Every good movie has a villain, some antagonist trying to keep our heroes from achieving greatness (or just, you know, surviving). Some movie villains are tame, less "pure vessel of evil" and more "annoying nuisance or obstacle." But plenty of movie villains are straight out of a nightmare, the serial killers and monsters who only appear in our minds as we're trying to go to sleep. Whether you're haunted by Michael Myers, Freddy Kreuger, Hannibal Lecter, or Darth Vader, the great villains of cinema history are the ones with a presence that stays with you long after the credits roll.
The sign of a great villain is if you can still love—or at least respect—them, even while actively rooting for their defeat. Think about it; if you're a horror movie fan, you've likely had to give at least one or two villains their props, even as they're terrorizing the protagonist. Of course, sometimes movie villains turn out to be IRL villains, making their performances all the more harrowing. And sometimes villains we haven't even seen in action yet, like the doppelgängers from Jordan Peele's upcoming Us are enough to have us shaking in our boots.
These are the best movie villains in film history. Don't forget to check under the bed tonight.