We have summed up the best portrayal of movie psychopaths of all time. Check out our list below.
The Joker (“The Dark Knight,” 2008)
Heath Ledger played this character, and he portrayed the role well. During the making of film, Ledger stayed alone in a hotel room for a month, trying to get into his character by improvising on the postures, voice and personality. He also kept a diary in which he noted down the thoughts and feelings of the Joker. He described his character as psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy. After the completion of the movie came the news of his sad demise, which shocked everyone, but he will still be remembered for his work. Director Christopher Nolan has dedicated this film as a part of Ledger’s memory.
Hannibal Lecter (“The Silence of the Lambs,” 1991)
This character was played by Anthony Hopkins, who emerged as the Academy Awards’ Best Actor for the pic. The film received other accolades like Best Actress, Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. In the movie, Dr. Lecter is a cannibalistic serial killer and was a former psychiatrist, who helps the FBI department to solve a case and find the serial killer named “Buffalo Bill.” In return for his information, he demands to be transferred to another prison. When it was not fulfilled, he frees himself by cutting his own hands to get rid of the handcuffs. This film has been preserved by the National Film Registry by the US Library of Congress.
Patrick Bateman (“American Psycho,” 2000)
Christian Bale played the character of a rich investment banker at Wall Street, who has a fiancée and shallow friends whom he hates. He dines at expensive restaurants, wears designer clothes and lives in a lavish apartment. However, he turns into a serial killer. He kills his friends, colleagues and also the women whom he meets and finds him attractive. Bale’s performance was critically acclaimed, and the movie received positive reviews.
John Doe (“Seven,” 1995)
John Doe, played by Kevin Spacey, kills the people who have committed the seven deadly sins: gluttony, sloth, lust, pride, envy, wrath and greed. The detectives, Mills and Somerset, played by Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman respectively, track the serial killer through Doe’s library records. Doe kills Mills’ wife who wanted to go for an abortion, and he gifts her head to Mills. When he sees it, he gets furious and wants to kill Doe. But Somerset tries to stop him by explaining that if he kills Doe, he commits the seventh sin, wrath. Meanwhile, Doe accepts his sin of envy, as he was envious of Mills’ happy and normal life. The movie got positive reviews and was a commercial hit but didn’t achieve any accolades.
Frank Booth (“Blue Velvet,” 1986)
In this movie, Frank Booth, portrayed by Dennis Hopper, indulges in kidnapping, sexual violence and killing. Booth is attracted to Dorothy, a nightclub singer.He kidnaps her husband and child in order to force her into giving him sexual pleasures. Jeffrey, who is curious about the events, is the one who slowly unfolds the mystery of Booth as he sneaks into Dorothy’s apartment and notices Booth’s behavior. Jeffrey also gets involved with Dorothy and her case. This movie is chosen as one of the greatest mystery films ever made by the American Film Institute and is ranked as one of the 100 greatest films of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Don Logan (“Sexy Beast,” 2000)
Ben Kingsley has played the character of Don Logan, a violent and intimidating sociopath who follows Gal, whom he met at the jail. Now, Gal has retired to a Spanish villa where he stays with his wife. Don disrupts Gal’s happy life. When he suddenly arrives at Gal’s home, he demands Gal to join in bank heist. Don also inculcates an infatuation for Jackie, who is Gal’s friends’ wife. He tries to force himself on her but remains unsuccessful. One fine day, he decides to return to London but returns back in anger to harm his friend Gal and his company, but they manage to kill him. Kinsley got nominated for an Oscar for his performance, and this movie was listed among the 15th greatest British film of all time by Total Film magazine in 2004.
Norman Bates (“Psycho,” 1960)
This role was played by Anthony Perkins, who, in the movie, has a split personality disorder. As a child, he was dominated by his mother. When his mother brought home a lover, he started to feel jealous and killed his mother and her lover. Since then, he has been killing all the girls whom he gets attracted to. Every time he kills somebody, he is dressed up as his mother. This movie was considered as one of the best films by Alfred Hitchcock and has been recognized among the greatest films of all time. This film has also been preserved by the National Film Registry.
Henry (“Henry: The Portrait of a Serial Killer,” 1986)
This movie was based on a real-life madman and murderer named Henry Lee Lucas, played by Michael Rooker. The plot of the movie centers on Henry and his prison buddy Otis, whom he makes his killing partner. Initially, Henry kills two prostitutes in front of Otis and realizes that he could become his partner in crime. So they go on a killing spree together until one day he finds Otis raping his own sister and trying to kill her. Henry tries to stop Otis, but Otis gets killed. Next day, Becky, Otis’ sister, confesses her love for Henry, and they go to a motel. Then Henry leaves with a suitcase filled with blood. He dumps the suitcase and drives away.
Ernie “Chip” Douglas (“The Cable Guy,” 1996)
Chip is portrayed by Jim Carrey, a crazy stalker who stalks his clients and forces them to become his friends. If they refuse, he makes their life miserable. The plot of the movie is about Steven, who has just broken up with his girlfriend Robin. He moves into his own apartment and comes across a cable guy, Chip. Rick, Steven’s good friend, suggests him to watch movies to divert his mind. So Steven asks Chip to get him free movies. Chip agrees to it but, in return, asks for a favor of hanging out with him. Then Stevens’ misery starts. When Steven starts to ignore him, Chip gets angry and acts crazy. Later on, they find out that he has been fired from the company because he stalked their customers. Jim Carrey won an MTV award for his performance.
Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (“Apocalypse Now,” 1979)
Marlon Brando portrayed Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, a crazy commander who acts as a demi god and has formed his own troop in Cambodia, set during the Vietnam War. Willard and his team are sent to capture Kurtz. But in this attempt, Willard gets bound as an errand boy, and his Chief gets killed. After listening to Kurtz’s theories, Willard realizes that how the fake rules about a moral war has made the man go mad. In the end, Willard manages to kill Kurtz and bring an end to his dominance and terror amongst the villagers. This movie is regarded as one of the greatest films ever, and it has been nominated for Academy Award for Best Picture and Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama. The National Film Registry has also preserved this film in 2000.
There you have it for the top movie psychopaths. Follow Movie News Guide (MNG) for more interesting lists.
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore