8 Incredibly Terrifying Grandparental Figures In Films

Terrifying Parents

It’s always smart to look up to those who’ve managed to stay alive for considerably longer than we have; clearly they did something right. In the world of villains and murderers – this quality goes double, for it means that they are not only capable of murder but also cunning enough to get away with their evil deeds.

Here are some older mentors and parental figures that you straight up do not want to mess around with. Stone-cold killers in wrap-around sunglasses.

8. Abby and Martha in Arsenic and Old Lace

There’s something ridiculously terrifying about death coming in the form of two merciful old ladies. The fact that they regard the whole process of killing old single men as a charity and only go after the nice guys makes it even worse.

Sure – it’s a comedy, but it wasn’t a comedy to that poor bastard in the window seat. Also there’s the fact that they make their delusional nephew do all the hard work of digging graves by telling him that he is digging for the Panama Canal, which is just mean. If the jig is ever up, you bet your ass they’ll be finding poor Roosevelt’s fingerprints on the shovel and no one else’s.

What makes these two sweet spinsters so scary is how lucid they appear to be from start to finish. Passing as eccentric old ladies, there seems to be no harm in joining them to a cup of wine.

7. John Rooney in Road To Perdition

Anyone who can humiliate James Bond is automatically badass in my book – it helps to be Paul Newman as well.

Rooney is scary because of the heavy amount of compassion he exhibits to those around him despite having very little value for human life. You feel bad for the guy as he regrettably orders the slaying of one of his favored henchmen to save his sociopathic son – forgetting entirely that the man is still a cold blooded murderer himself. Even at the end – after you’ve rooted for the hero the entire film, when John’s number is finally up he takes it with a sad dignity that you can’t help but to feel bad for.

It’s just so easy to forget that the man is a ruthless crime boss, which is exactly why you should never let your guard down around him. The scariest enemy is the one that instills doubt in your actions.

6. Grandpa Sawyer in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

While we see him way past his prime, he was the man who started it all. Along with his late wife he managed to raise a party of cannibals, including the star of the show, Leatherface. Of course, just because he’s old doesn’t mean that he can take you out – you just have to stand very still for a long period of time.

Still – his scene is one of the more disturbing ones of the film, and he’s the reason. He appears to be barely alive, almost as if he is some zombified supernatural being. I guess eating human flesh all your life isn’t as good for you as one would think.

Gramps was played by John Dugan in the film – and I think it’s interesting to note that he will be apparently reprising the role in the upcoming Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D, a film we all no doubt saw coming but didn’t want to emotionally accept.

5. Emperor Palpatine In Star Wars

I wanted to avoid any wizards or devils or anything like that because it seemed like cheating – however Palpatine is kind of the ultimate evil master so he had to be on here somewhere. The guy can shoot lighting from his hands, and he’s like 80. Imagine the kind of stuff he could do back in the day.

The man plays both sides like a pro – acting as the caring chancellor while slowly setting up the dominos one by one as a secret Sith lord. The best part? He seems to have no good reason to do any of it. The man has no allies, no motive; he just wants to destroy the galaxy and rule over the rubble for some unspecified reason.

And even on the small scale he’s a terror. He manages to plant fear into Anakin, twist him over to the dark side (not that it was very hard convincing that dunce) and make him hunt down and try to kill his own children. What a perfect asshole.

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David is a video editor, writer, and movie fanatic. After graduating from Full Sail University he now spends his days in Western Massachusetts working as a freelance article and sketch writer, as well as a comedy workshop moderator for Cracked.com. (Click Here to View David's work on Cracked.com) He enjoys over-analyzing movies, punk rock, and referring to himself in the third person.

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