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10 Most Memorable Movie Devils

Devils, like chocolate cookies, come in all manner of shapes and sizes.
Memorable Movie Devils List
By  · Published on October 28th, 2021

5. Faust (1926)


Don’t beat yourself up for thinking that Mephistopheles in Faust is Satan himself. He’s made up to look bedevillish, but he aint the big boy Belzebub of F.W. Murnau’s epic retelling of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s classic tale. That figure makes its grand appearance early in the film, setting the stage for Mephistopheles to lure Faust into the dark side. What is so striking about the image of Satan Murnau sketched is the scale of the beast. As he raises a cloaked arm that casts a plague over a small village, his head scrapes the sky like some proto-inspiration for the mad monsters of Attack on Titan. We’ve seen Satan in movies before and after, but he’s never been quite this big, which makes this version unique. It’s an uncanny image that likely shot cold water into the hearts of god-fearing Christians the world over, and it still manages to inspire the creeps almost 100 years later. (Jacob Trussell)

4. The Witch (2015)

The Witch

The devil’s presence hangs heavy over every moment of The Witch as a pious family heads into the wild to be closer to god. Ironic, isn’t it? As their situation and beliefs collide, unnatural evils pull at every nerve leading fear to take hold. The young ones die, the adults lose their shit entirely, and as everyone tries to lay the blame for the ongoing misfortune at teenage Thomasin’s (Anya Taylor-Joy) feet the twins begin speaking to the family’s goat, Black Phillip.

They’re barking mad, obviously, as all twins are, but as their little nightmare house on the prairie collapses in bloody and brutal fashion the dark lord finally makes a proper appearance. Black Phillip speaks to Thomasin and asks if she’d like to “live deliciously” — a phrase which immediately entered the pop culture lexicon — and as she responds in the affirmative, the devil appears in immaculately dressed human form. After all that’s led up to this, she understandably follows his lead, strips off her clothes, and ascends to devilishly new heights. You don’t say no to a good guy like the devil. (Rob Hunter)

3. Constantine (2005)


Come gather ‘round, horror fans, and hear tell of the best portrayal of Satan on screen, as presented by Peter Stormare in the 2005 film Constantine. This is not the place for any slander against that film; this is a Constantine-loving space. While Keanu Reeves as John Constantine and Rachel Weisz as a weary cop should be enough selling points, the cherry on top is Stormare’s representation of Lucifer. He is decked out all in white, with gaunt, sunken-in eyes and no eyebrows to speak of. Instead of seeming like an all-powerful being, he appears sickly. But don’t let that fool you. While he may only be on screen for a few minutes, he steals the show as he sneers his lines through a disarming grin that betrays his own glee in the face of human tragedy. (Mary Beth McAndrews)

2. Prince of Darkness (1987)

Prince Of Darkness

Were it up to me, John Carpenter films would land on every list regardless of the topic. He deserves it, we can finagle things to make it happen, what’s the issue? Happily enough, there’s no finagling of details necessary for this under-appreciated horror gem from the master to land so highly on a list of the best movie devils. Some might disagree seeing as Carpenter’s devil spends the vast majority of its screen-time as a swirling vat of illuminated green goo, but it’s no less powerful or mysterious a force just because it’s in liquid form.

The hold it has over the booksmart humans who enter its church-like domain grows exponentially, and what’s more evil than shoving high-level mathematics down these poor saps’ throats? It/he drives them towards murder and madness in an effort to open a door between Hell and our world, and uses video signals to portend of what might yet come if that barrier is breached. For a brief moment the door between here and there cracks, via a mirror portal, and part of his true form comes through — it’s a terrific sequence that fills you with dread and awe at the thought of how close this threat is to ending life as we know it. Every devil should be accompanied by one of Carpenter’s best scores. (Rob Hunter)

1. Legend (1985)

Legend Ridley Scott Pinewood Fire Darkness
Universal Pictures

Gonna be honest right up front and admit that Ridley Scott‘s Legend really doesn’t do it for me outside of three elements. Tangerine Dream‘s score remains a dreamy nod to the fantastical. Mia Sara‘s goth look woke me up as a sleepy teenager, and I haven’t slept since. And the devil brought to life by Tim Curry‘s performance and Rob Bottin‘s masterful makeup/prosthetic effects has never been topped. It’s as classic-looking a presentation as you’ll find — red skin, hooven feet, large horns — and it’s all the more imposing for it. Curry laughs, snarls, and charges across the screen, and his immense force is inescapable. While much of the film feels intentionally “stagey” in its presentation, Legend’s portrayal of Darkness gives the character personality, wit, and scale making you believe in both his intentions and his possibilities. (Rob Hunter)

Your dark lord would really appreciate it if you read more 31 Days of Horror Lists!

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.