10 Best Horror Movie Villains With Absolutely No Motive

9. The Collector - The Collector (2009)

The Strangers
Freestyle Releasing

To pay back debt collectors who are after his wife and daughter, ex-convict Arkin (Josh Stewart) decides to steal from the wealthy family he works for. But when he arrives at the house in the dead of night, he discovers that another assailant has infiltrated the home. This masked perpetrator has set up traps around the home to torture the family, which leaves Arkin torn between escaping or rescuing those he planned to rob.

This is The Collector, a sleeper cult hit from 2009, directed and co-written by Marcus Dunstan. It was initially intended to be a prequel to the Saw franchise titled The Midnight Man, however it was quickly turned into its own strange beast.

Though the meat of this entry is tied up in the protagonist’s conflicted morality, the star of the show is undoubtedly the titular killer (portrayed by Juan Fernández). He’s a sadist who wears a deformed black mask and has an affinity for insects. More importantly, absolutely nothing is given away about who (or what) he is, why he’s tormenting the family, or what exactly it is he’s collecting.

Unfortunately, the ambiguity that made this villain fascinating was shattered when he was given an uninspired backstory in the sequel.


Glasgow-based cinephile who earned a Master's degree in film studies to spend their time writing about cinema, video games, and horror.