What is the ultimate superpower? Super strength? Super speed? Invisibility? Telepathy? It’s a tough choice, right?
Well, the answer is quite obviously “none of the above.” The ultimate superpower to possess is undoubtedly reality-warping. Why? Well because reality-warping effectively enables the wielder of said power to alter reality to suit their preferences and, as such, do pretty much anything – which, when you think about it, potentially includes granting themselves any other superpower imaginable.
Reality-warping is a superpower that is fairly commonplace in comic books – the likes of Franklin Richards, Mad Jim Jaspers, Mister Mxyzptlk and Proteus, for example, have exhibited the ability to alter reality on various scales – but it’s not restricted to that particular media.
A number of iconic movie characters have also displayed such superpowers and we’re going to run through the best of them. Here are the ten most iconic reality-warpers in movie history (note, this will not be in order of most powerful and will actively avoid iterations of God himself).
10. The Leprechaun (The Leprechaun)
The Leprechaun is a horror movie villain who has appeared in no less than eight movies to date; 1993’s The Leprechaun, 1994’s Leprechaun 2, 1995’s Leprechaun 3, 1997’s Leprechaun 4: In Space, 2000’s Leprechaun: In the Hood, 2003’s Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood, 2012’s Leprechaun’s Revenge and 2014’s Leprechaun: Origins.
The general gist of the movies is that the titular murderous leprechaun – known as “Lubdan” – will go to any lengths to reclaim his stolen gold, including using his reality-warping magical powers on his victims. He can teleport, reattach lost limbs, levitate, conjure objects from nothing, turn one object into something else and has also displayed the ability to grant wishes. He has been played by Warwick Davis in seven movies and WWE’s Hornswoggle in the most recent origin offering.
9. Frank The Rabbit (Donnie Darko)
Frank the Rabbit is a somewhat bizarre anti-hero of sorts from the brilliant 2001 Jake Gyllenhaal movie Donnie Darko. He could be described as something of a “necessary evil,” as he led the titular Darko through a series of events that, while appearing to be quite awful at the time, were for the benefit of the universe itself (he is eventually revealed to be an incarnation of Darko’s sister’s dead boyfriend).
Frank’s powers essentially amount to omnipotence and he is able to manipulate time itself in order to revert the universe to a previous point in time. His reality-warping powers are, therefore, very different to other characters on this list (for one, they require outside acts), but he does undoubtedly possess them.
8. The Mask (The Mask)
The Mask was a 1994 movie adaptation of the Dark Horse comic book title of the same name. It starred Jim Carrey in the titular role and was one of the surprise successes of the year, amassing a whopping $351.6 million at the box office, making it the fourth highest-grossing movie of 1994 (behind only The Lion King, Forrest Gump and True Lies).
The movie saw Carrey’s Stanley Ipkiss coming into possession of a mask belonging to the trickster god Loki – and when he put it on he gained cartoon-like reality-warping powers. He was able to conjure objects from nothing, alter the environment around him, possess other individuals and instantly heal from wounds that would otherwise kill him, in addition to various other powers.
7. Jareth The Goblin King (Labyrinth)
Jareth the Goblin King was the antagonist in the classic 1986 Jim Henson movie Labyrinth. Played by superstar musician David Bowie, Jareth was the ruler of the realm in which the titular labyrinth stood and was an extremely powerful individual to the point of minor reality-warping.
He had a vast array of magical abilities that included, but were not limited to, the ability to transform himself into an owl, the ability to levitate objects, the ability to appear and disappear as he so wished, the ability to alter the environment around him, the ability to defy gravity, the ability to manipulate time and the ability to grant wishes to other individuals.
6. Pinhead (Hellraiser)
Pinhead is the main antagonist – along with his fellow Cenobites – in the Hellraiser series of movies. He is a servant of hell with nails in his head and it is his job to take whoever solves the Lament Configuration (a puzzle box) to hell in order to experience his “pleasures.” He has appeared in nine films to date (1987’s Hellraiser, 1988’s Hellbound: Hellraiser 2, 1992’s Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, 1996’s Hellraiser: Bloodline, 2000’s Hellraiser: Inferno, 2002’s Hellraiser: Hellseeker, 2005’s Hellraiser: Deader, 2005’s Hellraiser: Hellworld and 2011’s Hellraiser: Revelations).
He was played by Doug Bradley in all but the most recent movie, in which he was played by Stephan Smith Collins. His powers include being able to control and alter the appearance of his trademark chains (which he uses to tear people apart), teleportation, mind reading, illusion casting, causing explosions with his mind and conjuring objects out of thin air.
5. Pennywise (It)
Including Pennywise in this list is admittedly cheating somewhat, as the production he appeared in – Stephen King‘s It (1990) – was actually a two-part television movie rather than a cinematic offering (contrary to what a lot of people tend to believe), but he is undoubtedly iconic enough to be placed alongside the other characters on this list.
He is a demonic entity – played by the brilliant Tim Curry – that can appear in any form it chooses but, in the movie version, appeared as a clown in order to lure children. Its powers are immense and, in addition to the aforementioned shapeshifting, it can cast illusions, become invisible, use telepathic powers and control minds, teleport, kill with a touch, regenerate from severe injury, control the weather and conjure objects from nothing.
4. Neo (The Matrix)
Neo – played by Keanu Reeves – is the protagonist of the Matrix trilogy of movies (1999’s The Matrix, 2003’s The Matrix Reloaded and 2003’s The Matrix Revolutions). His real name was Thomas Anderson, but he soon became known as The One when it became clear that he was the one man able to manipulate the Matrix itself – a simulated computer reality.
As The One, Neo is able to essentially warp the reality of the Matrix. This has manifested in the form of superhuman powers such as telekinesis, super speed and super strength, a heightened awareness of the things going on around him, as well as the ability to fly, bringing people back to life and alter the very environment around him.
3. The Genie (Aladdin)
1992’s Aladdin is an absolute Disney classic. The film follows the adventures of the titular kind-hearted Agrabah thief after he acquires a magical lamp that houses an equally magical being – the Genie (voiced inimitably in the original movie by the wonderful late, great Robin Williams). By his very nature, the Genie could grant any wish the owner of the lamp desired and, as such, was an incredibly powerful reality-warper.
In fact, he’s the very definition of a reality-warper, as he can alter reality itself at a whim and defy the laws of nature. He is able to break the fourth wall, give power to other people, grant himself superpowers (such as the strength required to lift a palace) and undo magic spells performed by others.
2. Beetlejuice (Beetlejuice)
Beetlejuice is the titular character in the brilliant 1988 Tim Burton movie of the same name (which, for the record, now has a confirmed sequel on the way!). The awesome Michael Keaton played the character (who is actually called “Betelgeuse”, officially), who was a “bio-exorcist” whose job it was to scare away living beings who had moved into the homes of recently deceased people.
An obnoxious and vulgar (but very funny) character, Beetlejuice could be called or banished by somebody simply saying his name three times. He possessed vast reality-warping powers and was able to possess and control people, manipulate the very environment around him, transform himself into various forms, pull objects out of thin air and animate otherwise inanimate objects.
1. Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare On Elm Street)
Freddy Krueger is undoubtedly the most iconic reality-warper in the history of cinema. The terrifying horror villain first appeared in 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street and has since appeared in 1985’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, 1987’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, 1988’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, 1989’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, 1991’s Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, 1994’s Wes Craven’s New Nightmare and 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason (in which he goes up against another horror icon in Friday the 13th‘s Jason Voorhees). He was played by Robert Englund in those movies, but was recently played by Jackie Earle Haley in the 2010 reboot of the franchise.
Freddy is a deceased child killer who appears in the dreams of his victims – a place in which he has complete control over reality. He can manifest his powers in various ways, such as transforming his own appearance, creating objects from nothing, animating objects, possessing people and granting himself superhuman attributes.