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While "Criminal Minds" offers a new "unsub" or two every Wednesday night, some are just plain scarier than others. Sometimes it's the way they kill, sometimes it's the number of victims, and sometimes, well, it's just the nature or personality of the killer. Here are six of some of the very scariest from the last six seasons, from the least scary to the most.
6. The exorcist priest (Father Silvano, played by Carmen Argenziano) in Season 4, Episode 17, "Demonology." Father Silvano arrived in DC, seeking revenge on four young men who happened to be friends of Agent Emily Prentiss from her teenage years. Silvano blamed the young men for the death of a friend of his, another priest .Silvano didn't directly kill them, but the stress of the (unapproved by the Church) exorcisms, coupled with lack of water and possibly drugs, caused the death of three of the four. The scariness here comes from the act of the exorcism, the fear of actual evil, the shadows and candle-light, and maybe the music. Face it: anybody who's seen the movie "The Exorcist" probably has a life-long fear of exorcisms!
5. Frank Breitkopf, Episode "No Way Out" parts 1 and 2, Season 1 and 2. Serial killer Frank Breitkopf (played by Keith Carradine) has been operating for years, but never in one place. The team tracks him along a highway route to a town in Nevada, where the one surviving victim, Jane, lives. Frank returns every year to leave her "gifts" made with the bones of his victims. His habit of leaving the heads of his victims goes a long way towards making him scary, as does his making jewelry and wind chimes from human bones. But it's his total lack of empathy and remorse that puts him on this list. (Yes, there's more, and you can watch the episodes on Hulu!)
4. Mason Turner (Garrett Dillahunt), in Season 4, Episode 25 "To Hell...and Back." Quadriplegic Mason forces his brother Lucas (Paul Rae II) to kidnap homeless people in Detroit, bring them across the border to their pig farm in Canada, and, as Mason watches through a camera system, Lucas kills them, cuts them into pieces, and feeds them to their pigs. His scariness comes from his control over developmentally-challenged Lucas, who is really a sad character, and from the sheer delight he takes in watching the each of the 80+ victims die. (The BAU found the shoes of the victims, allowing them to do a reasonably accurate count.) Feeding people parts to pigs amps up the creepy number.
3. Floyd Feylinn, Satanic killer and cannibal, in Season 3, Episode 8, "Lucky." Floyd Feylinn (played by Jamie Kennedy, almost unrecognizable in this role) was in a mental hospital until he turned 18, when state law forced his release, though he was by no means cured. Young girls have been disappearing, and bits and pieces of the corpses are found in the Florida swamps. Alligators? No, Floyd Feylinn. Part of his scariness comes from his little altar to Satan and his book of "girl" recipes (think, "It's a COOK BOOK!!!"), but the icing on the scary cake was his evil grin when he confessed that the last victim was part of all of them - he'd put her in the barbecue he served to searchers. Vegetarianism suddenly sounds more appealing.
2. Flynn (played by Tim Curry), in Season 5, Episode 22, "Our Darkest Hour," and Season 6 Episode 1, "The Longest Night." Flynn is creepy on a number of levels. Tim Curry does a wonderful job making Flynn simply look terrifying. Flynn creeps into homes during black-outs and wipes out families, leaving a child as witness. He takes the daughter of a cop, not so coincidentally one who lost his family to Flynn as a child, killing the cop and wounding his sister and Derek, then forces the little girl to help him get into houses. She, fortunately, is too smart for him. Flynn, with ragged clothes, nasty brown teeth, and probably a stench (when will "smell-o-vision be on all TV sets?), makes your skin crawl, and gives you an urgent desire to flee. Don't believe? Watch the episodes again.
1. The Reaper, George Foyet, in Episode 9, season 5; Episode 25, Season 4 at the end of "To Hell...and Back;" and Episode 18, Season 4 "Omnivore" Played by C. Thomas Howell, Foyet is a ruthless killer who stopped for a few years only because of a deal he made with a cop to stop searching for him. When the cop dies and Hotch won't make the same deal, it gets personal, and results in the death of Hotch's wife. Foyet wins the top spot in this creepy scary list because of his dogged determination to kill and to hunt his prey, his hiding skills, his "innocent" looks versus his scary mask, and his ability to stab himself 29 times or so to look like a victim but survive to kill again. He also has the scary gift of apparent omniscient. You can run from him, but he will find you. Keep the lights on.
Viewers will disagree with some, move some around, and maybe pick their own scariest killers, but that's part of the fun of watching "Criminal Minds." The series airs Wednesdays at 9 pm ET on CBS.
(Sources: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/criminal_minds/recaps/ , http://www.tv.com/criminal-minds/demonology/episode/1252650/recap.html?tag=episode_recap;recap , http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1256093/, http://sharetv.org/shows/criminal_minds/episodes/434666 )