SHOCK takes a light look at 10 terrifying demons from horror movie history.
Trend-wise, it seems vampires have fizzled out, zombies tow the line and demons are on the rise! If you need further evidence of this claim, all one has to do is flip on the TV and check out the popularity of shows like ASH VS. EVIL DEAD and PENNY DREADFUL and the recently announced DAMIEN (the small-screen spinoff of 1976s THE OMEN); Demons, from Hell or otherwise, are the shit and SHOCK celebrates by unleashing its top 10 cinematic fallen angels and netherworld nasties.
10. THE KEEP
Michael Mann’s critically hammered take on F. Paul Wilson’s novel. The book depicts its evil as an ancient vampire; however, Mann envisioned and morphed Wilson’s fiend (fans of the book weren’t happy about this change) into a smoke-spilling, red-eyed demon that goes by moniker Molassar Say what you will, love THE KEEP or loathe it, the Golem-esque Molassar is a unique creation and comes in at number ten.
9. THE RING
Samara clinches our ninth spot! In all the various versions, remakes or sequels of THE RING, Samara is a force to be reckoned with, especially in Gore Verbinski’s US version. The American Samara brought legitimate scares back to the horror fanatic while effectively suckering us into empathizing with her; sometimes evil is simply evil.
8. SILENT HILL
Alessa and The Dark (a.k.a. The Demon) from Christophe Gans’ adaptation of the game SILENT HILL steals our eighth spot for the sheer surrealism of its demons and hellish depictions, even though some its style can be attributed to Clive Barker’s HELLRAISER. Alessa is pure evil and could easily give our ninth entry a run for her money, again playing innocent is the key to evil deception and manipulation.
7.PRINCE OF DARKNESS
Another incredible cinematic take on Satan’s prince, or in this case princess. If you haven’t seen this classic cut of prime Carpenter, you might be in the dark as to why the Devils heir is a daughter and not a son but rest assured she is one sinister beast.
Pazuzu from William Friedkin‘s classic; the audience only ever meets the haunting sculpture-version of Pazuzu, but its actual influence and echo are far more terrifying. The relentless physical and mental torment unleashed on little Regan (Linda Blair) is horrible and the confrontation Pazuzu has with Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) is legendary…
This horrifically beautiful demon was brilliantly and masterfully brought to life by the late great Stan Winston (who also directed). Even if you weren’t a huge fan of this adult fairy tale, the demon itself speaks volumes; It is utterly realistic and menacing, brought to life by awe-inspiring puppetry, prosthetics and animatronics. Take that, CGI!
4. THE OMEN
You can’t do a top 10 list without including the Antichrist himself, Damien Thorn and all his age incarnations spanning all of THE OMEN films. We all know that Damien isn’t some nasty beast from the underworld and looks innocuously human, yet his creepy demeanor from a little boy to the adult version played by the cold and emotionless Sam Neill locks in our 4th place position. He’s a bad dude!
3. HELLRAISER & HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II
The Cenobites, the original unholy quartet from the order of the gash depicted in Clive Barker’s novella THE HELLBOUND HEART and later transformed into the iconic S&M leather-clad demons in Barker’s directorial debut and its sequel. Pleasure and pain is their motto and if you summon them, it will truly be your undoing. Angels to some demons to others…
2. NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
Freddy Krueger, the dream demon created by the late master of horror Wes Craven. Krueger easily steels our bronze position for his creative and nasty ways at dispatching the offspring of Elm Street while in their nightmares. Spanning the eight original films (and the questionable remake), Freddy continues to terrorize audiences and does so with a unique flare.
1. EVIL DEAD 2
The Kandarian Deadites featured in Sam Raimi’s classic easily snag our first. The Deadites are a nasty bunch of hard to kill, ass (and Ash) kicking demons. Although the demons featured in the first EVIL DEAD are legitimately more frightening, the depicted Deadites in this masterful sequel truly reign as the best in this series. Dead by dawwwwwn!
Honorable mentions go to the hordes of demons unleashed in Lamberto Bava’s DEMONS & DEMONS 2, the hellspawn featured in TALES FROM THE CRYPT: DEMON KNIGHT and lastly Satan himself in CONSTANTINE; even though he had little screen time, Peter Stormare’s portrayal of Lucifer was so impressive he almost made the list. Share your thoughts with us…