Come on, admit it, we love the crazies. And since the 1970s, movies have introduced us to a slew of twisted, depraved killers and sociopaths that shock us, but also deeply intrigue us.
Sociopathy is defined as a type of personality disorder. People with this disorder often display extreme antisocial attitudes (which many times result in criminal acts) and a lack of conscience. They are unable to feel guilt or have empathy for others. Real sociopathy is obviously no laughing matter as it is a serious mental health problem. And not all sociopaths are killers or visa versa.
But today we are looking at our favorite fictional sociopaths and trying to understand what it is that makes them so attractive. The general public has a love/hate relationship with these characters, they seem to be a guilty pleasure for us. For most people, the idea of killing and hurting others is almost unthinkable, so when we are faced with sociopaths, it is natural for us to be fascinated by something that is unknown to us. We cannot begin to comprehend what goes on in their minds and this is where the macabre fascination comes in.
And when they are smoking hot as well? Then we become really conflicted! But don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Secretly. Here are 15 movie sociopaths we were all swooning over.
15. The Joker in Suicide Squad
Jared Leto is possibly the hottest man on the planet. Let’s face it– he would look good in a trash bag, so it’s no surprise that even as The Joker in Suicide Squad (2016), with green hair, black eye makeup, lipstick and freaky teeth, we were still drooling over him. And it wasn’t only his costume that should have put us off, but also the off-the-wall character he plays in the flick; a lover of anarchy and a man not above torturing others to get what he wants.
The 30 Seconds To Mars frontman apparently didn’t make life on set easy for his co-stars either. He employed a Method style of acting which meant that he wouldn’t break character and would behave outrageously even sending his co-stars bizarre Joker-inspired gifts– like live rats.
14. Lisa Rowe in Girl Interrupted
You may have forgotten that Angelina Jolie even played in this movie, but she did and she pulled off one hell of a sociopath!
In the psychological thriller Girl Interrupted (1999) Jolie played the supporting role of Lisa Rowe, alongside main actress Winona Ryder’ s character Susanna Kaysen, who gets admitted to a 1960s mental hospital after trying to commit suicide. There she meets Lisa, who is a diagnosed sociopath and a wayward long term patient who delights in disrupting the ward and wreaking havoc. The two become friends, but of course, Lisa is not a very good influence.
Angelina played this sociopathic role so well and so convincingly that she was awarded an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
As spiteful and manipulative as she was, you couldn’t help but secretly fancy Lisa. Even though you knew she would probably be the crazy stalker type girl, you can’t argue that she was hot, even in a hospital gown.
13. Tyler Durden in Fight Club
This trippy film seemed to defy any genre and gave us two hunks to admire, namely Brad Pitt and Edward Norton who play the same unnamed man. Norton is a 30-year-old man tired with his mundane, boring life and corporate career. Seeking comfort from his insomnia, he starts joining multiple support groups and meets Marla Singer (Helen Bonham Carter) who plays the love interest. After he meets Tyler Durden (Pitt) they start a fight club and slowly build an army of dissolute men.
To be fair, Tyler had far more problems than just a smidgen of sociopathy. The main character was suffering from a type of split personality as well. But even severe mental illness couldn’t quite taint the confident, sexy, and rebellious Tyler Durden. And that body in the fight scenes, I mean, damn.
12. Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct
Who can forget that scene in the police station when Sharon Stone famously uncrossed and crossed her legs? Even before it was officially released it had tongues wagging about the sex scenes and graphic violence. Yup, Basic Instinct created quite a stir when it was released in 1992.
The film told the story of a provocative writer named Catherine Tramell (Stone), who becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation. Police detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) suspects that Catherine brutally murdered a wealthy rock star, but that doesn’t stop him from getting romantically involved with her.
Catherine was about as cold blooded as they come, a femme fatale in the true sense of the word. During the film, Catherine is described as having narcissistic personality disorder with a risk addiction. But none of that matters because she’s so gorgeous that no one can resist her.
11. Amy Dunne in Gone Girl
When Gillian Flynn wrote her breakout novel Gone Girl, she really created a delicious sociopath for us. And in the 2014 film of the same name, Rosamund Pike brought her to life, and it was strangely arousing…
In this psychological thriller, Amy Dunne is a dissatisfied wife, convinced that all her problems are the result of her husband Nick Dunne (played by Ben Affleck). But instead of just leaving, him she decides to do something far worse, and pretty twisted.
Once you realize what she is up to, Amy becomes a character that you love to hate. Amy is beautiful, but exceptionally devious going to great lengths to gather sympathy from those around her. But despite how dangerous she was, there was something deeply erotic about Amy.
10. Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford in The Killer Inside Me
This one is a little more debatable than the others, but I think we can all agree that Casey Affleck‘s portrayal of a psycho serial killer in the Killer Inside Me was probably his best role ever. His performance as a sadistic serial killer was stellar even though the film was heavily criticized for its graphic violence.
In the 2010 crime drama, Affleck plays the role of Deputy Sherriff Lou Ford, a ruthless killer who is prepared to do anything to keep himself from getting caught. He’s so manipulative that he is able to easily fool those around him, but his most deplorable trait is the way he treats women– and that’s very, very badly.
During the film, Ford has two love interests played by Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson, and both end up being cruelly beaten by Lou in protracted violent scenes that made some moviegoers feel physically ill.
9. Suzie Toller in Wild Things
When this movie was released in 1998 it wasn’t only the steamy threesome scenes that had everyone’s tongues wagging, although admittedly they are probably some of the best scenes in the movie.
The story takes place at a Miami high school where two students, upset with their teacher, decide to take revenge by seducing him and then falsely accusing him of rape. The teacher, Sam Lombardo, was played by Matt Dillon and the girls Suzie Toller and Kelly Van Ryan were played by Neve Campbell and Denise Richards. Now, while both were very cruel and calculating they were also both smoking hot, and as much as you loathed their characters you couldn’t deny feeling just a little attracted to these bad girls.
8. The Joker in The Dark Knight
We know, we know, we’ve already mentioned the Joker, but this list would not be complete if we failed to pay homage to Heath Ledger’s incredible performance in The Dark Knight.
As we all know, his role in the 2008 superhero film was his last; he died shortly afterward from a prescription drug overdose. He was rumored to have been suffering from insomnia and with the way, he prepared for the role of the Joker we’re not surprised. He spent a month alone in a hotel room working on the character’s stance, personality, voice, and other traits, keeping a journal of the Jokers thoughts and feelings. Who wouldn’t have problems sleeping after that?
For many fans, it was his most epic role ever, and I’m inclined to agree. Yes, he was a psychopathic, mass murdering, ruthless clown in a purple suit, but he was incredible and sexy, in a weird sort of way.
7. Kathryn Merteuil in Cruel Intentions
If you’ve never experienced Sarah Michelle Gellar as the come hither vixen in Cruel Intentions do yourself a favor and watch it. You will not be disappointed.
The 1999 movie, starring Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon (equally gorgeous but very wholesome), and Gellar, tells the story of two spoiled New York teens (Phillippe and Gellar) who play dangerous games with other people’s hearts. Kathryn, who is secretly in love with her step-brother is a cruel and calculating young woman who appears to be the perfect lady to the world, but is really anything but a lady.
Gellar’s portrayal of a young seductress was quite something and even though you loathed her character, she was a fox! So bad to the bone that it got her nominated Best Villain at the 2000 MTV Movie Awards.
6. Mallory Knox in Natural Born Killers
When two amazing directors come together on a project you can expect something good, but when those two are Oliver Stone and Quentin Tarantino, you know you’re going to have something memorable. That’s exactly what happened with the 1994 cult classic Natural Born Killers.
Now granted if Mallory Knox and her husband Mickey went on a shooting rampage down your street, you probably wouldn’t be admiring them, but ten minutes into the movie you’ll realize that even though she’s bad to the bone and has no regard for human life, Mallory is one sexy and provocative character.
The satirical crime drama follows the story of star-crossed lovers Mickey and Mallory Knox played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis, who become mass murderers who are glorified and almost revered by the media. While Harrelson also gave a killer performance as a stone cold murderer, it was Lewis, with her lithe body and teeny outfits that caught (and held) everyone’s attention.
5. Patrick Bateman in American Psycho
No list of sexy sociopaths would be complete without the legendary Patrick Bateman.
Christian Bale was cast in the role of Patrick Bateman in the 2000 black comedy/horror flick American Psycho (based on the book of the same name written by Bret Easton Ellis) and the casting couldn’t have been better. Bale got under the skin of the character perfectly, helping to make the movie the cult classic it is today.
Patrick is a young and sexy professional in New York, working for a big corporation. But a gorgeous apartment, good job, friends, and money aren’t enough for Patrick; he has a blood lust that drives him to kill. And as gruesome as the kill scenes are, you have to admit– Bateman was, well, to die for.
4. Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men
Personally, I’ve never felt quite as conflicted as I did by Javier Bardem’s character, Anton Chigurh, in No Country for Old Men, the 2007 neo-Western thriller. While we never really learn that much about the back-story of Anton, one thing is blatantly clear– he is a merciless and calculating killer, completely calm and totally in control.
While he sports a truly awful hairstyle (it’s set in Texas in the 1980s– need I say more?) and spends most of the movie shooting people with a captive bolt gun, which is intended for use on cattle. As troubling as the attraction to this character was, in 2016, the movie was voted the 10th best film of the 21st century. It seems many had the same idea.
3. She in Antichrist
This 2009 experimental horror film is definitely not for the faint of heart. In fact, many folks with strong hearts and stomachs found it difficult to sit through this deeply disturbing, albeit brilliant film.
The story follows a couple who are in mourning after their young son dies in a tragic accident, falling to his death while his parents are having sex. The mother is racked with grief, so depressed that she is hospitalized. The husband, who is a therapist, decides to take over her treatment and the two retreat to an isolated cabin in the woods to recoup.
Needless to say, things do not go well at all. The disturbed woman is so conflicted with her own sexuality that she cuts off her own clitoris, and that’s nothing compared to what she does to her husband.
‘He’ and ‘She’ are played by Willem Dafoe and the stunning Charlotte Gainsbourg. Charlotte pulls off an epic performance as a very disturbed young woman, perhaps not a sociopath but still very, very sick.
2. Sweeny Todd in Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Singing, shaving, dancing, and eating human meat pies– yup it’s got to be a Tim Burton film!
Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a 2007 musical starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. It tells the story of a barber named Sweeny Todd, who returns to London after spending fifteen years in a penal colony for a crime he didn’t commit.
Todd stays with Mrs. Lovett (Carter), a struggling baker and together they cook up (so to speak) a diabolical plan, where he shaves the clients, then slits their throats and sends them into the kitchen to be ground up into meat pies.
1. Dr. Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs
The words “sexy” and “cannibal” rarely go together except in one instance– Dr. Hannibal Lecter. But this entry is slightly different from the rest.
We got to know the alluring Dr. Lecter first in Silence of The Lambs (1991) and then again in Hannibal (2001) and Red Dragon (2002) as a brilliant psychiatrist who is also a serial killer who enjoys “eating the rude.” And they could have found no one more suited to play the part than silver fox, Anthony Hopkins.
What makes Dr. Lecter so hot isn’t just his mature, handsome face, it had more to do with his mind and of course the love/hate relationship with Clarice Starling. He was so clever, charming and in control and even though clinically insane you couldn’t help but feel a strong attraction to him.