According to Wikipedia psychopaths have three common traits: boldness, dishinhibition and meanness as well as a tendency towards criminality, violence and sexual offending… all born from a lack of empathy for others. Whether they channel their belief that the rules are irrelevant to them into violent murder sprees or ruthless business success there’s no doubt that some of our favourite movie villains are psychopaths. These are the ones that really give me the willies.
Played by: Christian Bale
Film: American Psycho (2000)
Most twisted moment: Naked chainsaw
“Patrick Bateman: There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it I have now surpassed. My pain is constant and sharp, and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape. But even after admitting this, there is no catharsis; my punishment continues to elude me, and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself. No new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing.”
Played by: Heath Ledger
Film: The Dark Knight (2008)
Most twisted: His confession that there is literally no motivation for his destruction.
“The Joker: I just did what I do best. I took your little plan and I turned it on itself. Look what I did to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets. Hmmm? You know… You know what I’ve noticed? Nobody panics when things go “according to plan.” Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all “part of the plan”. But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!
[Joker hands Two-Face a gun and points it at himself]
The Joker: Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It’s fair!”
Played by: Michael Douglas
Film: Wall Street (1987)
Most twisted moment: When he screws over his protege without even the glimmer of a second thought.
“Gordon Gekko: The richest one percent of this country owns half our country’s wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real estate speculation. It’s bullshit. You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own. We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you’re not naive enough to think we’re living in a democracy, are you buddy? It’s the free market. And you’re a part of it. You’ve got that killer instinct. Stick around pal, I’ve still got a lot to teach you.”
Played by: Anthony Hopkins
Film: The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Most twisted moment: When he escapes from prison
“Hannibal Lecter: Why do you think he removes their skins, Agent Starling?
Hannibal Lecter: Enthrall me with your acumen.
Clarice Starling: It excites him. Most serial killers keep some sort of trophies from their victims.
Hannibal Lecter: I didn’t.
Clarice Starling: No. No, you ate yours.”
Played by: Rock Duer/Jasper Newell/Ezra Miller
Film: We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
Most twisted moment: When he burns his little sister’s eye out with chemicals
“Kevin: It’s like this: you wake and watch TV, get in your car and listen to the radio you go to your little jobs or little school, but you don’t hear about that on the 6 o’clock news, why? ‘Cause nothing is really happening, and you go home and watch some more TV and maybe it’s a fun night and you go out and watch a movie. I mean it’s got so bad that half the people on TV, inside the TV, they’re watching TV. What are these people watching, people like me?”
Played by: Kathy Bates
Film: Misery (1990)
Most twisted moment: The hobbling
“Annie Wilkes: [turning to Sheldon] And don’t even think about anybody coming for you. Not the doctors, not your agent, not your family. ‘Cause I never called them. Nobody knows you’re here. And you better hope nothing happens to me. Because if I die… you die.”
Mr Blonde/Vic Vega
Played by: Michael Madsen
Film: Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Most twisted moment: When he announces to the cop that he’s going to torture him no matter what
“Mr. Blonde: Listen kid, I’m not gonna bullshit you, all right? I don’t give a good fuck what you know, or don’t know, but I’m gonna torture you anyway, regardless. Not to get information. It’s amusing, to me, to torture a cop. You can say anything you want cause I’ve heard it all before. All you can do is pray for a quick death, which you ain’t gonna get.
[He removes his razor]
Mr. Blonde: You ever listen to K-Billy’s “Super Sounds of the Seventies” weekend? It’s my personal favorite.”
Played by: Jake Gyllenhaal
Film: Nightcrawler (2014)
Most twisted moment: When he beats the police to a crime scene and decides to film it
“Lou Bloom: [repeated line] You have to make the money to buy a ticket.”
Played by: Kevin Spacey
Film: Se7en (1995)
Most twisted moment: What’s in the box?
“John Doe: [interrupts] A woman… so ugly on the inside she couldn’t bear to go on living if she couldn’t be beautiful on the outside. A drug dealer, a drug dealing pederast, actually! And let’s not forget the disease-spreading whore! Only in a world this shitty could you even try to say these were innocent people and keep a straight face. But that’s the point. We see a deadly sin on every street corner, in every home, and we tolerate it. We tolerate it because it’s common, it’s trivial. We tolerate it morning, noon, and night. Well, not anymore. I’m setting the example. What I’ve done is going to be puzzled over and studied and followed… forever.”
Film: Schindler’s List (1993)
Most twisted moment: Taking potshots off the balcony
“Amon Goeth: Today is history. Today will be remembered. Years from now the young will ask with wonder about this day. Today is history and you are part of it. Six hundred years ago, when elsewhere they were footing the blame for the Black Death, Casimir the Great – so called – told the Jews they could come to Krakow. They came. They trundled their belongings into the city. They settled. They took hold. They prospered in business, science, education, the arts. They came with nothing. And they flourished. For six centuries there has been a Jewish Krakow. By this evening those six centuries will be a rumor. They never happened. Today is history.”
Played by: Mia Wasikowska
Film: Stoker (2013)
Most twisted moment: Having a wank over killing her high school suitor
“India Stoker: He used to say, sometimes you need to do something bad to stop you from doing something worse.”