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"Don't Breathe", here are 6 best unexpected movie psychopaths

Writer: Casey Chong



Stephen Lang and Dylan Minnette in a scene from "Don't Breathe".

It's been three long years since Sam Raimi's Uruguayan protégé, Fede Alvarez made his directorial debut via the gritty reboot of "Evil Dead". This month, he is finally back with his long-awaited thriller, "Don't Breathe".

Reuniting with his "Evil Dead" star Jane Levy, "Don't Breathe" has premiered to generally positive feedback from various film festivals even before the movie came to cinemas.

As seen in the trailer, the biggest novelty factor in "Don't Breathe" is the movie's unexpected antagonist himself, which happens to be a psychotic blind war veteran played by Stephen Lang (Don't worry, this is not a spoiler!).

To coincide with "Don't Breathe" this coming 25th August, check out our six handpicked best unexpected movie psychopaths ever seen in the history of Hollywood cinema!

Do note our list does not include supernatural or bogeyman-type of psychopaths (e.g. Michael Myers in "Halloween", Freddy Krueger in "A Nightmare On Elm Street" and Jason Voorhees in "Friday The 13th").

1. Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) in "Psycho" (1960)

Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates in "Psycho".

No list of best movie psychopaths would be complete with nary a mention of Norman Bates from Alfred Hitchcock's seminal slasher classic, "Psycho". Played to creepy perfection by the incomparable Anthony Perkins, Norman Bates is completely unpredictable. At the beginning of the movie, he is depicted as a meek young man who also seems like a nice guy. Not to mention he looks harmless, considering he is such a mama's boy. So, what is so disturbing behind his innocent-looking façade? Let's just say he's delusional and suffers from schizophrenia, often disguising himself as an old woman (his mother) and slashes his victim with a knife.

2. Henry (Michael Rooker) in "Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer" (1986).

Michael Rooker as Henry in "Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer".

For today's generation, Michael Rooker may be known for his wicked performance as the blue-skinned Yondu in "Guardians Of The Galaxy" (2014), but his best career-defining role remains as his feature debut in 1986 as Henry in "Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer". Based on the real-life serial killer, Henry Lee Lucas, who murdered 157 people over the course of two decades (from the early 1960s to 1980s), what makes Rooker's portrayal of the title character genuinely creepy is his otherwise regular-guy persona. Thanks to John McNaughton's unvarnished direction told in a docu-drama style, he successfully made Rooker's cold-hearted role all the more shocking and disturbing at the same time.

3. Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) in "Fatal Attraction" (1987)

Glenn Close as Alex Forrest in "Fatal Attraction".

Who would have thought that a jealous mistress/ex-lover can be so scary? This is especially evident when Glenn Close, who plays the role of Alex Forrest falls madly in love with Michael Douglas' family man, Dan Gallagher in "Fatal Attraction". Directed by Adrian Lyne (best known for his glossy music video-like direction in 1983's "Flashdance" and 1986's "9 ½ Weeks"), "Fatal Attraction" was hugely popular upon its release back in 1987 that this erotic thriller masterpiece had earned 6 Oscar nominations including for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress for Glenn Close!

4. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) in "The Silence Of The Lambs" (1991).

Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in "The Silence Of The Lambs".

What do Brian Cox, Gaspard Ulliel and Mads Mikkelsen have in common? All three of them have had their shot at playing the famous Hannibal Lecter role with varying degree of successes. But in terms of comparison, it was Anthony Hopkins that made Hannibal Lecter truly his own when he first appeared in Jonathan Demme's "The Silence Of The Lambs" back in 1991. Believe it or not, Hopkins' acclaimed performance as Hannibal Lecter managed to get him an Oscar for Best Actor, even though he only appeared for a scant 16 minutes! What's so scary about Lecter is his high degree of intellect as a respectable doctor and yet, it's hard to believe that he is actually a cannibal who loves to savour human flesh with "some fava beans and a nice Chianti".

5. Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) in "American Psycho" (2000)

Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in "American Psycho".

Okay, so Mary Harron's big screen adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' novel "American Psycho" is actually a black comedy under the guise of a psychological thriller. The divisive tone of the movie is definitely not for everyone, but those who watched this before would agree that "American Psycho" wouldn't be iconic if not for Christian Bale's spot-on performance as Patrick Bateman. On the surface, Bateman is a successful Wall Street investment banker and a handsome playboy who enjoys the company of prostitutes. And yes, he loves to abuse himself with drugs and he is pretty much an image-conscious individual. Hence "killer looks". But he also leads a double life as a killer who loves... to butcher people.

6. Hayley Stark (Ellen Page) in "Hard Candy" (2005)

Ellen Page as Hayley Stark in "Hard Candy".

Hayley Stark is just a 14-year-old girl. At the beginning of the movie in "Hard Candy", she is depicted as a victim where she engages in an obscene online chat with Jeff Kohlver (Patrick Wilson), a 32-year-old photographer who happens to be a paedophile. They eventually set up a meeting. And just when you think Hayley is going to get abducted and sexually molested by Jeff, the movie subverts your expectations and delivers the polar opposite. Soon, it turns out that Hayley is even more sinister than she looks. Ellen Page truly owns the movie as Hayley Stark in "Hard Candy". It was also her first breakthrough role that got people take notice of her acting prowess. Page, of course, would be eventually known for her subsequent acclaimed performances seen in "Juno", "Inception" and "X-Men: Days Of Future Past".

"Don't Breathe" opens in cinemas nationwide on 25 August 2016.

Cinema Online, 21 August 2016


Related Movies:
Don't Breathe (25 Aug 2016)
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