10 Times Batman Acted Like A Horror Movie Villain

Batman has crossed the line between hero and terror more times than you might think.

Batman Begins Nightmare Batman
Warner Bros.

Recently, lucky movie insiders got to see a screening of Matt Reeves' The Batman - and it sounds nuts. Those that have seen it describe the film as graphic and disturbing and basically a three hour horror movie. This isn't actually that far off a departure from how Batman has been presented in the past though.

Batman has always been horror adjacent. Some of the first Batman stories ever published involved the Caped Crusader locking horns with vampires and evil wizards. Bats uses fear to as his primary tool to fight evil and this ethos has led him down morally questionable paths on more than one occasion.

In a New York Times interview, Robert Pattinson noted this, going so far as to say Batman is "not a hero" and his "morality is a bit off." Fans might take issue with the star's take on the character, but Pattinson is spot on.

Since Batman is the protagonist of his stories, the audience often doesn't take a step back and consider just how messed up an individual Bruce Wayne actually is.

If you aren't aware of his tragic backstory, the billionaire playboy comes across as more of a psychopath than a crusader for justice. Moviemakers have not shied away from the more horrific aspects of the character either. Some have even treaded into outright horror movie territory, portraying Bats as someone that would feel at home in a slasher or monster movie.

Here are just a few instances where the Dark Knight crossed the line from hero to terror.

10. "I'm Vengeance" - The Batman

Batman Begins Nightmare Batman
Warner Bros.

We have yet to see what Matt Reeves has in store for audiences when he unleashes The Batman in March of next year, but the trailer promises it will be the darkest take on the Caped Crusader yet, with a Riddler that looks ripped right from a slasher film.

If the reactions to the recent screening of a three-hour version of The Batman are to be believed, then the actual movie is much, much more horror-tinged and graphic than what the trailer implies. Some have called it a three-hour horror movie, and a specific moment from the preview definitely shows that Batman will be a terrifying figure in his own right.

In the trailer, a thug challenges Batman only to receive one of the most vicious beatdowns this side of the Punisher. Batman goes way above and beyond when subduing this unlucky criminal, issuing bone-cracking blow after bone-cracking blow before giving the thug a few more cracks for good measure after he's already hit the ground.

The viciousness of this particular beating is unsettling in its intensity and enters the realm of gratuitous violence that is the bread-and-butter of the horror genre. Reeves' take on Bats will make audience question who is more unhinged: Batman, or the villains he hunts.


I'm YA writer who loves pulp and art house films. I admire films that try to do something interesting.