The IT franchise's Pennywise is bone-chilling. The Saw franchise's Jigsaw is twisted. And Krampus... Well, Krampus is just plain demonic. But which horror movie villains of the 2000s are the scariest of them all? Hope you're ready for the answer.
We've ranked the 35 most frightening characters to emerge from this century's horror and monster movies.
Our countdown is a rogue's gallery. It consists of one blood-thirsty character after another: very bad men, very bad women, very bad spirits and the occasionally demonically possessed farm animal.
Only evil ghosts, scary sadists, creepy creatures, cruel circus figures and their twisted brethren from theatrical and streaming movies released in the year 2000 and after were eligible for inclusion in our list. This means Patrick Bateman (American Psycho) was in, and Norman Bates (Psycho franchise) was out.
But fear not, Michael Myers (Halloween franchise): Villains born of other decades were considered -- provided that they were revived in the 2000s.
Our list is flush with villains of the supernatural variety -- demons, boogeymen and the rest. So far, the 21st century has given us the creeps with The Conjuring's Bathsheba, The Woman in Black's Jennet, The Babadook's Babadook and more.
There's also no shortage of demonic playthings in our countdown, such as the doll from The Conjuring and Annabelle franchise. And while Pennywise is a clown, not a plaything, this century's horror-movie message is the same: Above all, beware of things that, on paper, at least, are supposed to make you laugh -- not scream.
So, who's the scariest: Pennywise; Jigsaw; Krampus; someone -- or something -- else? Read ahead, if you dare.
Our 35 villains are ranked in ascending order, from the truly troubling to the absolutely terrifying.
35. Slender Man, Slender Man
The Internet legend comes alive -- and creepily so -- in this 2018 film that summons the terrifying, if lithe title character (played by Javier Botet).prevnext
34. Sue Ann Ellington, Ma
Still waters run very, very deep in the mousy vet assistant played by Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer in this unsettling 2019 film.prevnext
33. La Llorona, The Curse of La Llorona
The mournful character of Mexican folklore should cheer up: The apparition (played by Marisol Ramirez) gets in some good scares in this 2019 film.prevnext
32. The Nun, The Conjuring franchise
This creepy-eyed, godless demon (played by Bonnie Aarons) haunted The Conjuring 2 before getting its own showcase in 2018's The Nun.prevnext
31. Dollface, The Strangers
There are three masked psycho killers in this 2008 horror film. The scariest of them all is the most innocent-looking of them all, the Dollface (played by Gemma Ward). We never learn the wearer's real name. We just know she's real twisted.prevnext
30. Brandon Breyer, Brightburn
What if Ma and Pa Kent came upon a future psycho killer instead of a future crime-fighter? That's the what-if question that propels this brutal 2019 James Gunn-produced scare-fest about a young E.T. (played by Jackson A. Dunn) who comes into his super powers -- his terrifying super powers.prevnext
29. Captain Spaulding, House of 1000 Corpses
In Rob Zombie's 2003 gore-fest, the star-spangled Captain Spaulding (played by Sid Haig) isn't so much patriotic as he is twisted. Suffice to say, things don't go so well for the four young people who check out his Museum of Monsters and Madmen.prevnext
28. Viktor, Underworld franchise
Through the first three Underworld movies, Bill Nighy's vampire (seen here 2009's Underworld: Rise of the Lycans) is the ultimate cold-blooded ruler, and definitely someone who should not be unexpectedly awoken from a deep, deep sleep.prevnext
27. The Creeper, Jeepers Creepers franchise
You can set your watch by the malevolent force featured in all three Jeepers Creepers films, beginning with the 2001 original: Every 23rd spring, the Creeper (Jonathan Breck) feasts on humans for 23 days.prevnext
26. Chad, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
Here's another instance of evil presenting itself in an innocuous package -- in this case, it's a college preppy (Jesse Moss), who's not above kidnapping, mutilating and relentlessly trying to kill the title characters in this bloody 2010 horror comedy.prevnext
25. Lucille Sharpe, Crimson Peak
In Guillermo del Toro's 2015 period tale, the terrifyingly focused Lucille (Jessica Chastain) really, really loves her brother (played by Tom Hiddleston), and really, really hates her brother's brides.prevnext
24. Lipstick-Face Demon, Insidious franchise
This tormentor (played by Joseph Bishara) has appeared in three of the four Insidious movies released through 2018. You keep going back to what works -- at terrifying audiences, that is.prevnext
23. Jerry Dandridge, Fright Night (2011)
This vampire-next-door character was first played on film by Chris Sarandon in 1985's Fright Night. In the remake, Colin Farrell infuses Jerry with a dangerous combo: "equal parts seduction and menace," as TheWrap critic Alonso Duralde wrote.prevnext
22. Abalam, The Last Exorcism franchise
Abalam is the name of the demon that possesses a young woman (played by Ashley Bell) in the the Eli Roth-produced Last Exorcism films, which includes 2013's The Last Exorcism Part II (pictured). Abalam is persistent, powerful and bad news to farm animals.prevnext
21. Jennet, The Woman in Black
This is not a drill: Lock the doors, and literally hide the children. A grieving mother's avenging ghost (played by Liz White) is out to claim young lives in this 2012 gothic horror chiller.prevnext
20. billie227, Unfriended
In this 2014 movie, billie227 is the screen name of a high-schooler (played by Heather Sossaman) who kills herself after an unflattering video is anonymously posted online. The girl's tech-savvy ghost is out for revenge -- and she gets it, Skype user by Skype user.prevnext
19. Bathsheba Sherman, The Conjuring
In the 2013 box-office hit, this demonic ghost, played by Joseph Bishara, takes possession of a Rhode Island homeowner (played by Lili Taylor) by spewing blood into her mouth. So, um, yes, a tad terrifying.prevnext
18. The Female, Under the Skin
Scarlett Johansson won raves for playing a space creature that lands in Scotland, assumes the female form, obtains a van, and then meets and kills men. That it kills more out of curiosity than for sadistic sport doesn't make the 2014 film less disturbing.prevnext
17. The Director's crew, Cabin in the Woods
In Joss Whedon's self-aware 2012 genre film, Sigourney Weaver plays the Director, the overseer of a high-tech operation and its button-down crew members (played by Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford, pictured). The group's mission? To sadistically kill five American young people according to horror archetypes. As it turns out, the Director and her staff are themselves horror archetypes: the cool, calm, collected villains.
16. Black Philip, The Witch
In this sparse (but bloody) 2015 film set in 17th century New England, the family goat is not to be trusted. Especially when it talks.prevnext
15. The Armitages, Get Out
In filmmaker Jordan Peele's Oscar-winning 2017 shocker, the privileged white family that harvests the bodies of black people together stays together -- until the bloody denouement.prevnext
14. Krampus, Krampus
The Yuletide goat demon of folklore is brought to scary life in this 2015 holiday horror comedy starring Adam Scott and Toni Collette.prevnext
13. The crawlers, The Descent franchise
In 2005's The Descent and 2009's The Descent Part 2, caves and tunnels are literally crawling with the eerily elfin and fanged creatures known as the crawlers. Lesson learned: Take the sidewalk.prevnext
12. The monster, Cloverfield
The rarely glimpsed space-alien creature is relentless and terrifying in its march through Manhattan in this 2008 J.J. Abrams-produced found-footage film that launched the Cloverfield universe.prevnext
11. Mary Shaw, Dead Silence
How creepy is Mary Shaw? Let's count the ways: In James Wan's 2007 fright-fest, the performer-turned-malevolent-presence kills, cuts out tongues and partners with a possessed ventriloquist's dummy.prevnext
10. Pyramid Head, Silent Hill franchise
The Silent Hill video games are more popular than the films from which they're based, but no matter the medium, the triangle-headed monster of another dimension, aka Pyramid Head (as seen here from 2012's Silent Hill: Revelation), is a fierce villain of the survival-horror genre.prevnext
9. Esther, Orphan
If we may cut to the chase and spoil a movie that was released in 2009: Esther (played by Isabelle Fuhrman) is no 9-year-old Russian orphan -- she's a cold-blooded 33-year-old killer!prevnext
8. Abby, Let Me In
In Matt Reeves' 2010 film, Chloë Grace Moretz's title character isn't without proper motivation to kill -- she's a vampire, she's hungry and she's sticking up for her bullied neighbor friend. But she's still a creature that's not to be crossed.prevnext
7. Michael Myers, Halloween (2018)
Filmmaker John Carpenter's iconic mask-wearing, mass-murderer is included here not for the character's 40-year body of bloody work, but specifically for the 2018 iteration. Played by Nick Castle (reprising his role from the 1978 film), Myers is troubled, relentless -- and locked in the ultimate sibling power struggle with his sister Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis).prevnext
6. The Babadook, The Babadook
In this 2014 Australian film, the black-coated monster from a children's book comes to life (as played by Tim Purcell) and terrorizes a mother, a son and the movie's audience.prevnext
5. Annabelle, The Conjuring franchise
Once again, a child's plaything is used to scare the hell out of audiences. In The Conjuring movies, the main recurring antagonist is a possessed porcelain doll (seen here in 2014's Annabelle).prevnext
4. Samara Morgan, The Ring franchise
As played by Daveigh Chase in the first two Ring movies, 2002's The Ring and 2005's The Ring Two, Samara's an iconic horror villain-slash-victim who wants you to watch the video of her sad life. (Hint: Don't watch the video.)prevnext
3. Jigsaw, Saw
Whether in 2017's Jigsaw (pictured) or any of the other seven Saw movies, John "Jigsaw" Kramer (played by Tobin Bell) is a sick, sick, sick serial killer whose constant companion is a puppet named Billy.prevnext
2. Patrick Bateman, American Psycho
Bateman (played by Christian Bale) is a designer-suit-wearing serial killer in the 2000 film based on the Bret Easton Ellis novel of the same name. The movie seeks to satirize the pursuit of Wall Street wealth in the 1980s, but is best remembered for ax murders, chainsaw murders and lots of blood.prevnext
1. Pennywise, IT franchise
Stephen King's child-killing clown has been creeping out audiences since the author published IT in 1986. And as good as Tim Curry's take on Pennywise was in the 1990 TV miniseries of the same name, Bill Skarsgard upped the creepy game in the 2017 big-screen adaptation -- and in the 2019 sequel, IT CHAPTER TWO.prev