Horror villains make or break movies. You know this, I know this, and filmmakers certainly know this.
As a result, it's not uncommon for horror directors and studios to try their hardest to deliver a movie monster that fans can fall in love with. Everyone is desperate for a Freddy Krueger, a Michael Myers, or a Jigsaw, but it's not an easy balancing act to get right.
After all, familiarity is the kryptonite of horror. The more you see something and the more you understand something, the less that thing has the power to truly scare you. That's why some of the most memorable horror movie monsters are actually the ones you barely see.
On the other side of this coin though, some directors might end up with a winning formula and create too many terrifying villains for their own good.
That's the case today, as all the following flicks feature - for the most part anyway - incredible, iconic main villains, but end up leaving it to the secondary villains or minor monsters to leave the biggest impact in terms of pure, unfiltered fear.
8. The Crooked Man - The Conjuring 2
The Conjuring series rarely just relies on one villain per movie. The stories of Ed and Lorraine Warren are so wide-reaching that filmmakers have plenty of material to work with, and as such there's an embarrassing amount of monsters fans have been terrified by.
It's the second flick that's the subject of this entry though. In the sequel, The Crooked Man is a figure from a poem brought to life by the demon Valak: a tall, slender - well - crooked monster dressed in a garish red suit with a big teethy grin.
It's a concept and a look that could have easily been daft and funny, but in the hands of director James Wan it's anything but. His stop-motion-esque movements, his sporadic appearances and the spooky incantation that references him makes for a standout cameo to shake this second movie up.
Now, the sequel's main villain, the aforementioned Valak, is similarly s**t scary and ultimately has a more compelling story. However, in terms of pure scares, for my money The Crooked Man just edges out The Conjuring 2's headliner.