The art of horror is also the art of mystery and ambiguity, which is why it's common to see characters kept in the shadows with minimal screen time.
Michael Myers, Jigsaw, Freddy Krueger, and even the shark in Jaws are all in their (original) movies for less than 10 minutes, proving that you don't need a whopping runtime to become iconic. However, there is a difference between minimal on-screen moments and appearing in only one scene.
While characters like the ones mentioned above aren't in their films a lot, they still skulk about in the peripherals and are constantly on the lips of the main characters, meaning their presence is ever felt. Other characters, however, go an entirely different route as they arrive, flaunt their stuff, and then bow out of the flick completely.
Despite only popping along for one scene, these movies still got their money's worth, as these brief characters created some great moments that lingered in viewers' memories, even if they didn't linger in the story for very long.
Some of the following names are villains, and others are unfortunate victims. But, regardless of who (or what) they are, one thing is sure: they made a great first impression and didn't stick around long enough to ruin it.
This list will contain spoilers!
10. The Director - The Cabin In The Woods
At this point, every horror fan and their mum knows that The Cabin in the Woods is a genre-smashing flick that acknowledges the tropes of horror and lovingly plays with them. Seeing classic monsters used as choose-your-own-adventure-type baddies was a shocking (and hilarious) plot twist. Still, there had to be someone in charge, and when they appeared, it was huge.
The Director was the figure who guided the movie's events, acting as the overseer for the characters' brush with the zombified Buckner family, all before they broke free and entered the main lab. However, while her impact on the film was essential, she only appeared on-screen once, at the very climax.
In the ending sequence, The Director arrives and unveils the big secret, detailing to Dana and Marty why they had been put through the wringer in a menacing, yet rather convincing, speech. This gave the heroes the chance to play along with her game or defy it, ending the world in the process.
Of course, adding to this character's impact was the fact that she was played by the legendary Sigourney Weaver, who brought some considerable star power to the flick.