of the most depressing.

Don't expect to see Freddy Krueger pop up anytime soon though. That guy's a child murderer.

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Horror and Batman fanatic, Haribo fiend and Nicolas Cage scholar. I write a lot, drink even more and can usually be found listening to the work of Queen while styling my hair in an increasingly ridiculous quiff.