- Some movie characters are so loathsome they’re hard to watch.
- Whether it’s because they’re so convincingly evil or just unbearably annoying, some characters make you beg for the moment they’re no longer on-screen.
- Here are some of the most viscerally detestable movie characters in cinematic history.
There are some movie characters whose scenes are difficult to sit through – the kind whose parts make you want to fast forward or take a bathroom break instead of watching.
They are so loathsome, whether because they’re immensely annoying or horribly villainous, that throughout the entire movie we’re rooting for them to just be gone already.
Here are some of the most hated movie characters of all time that we just can’t stand.
Lucius Malfoy in “Harry Potter” was a constant thorn in our side throughout all eight of the movie installments. His cruelty gradually gave way to his cowardice as Lord Voldemort rose to power.
Dolores Umbridge in “Harry Potter” proved that someone could be equal parts malicious and irritating. She was the source of much of the fifth movie’s plight against life at Hogwarts as we knew it.
Ralph Fiennes has said that in “Harry Potter,” Lord Voldemort is more of a misunderstood character rather than purely evil, what with his troubled childhood, but it’s hard to remember that with the atrocities he commits.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
In “The Lord of the Rings,” Gollum presents as many obstacles to Frodo and Sam during their quest than does the movie’s primary villains, but with much more self-loathing and irritating, psychotic monologues.
Bella Swan in the Twilight” movie franchise is just one of the characters that have long annoyed the masses. Even the Twilight cast themselves have openly mocked the vampire love saga.
In “It,” the ancient creature behind Pennywise’s facade knew what it was doing when it masked its true identity — the killer clown image is arguably more terrifying than the gooey, gory monsters we’re used to.
Gregory Anton a.k.a. Sergius Bauer in “Gaslight” strategically convinced his wife that she was losing her mind. The term gaslight has become a way to describe any kind of psychological manipulation to this day.
In “The Lord of the Rings,” the power-hungry Steward of Gondor Denethor, with his weak-mindedness and wicked favoritism of his sons, didn’t exactly earn the love of movie-watchers, or readers for that matter.
In “The Devil Wears Prada,” Runway magazine editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly’s ruthlessness and utter lack of decency as Andy Sachs’ boss had us wishing she’d be removed from the picture.
Watching “The Shining” powerlessly as Jack Torrence slowly slips into madness is still captivating even decades later. He’s so horrific to watch that when he freezes to death in the snow, we practically breathe a sigh of relief.
Regina George in “Mean Girls” is a household name among millennials everywhere. She’s the 21st century villain of our adolescent nightmares, bent on maintaining her perch at the top of the high school hierarchy by any means necessary. Shudder.
Though in “Titanic” Rose’s abusive fiancé Cal was despicable, he met his match in Rose’s mother, who essentially exploited her daughter into marriage to save them both from financial and social ruin.
In “Shawshank Redemption,” Warden Norton’s blisteringly blunt greeting to new inmates (“Put your trust in the Lord; your arse belongs to me. Welcome to Shawshank”) set him up as the ruthless overseer that almost succeeds in bringing down the main character.
Movie watchers of “The Green Mile” learned to hate the cowardly and sadistic Percy Wetmore from the get-go, but especially when he kills an inmate’s mouse-y friend, Mr. Jingles, for no other reason than to spite him.
The primary villain in “The Green Mile,” “Wild Bill” Wharton was more evil, allowing the hero of the story, John Coffey, to take the blame for the heinous crimes he committed.
Guy Woodhouse, Rosemary’s husband in “Rosemary’s Baby,” stooped so low in the film when he traded his wife’s safety and womb to satanic worshippers in exchange for an advance in his acting career.
Annie Wilkes in “Misery” takes the fangirl to a terrifying new level, imprisoning her favourite author injured in an accident and demanding that he write a new novel. Wilkes is neurotic in “treating” him, keeping him strapped to a bed and spoon-feeding him.
The character of Jar Jar Binks tops the list of what annoyed many “Star Wars” fans about the 1990s prequels. His childlike voice and grating personality especially was a non-hit with movie watchers.
Source: Huffington Post
In “Good Morning, Vietnam,” the ultra-macho Lt. Steven Hauk’s determination to use his authority to earn respect from his men is hard to sit through. Luckily, we have Robin Williams to get us through it.
In “Inglourious Bastards,” Christophe Waltz’s disturbingly jovial take on officer Hans Landa, who commits unspeakable atrocities, helped cement the character as one of the most loathed movie villains.
Source: The Independent
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio himself has dubbed his character Calvin Candie in “Django Unchained” as “one of the most deplorable, indulgent, horrendous characters” he’s encountered. The cotton king villain, among other atrocities, set his slaves against each other in fights to the death, purely for his enjoyment.
Source: Entertainment Weekly
HAL 9000 isn’t even a humanoid — it doesn’t even have a face — and yet the deadpan tone of the artificial intelligence in “2001: A Space Odyssey” is enough to not only fear but resent it for not having a more nuanced moral compass.
One of the most iconic cinematic villains, Darth Vader in “Star Wars” has conducted his mission of galactic domination since he first cropped up in 1977. It was clear from the get-go that he was not a character to root for.
Despite what Thanos in “Avengers: Infinity War” believed to be a noble cause, mass genocide is still mass genocide — and murdering your daughter to harness more power isn’t considered morally correct either.
In “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” Jesse Eisenberg’s high-energy Lex Luthor perfectly pits Batman against Superman, gives an opposing senator a jar of urine, and resurrects a dead alien just … because? His motives aren’t really clear, but he’s effective in hindering our heroes as much as possible.
Simba’s wicked uncle Scar’s manipulation of the beloved characters in “The Lion King,” and the murder of his brother, proved that it was possible to loathe a computer-animated lion.
It’s hard to find the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz” frightening these days, consider the extent that CGI has evolved to, but in case you need a reminder: she threatened to set Scarecrow on fire and drugs Dorothy and company to prevent them from entering Oz. In 1939, that was enough to give you the creeps, if her maniacal cackle didn’t do the trick.
Robert De Niro’s take on Max Cady was the crown jewel of the 1991 remake of “Cape Fear,” some say. The character was ruthless and deranged in destroying the Bowden family strategically in any way he could.
There’s a reason why the White Witch in “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” possesses an otherworldly air — she’s not human. Descended from the demoness Lilith, the immortal queen is tasked with punishing traitors in the land of Narnia, sometimes seducing them into committing acts of betrayal simply to have more prey.
There are countless incarnations of the evil stepmother from the classic “Cinderella” story, but none as striking as Cate Blanchett’s in the 2015 version. We all know the details, manipulating her adopted daughter and otherwise making her life a living hell, but Blanchett does it with an unmatchable intensity, and style.
Gruff, mean-spirited, and terrifying, Miss Trunchbull in “Matilda” was the school principal of our nightmares. Who locks schoolchildren in closets or swings them by their pig-tails as punishment?
With “Psycho,” movie creators purposefully wanted audiences to sympathize with Norman Bates, which wasn’t a usual depiction of a movie villain at the time. Still, the psychotic hotel manager and his chilling relationship with his mother is cringe-worthy, even decades later.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
In “American Psycho” New York yuppie by day, sadistic killer by night Patrick Bateman, who’s one villain that is more human than not, unlike other monster baddies. His bloodlust and his psychoticism, however, isn’t exactly relatable.
Despite her killer wardrobe, Meredith Blake in “The Parent Trap” was the evil roadblock preventing Lindsay Lohan’s characters from reuniting their parents. At the time, she was despised by 90s kids, but now she’s actually enjoying a nice renaissance as the “unsung hero” of the film.
Alex Forrest in “Fatal Attraction” was also heartless toward animals, when she boiled a live bunny in the iconic crime film. The jealous lover, wanting Michael Douglas’ character pried from his family all to herself, will not be ignored.
The smart and suave Hans Gruber in “Die Hard” is an action movie villain that has proven difficult to replicate. His intellect helped him remain always one step ahead of Bruce Willis’ John McClane. Despicable, yes, but also worth our respect.
Source: Den of Geek
Kreese, the leader of the Cobra Kai karate school in “The Karate Kid,” values a fierce and merciless approach to one’s enemy. You’d think a teacher of young kids would prioritise teaching respect to their pupils, but not with this guy.
Tommy DeVito in “Goodfellas” risked his mob family multiple times with his cruel, impulsive kills and short-fused temper — and he eventually paid for it.
Tony Montana in “Scarface” doled out one of the greatest cinematic lines in history (“Say hello to my little friend,”) but gave us one of the most villainous mobsters on the big screen. He was ruthless and unapologetic while staving off his opposing gangsters.
Source: The Guardian
Bill “The Butcher” Cutting in “Gangs of New York” was based on a real-life New York gang leader, who shared his film counterpart’s hatred toward Irish immigrants, his proficiency at boxing, and his butchery trade. And also, like his movie character, he didn’t get his nickname (The Butcher) from his profession. Gulp.
Source: New York Post
In “Gladiator,” it’s so easy to despise the whiny and egotistical Emperor Commodus, who, like his real-life historical counterpart, wielded his power for anything but good in the 2000 film.
Don’t be fooled by the pageboy haircut: Anton Chigurh in “No Country For Old Men” was and is one of the most vile villains to grace the big screen. With his ghost-like demeanour and complete disregard for human life, he’s equal parts despicable and terrifying.
Source: Entertainment Weekly
Shooter McGavin did everything he could in “Happy Gilmore” to stop Happy from returning his grandmother to her home in as annoying a fashion as possible.
Before being murdered in “Carrie,” the pious Margaret White is harsh and domineering of her daughter. She didn’t help Carrie in any way from eventually becoming an unhinged telekinetic.
Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs” has been called the greatest villain in cinematic history. The cannibal is still branded in the minds of movie watchers, along with that smirky, bug-eyed glare.
In “The Clockwork Orange,” everything about serial criminal and otherwise savage beast Alex DeLarge, from his immoral nature to his single row of false eyelashes, oozes uneasiness. The character’s dystopian environment just adds to the horror of it all.
In “Fight Club,” on the surface, there’s something intriguing about Tyler Durden’s snub of the capitalistic world around him, but when he takes it to extremes, we grow to hate his self-righteousness, especially when we learn who he really is.
For “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” there weren’t many actresses jumping to portray the abusive, cold-blooded Nurse Ratched. The savage character abuses her authority to bend her patients to her will.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
In “101 Dalmations” is another fabulously-dressed villainess: the colorless and heartless Cruella de Vil, who is unwavering in her quest for Dalmation fur — merely for the sake of fashioning the coat of all coats out of it.
The brilliantly devious Professor James Moriarty, regardless of adaptation, is always two steps ahead of adversary Sherlock Holmes. It’s not hard to root against him when he’s threatening dear Dr. Watson and ensnaring Sherlock with a fish hook.