Horror Fictional Psychopaths


An Old Friend
Dec 6, 2004
Gulf Coast
Fictional portrayals of psychopaths, or sociopaths, are some of the most notorious in film and literature but may only vaguely or partly relate to the concept of psychopathy, which is itself used with varying definitions by mental health professionals, criminologists and others. The character may be identified as a diagnosed/assessed psychopath or sociopath within the fictional work itself, or by its creator when discussing their intentions with the work, which might be distinguished from opinions of audiences or critics based only on a character appearing to show traits or behaviors associated with an undefined popular stereotype of psychopathy. ~ wiki

Doctors don’t officially diagnose people as psychopaths or sociopaths. They use a different term instead: antisocial personality disorder.
A psychopath doesn’t have a conscience.
A sociopath typically has a conscience, but it’s weak.
~ WebMD

The Joker – The Dark Knight

The Joker, a self-described “agent of chaos,” is about as psychopathic as one can get. He doesn’t care about how he looks, ritualistically smears makeup across his scarred face, and relishes any scheme that undoes order. Nicholson’s Joker was a clown, but Ledger’s Joker was a frightening, unpredictable terrorist. The Joker’s abandonment of all societal norms, coupled with his violent, disruptive behavior makes him one of the more memorable movie psychos.

Iago - Othello By William Shakespeare

Iago is often described as the worst villain of all Shakespeare€™s works and that in itself is quite an accomplishment. He will bring pain and suffering to almost anyone; Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, Roderigo and Emilia with no clear motivation other than he enjoys the destruction alone. A known liar and master manipulator, some have assessed that Iago€™s vicious personality stems from his hidden homosexuality, which is evident in his obstruction of any marital happiness Othello may have and also the murder of Emilia.

Hannibal Lecter – The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal

The infamous Dr. Lecter is a genius with a taste for flesh and brains, an unnerving paradox of sorts that helps cement him in the mind of anyone who happens to cross his path. Being a serial killer is psychotic enough, but Lecter’s got cannibalism on his resume, too, raising the bar for psychopaths everywhere. Simply put, Lecter is one dangerous S.O.B. Also from Silence of the Lambs, Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb is a memorable psycho, but his mangina doesn’t hold a candle to Lecter’s psychopathic tendencies.

John Doe – Se7en

John Doe’s plan to turn each of the seven deadly sins against the sinner is brilliant, coming to fruition only because of the wrath of Detective David Mills. Doe believes he is on a mission from God, making him the worst kind of crazy. But does John Doe know that he’s crazy? I think Detective Mills phrased the question best when he asked Doe – and I’m paraphrasing – “When someone’s crazy, as you clearly are, do they know they’re crazy? I mean, do you sit around reading Guns & Ammo, masturbating in a pile of your own feces and say ‘Wow. It is unbelievable how f*cking crazy I am?'” Doe doesn’t think he’s nuts, and despite Mills’ claims to the contrary, Doe is much more than a movie of the week or a f*cking T-shirt.

Annie Wilkes – Misery

Annie is a crazed fan of author Paul Sheldon, but her obsession is not that of a normal person. Whether her intentions of keeping Paul a prisoner in her home are to keep him as some sort of trophy pet or to expedite the creation of his next novel, Annie is a horrifying, demented woman. I’ve said it before – I adore the “hobbling” scene in this movie. It’s not so much for the hobbling process itself, but for Annie’s cold, calm demeanor when she slugs Paul’s ankles with a sledgehammer.

Some films dealing with psychopathic natures

American Psycho
At Close Range
A Clockwork Orange
Basic Instinct
The Collector
Cop Car
The Dark Knight
Dirty Harry
Experiment in Terror
Eye of the Beholder
Fatal Attraction
From Dusk till Dawn

The Good Son
The Green Mile
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
The Hitcher
In the Company of Men
Internal Affairs
The Killer Inside Me
Kiss the Girls
The Last House on the Left
Liberty Stands Still
Man Bites Dog
Morgan – A Suitable Case for Treatment
My Bloody Valentine

Natural Born Killers
No Country for Old Men
Phone Booth
Prom Night
Red Dragon
Romeo Is Bleeding

The Shape of Things
Single White Female
Sleeping with the Enemy
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Training Day
Unlawful Entry
The Vanishing
The Visit
We Need to Talk About Kevin
White Heat

Australian researcher Carlo Caponecchia and colleagues (2012) found that people are more likely to apply the label of psychopath to their own coworkers than population statistics would justify. They shrink back from using this term, however, when they are asked to ponder the actual behavior of their coworkers at the office. The term “psychopath” is losing its meaning as its use becomes increasingly popularized and sensationalized in the media.
The great popular psychopathic characters of fiction are more than mere psychopaths. They exhibit other shades of the dark triad: Machiavellianism (exploiting others) and narcissism (extreme self-centeredness).

A 2012 article in the Journal of Communication by Daniel Shafer and Arthur Raney explores the emotional enjoyment we derive from fiction known as Affective Disposition Theory (ADT) . This theory predicts that we are drawn to fictional characters who we (a) like, (b) want to have succeed, and (c) end their stories on a positive note—in other words, the traditional hero. We want a hero’s behavior to be virtuous and uphold our own moral code. Moral heroes should be rewarded and evil villains should be punished.

SOURCE: Psychopaths in Fact, Fiction, and Your Everyday Life



An Old Friend
Dec 6, 2004
Gulf Coast
One of my favorite TV Shows happens to be Criminal Minds.
Here is some fandom excerpts from their wiki on Psychopaths.

Sociopathic serial killers are extremely disorganized and are much easier to catch than psychopathic serial killers, who are obsessively organized. Sociopaths are extremely prone to violent bursts of anger and cannot appear to be normal while psychopaths can keep their anger bottled up for excessive amounts of time and are masters at the art of deception. Sociopaths also differ from psychopaths in the sense that the former cannot plan ahead while the latter is a master at planning ahead.

There are currently no medical or medicinal treatments for psychopathy, and talk therapy only serves to further the ability to mimic emotions. There is believed to be a genetic propensity in the cases of psychopathy, as the trait appears to run in families. As a possible genetic disorder, there may never be an effective treatment. It must be observed that one possible common cause of psychopathy is abuse.

Aggressive Narcissism
  1. Glibness/superficial charm
  2. Grandiose sense of self-worth\High narcissism
  3. Pathological lying
  4. Cunning/manipulative
  5. Lack of remorse or guilt
  6. Emotionally shallow
  7. Callous/lack of empathy
  8. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
  9. Placing blame on others
Social Deviance
  1. Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
  2. Parasitic lifestyle
  3. Poor behavioral control
  4. Promiscuity\hyperactive sexual behavior or desires
  5. Lack of realistic, long-term goals
  6. Impulsiveness
  7. Irresponsibility
  8. Juvenile delinquency
  9. Early behavioral problems
  10. Revocation of conditional release\
  11. Complete disregard for others (which may even include themselves, such as Suicide Bombers)
  12. Violent and dangerous behavior
  13. Sadism

On Criminal Minds
Criminal Minds ( 2005 )
Criminal Minds: An elite group of profilers analyze the nation's most dangerous criminal minds in an effort to anticipate their next moves before they strike again.

  • Currently 4.32/5
(2692 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 8.2/10 Metascore: N/A RT: N/A
September 26, 2005
Runtime: 60 mins
Genres: Crime Drama Thriller
Countries: USA Canada
Actors: AJ Cook Joe Mantegna Kirsten Vangsness Matthew Gray Gubler Paget Brewster Shemar Moore Thomas Gibson
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