Ah, the movies. The pictures. A movie is a wish your heart makes to your brain. A movie is a secret shared by millions of people. A movie is a form of commerce where the money is dreams. But sometimes the dreams are frightening, like that one about your Mom and your boss.
Ever since that train tried and failed to run over all those people in 1896, the unwashed masses have lined up at the local cinematheque and nickelodeon to have the absolute pants scared off them. Whether it’s people fainting watching “Freaks” or people storming out of “mother!” and calling it pretentious garbage. (Pretentious yes, garbage no.)
Regardless, horror lives and dies (or rather, stubbornly refuses to die for several sequels) by the strength of its villain. And over the years, the silver screen has birthed some truly terrifying fiends. But it’s also given us some who are just misunderstood. Broken souls who need help. But which of them are likely to seek it? Well, read on and ye shall know.
50. Krug Stillo “The Last House on the Left” (1972)
Krug Stillo represents the absolute worst parts of humanity. He’s a murdering, drug dealing, child abusing, sexual predator who bullies his own son into suicide. There’s absolutely no way this man is supporting therapy and he probably thinks people who go are weak.
49. Richie Gecko “From Dusk Till Dawn” (1996)
This character is disgusting in every possible sense of the word. He’s a sexual predator, a murderer and a foot fetishist. Yet somehow, he still managed to be made of the same genetic ingredients as his much more charming and attractive brother. There’s no way Richie Gecko is seeking therapy.
48. The Old Man “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974)
The patriarch of our favorite messed-up little backwoods family, the nameless gas station owner, simply credited as “The Old Man” would never be caught dead in therapy. And he would disown his own children seven ways from Sunday if he caught them in one. He really is a bastard too. A cannibal, a murderer, a child abuser. The old man’s motto is: “There’s just some things you have to do in life. Don’t mean you gotta like it.” That sounds pretty close to: “Toughen up, snowflake” to us.
47. Him “mother!” (2017)
Forget about God-complexes, what do you do when you’re literally the personification of God? He isn’t a villain in the technical sense of the word. More just a deeply negligent gaslighter (who may have engaged in some light cannibalism). Still, He’s an artsy poet, living in seclusion with His much younger wife, who he steamrolls. He’s every bit as villainous as the average liberal arts college English professor. And only slightly more likely to seek therapy.
46. Rev. Harry Powell “Night of the Hunter” (1955)
Speaking of God, you just know this man doesn’t believe in therapy. If “Night of the Hunter” were set in the modern day, Harry Powell would be an uber right wing evangelical who posts on Facebook about how “Back in my day, we didn’t go to therapy. Back in my day we drank from the garden hose, said yes sir to the garden hose and got beaten by the garden hose when we were bad.” He also probably would’ve probably convinced a ton of people to go to the Capitol on January 6th, but wouldn’t have dared go himself.
45. Art the Clown “All Hallow’s Eve” (2013) and the “Terrifier” (2016) Franchise
This one’s a trick entry. Art the Clown would more than happily go to a therapist’s office. At the end of the day. While the therapist is closing up. Why? Simple. To eat the therapist’s face and rub feces on his walls.
44. Michael Myers “Halloween” (1978)
You gotta hand it to Michael Myers. That man was dedicated to not working on himself. Even as a child. He was six years old when he whacked his sister. That’s stage two of Piaget’s Stages of Development. He barely had object permanence down. But the minute he got to Smith’s Grove, Michael Myers went quiet, and then proceeded to spend a decade and a half ignoring every therapist that tried to talk to him before escaping again.
43. Freddy Kruger “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)
It’s odd that Freddy is “the funny one” of all the classic slashers. The one with personality. Really, he is the most despicable of all of them, considering most of his victims when he was still alive were young children. Freddy clearly never went to therapy for the plethora of violent mental illnesses plaguing him. Now, he’s a vengeful, knife-fingered ghost. And worse… a guy who won’t stop doing bits.
42. Ash “Alien” (1979)
The science officer on the Nostromo, secret android and annoying-ass Nietzsche guy, Ash isn’t going to therapy. For one thing, he’s a robot. He doesn’t have authentic human emotions. But more than that, he’s the type of scientist who discredits psychology outright because he thinks it’s a “soft science” with no value.
41. Jack Torrance “The Shining” (1980)
Similar to Him in “mother!,” Jack Torrance isn’t a fan of asking for help. He’s a troubled playwright who thinks that in order to be artistically valid you need to misuse substances. And admittedly… he’s right. The combined bloodstreams of the writers here at the Hard Times could probably fill a CVS.
40. The Green Man “Men” (2022)
Men would literally rather completely populate an idyllic English village and then give birth to identical copies of themselves out of improvised wombs for about three straight minutes than go to therapy.
39. Margaret White “Carrie” (1976)
Margaret White is a truly horrifying (and tragic) human being. A religious fanatic, a child abuser and someone deeply unskilled at chopping carrots. Margaret definitely needs therapy, since she’s carrying around some heavy-duty trauma from her husband, but she probably thinks that therapy is sinful, so we really highly doubt that she’d go.
38. Ellen Taper Leigh “Hereditary” (2018)
Ellen is from that generation that would rather become a literal queen of Hell, by wedding the living spirit of the demon Paimon in the form of her granddaughter in the body of her grandson than go to therapy. It’s tragic as we know she suffers from mental illnesses, but as anyone who’s ever talked to their grandparents knows, she’s not going.
37. Lord Summerisle “The Wicker Man” (1973)
Lord Summerisle doesn’t go to therapy. Lord Summerisle buys candles from Gwyneth Paltrow. Lord Summerisle goes for a walk in the woods because it’s “better than antidepressants.” Lord Summerisle is excited to tell you how promising LSD and psilocybin have been in treating depression and anxiety and doesn’t want to hear a word about THC-induced schizophrenia. Our bodies come from the earth. So we should try herbal remedies.
36. Dr. Jack Griffin “The Invisible Man” (1933)
We realize we’ve used this one before, but men would also rather invent complicated scientific potions that render them completely invisible, hatch a scheme to take over the world and derail a train just for shits and giggles than go to therapy. Real talk, though, the original Invisible Man’s outfit is pretty amazing. The overcoat, the top hat, and those four-lensed sunglasses. Those sunglasses are so iconic, they’re actually now commonly called Griffin Sunglasses because of this man. Ten points for being a fashion pioneer. No points for mental health. But who needs good mental health when you’ve got style for days?
35. Nathan Grantham “Creepshow” (1982)
Close your eyes. Well, actually don’t. You need them to read this. Imagine you’ve closed your eyes. Now with your eyes not closed, imagine the world if Dads went to therapy. It’s pretty nice, right? Ah well. Not to be in this case, sadly. Nathan Grantham is a crusty old fucker with one thing on his mind. Father’s Day Cake.
34. Patrick Bateman “American Psycho” (2000)
A titan of Wall Street, the only killer in the ‘80s with a more sadistic agenda than Patrick Bateman was Ronald Reagan himself. That being said, it does actually seem like that Patrick would go to therapy. He has those male manipulator vibes. He’d go because his girlfriend forced him to, but he’d go to one session, spend it talking about how much she drives him crazy and then use therapy buzzwords to more effectively gaslight the people around him.
33. Annie Wilkes “Misery” (1990)
Like “Rick and Morty” fans on the prowl for Szechuan Sauce, Annie Wilkes is one bad parasocial interaction away from having a total and complete meltdown. The difference is, while “Rick and Morty” fans throw outrageous temper tantrums and walls of angry, ranting text online when they don’t get their way, Annie proceeds with simple homicidal intention. More power to her, I say.
32. Mona Wasserman “Beau is Afraid” (2023)
Listen, we’ve talked a lot about men over the course of this list. Now, let’s discuss Moms. Moms would rather set up an elaborate city-wide maze of deception and gruesome violence before taking you to meet your penis-monster Dad and then having you symbolically re-inserted into the womb via drowning than go to therapy. Real talk, I do think Mona would go to one session with a therapist, but the minute the therapist tried to tell her that her attachment to her son was unhealthy, she’d storm out. Also, she owns a pharmaceutical company, so there’s no way she’s getting hooked on her own supply.
31. The Entity “Skinamarink” (2022)
Everyone dreams of that special day. That special day that comes only once in a lifetime. That day, of course, is the day you see your step-parents cry. Sadly for Kevin and Kaylee, the Entity in Kyle Edward Ball’s “Skinamarink” that serves as their de facto wicked step-parent is made of sterner stuff than that. The Entity believes that TV is the best babysitter a child can have, in corporal punishment (knives in eyes, loss of mouth privileges, and a good old fashioned no toilet day). It’s not going to go to therapy. It probably believes all medical services are just wastes of money.
30. Norman Bates “Psycho” (1960)
Mr. Mommy Issues himself, Norman Bates is a soul badly in need of some therapy to deal with his complicated and manifold issues with women and sex. It would be hard to get him to go, though. He’s from that era where the stigma around therapy is just too great. Plus, he’d have to see if his mother would let him go.