An axe-wielding psychopath is always a scary TV villain, but somehow a well dressed, calm killer is even more unnerving. That cool, collected veneer always seems to mask a ruthless person willing to stop at nothing. Here are some characters that chill us to the bone with their combination of violence and decorum.
Gustavo Fring, "Breaking Bad"
There was always something scary about Gus, even in his early appearances. But it wasn't until the appropriately named fourth season opener "Box Cutter" that we saw the darkest side of Gus Fring. Watching him kill his closest henchman just to make a point to Walt was truly terrifying. Gus is not a man to be trifled with.
The show's creators explicitly planned for Gus to be the opposite of previous villains on the show. As Vince Gilligan puts it, the creative team thought, "'Why don't we go in the complete opposite direction? Why don't we have a bad guy who doesn't snort meth off the end of a bully knife? Who isn't a screaming lunatic?'"
Brother Mouzone, "The Wire"
Few TV killers have made such a big impact as Brother Mouzone, espescially given the fact that he was only in a handful of episodes (and even then, only on screen for a few minutes or seconds at a time). He wears a bow tie and suit, reads intellectual magazines, and is incredibly soft-spoken. Oh yeah, and he's also the most feared hitman on the East Coast.
In the first season of "Angel," Spike hires a vampire called Marcus to torture Angel. Marcus is one of the creepiest villains of that season, for three main reasons: he's a vampire, he's a pedophile, and he's a master torturer. Marcus wears pressed clothes, never raises his voice, and listens to Mozart's Symphony #41 on repeat. Super creepy.
The Gentlemen, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
Speaking of vampires, these voiceless demon creeps from the classic episode "Hush" are well-dressed, violent, and constantly wearing these giant smiles. Just goes to show that you shouldn't always trust someone just because they're smiling at you.
Adelai Niska, "Firefly"
Oh wow, when did this list turn into a love letter to Joss Whedon? Adelai Niska was impeccably dressed, erudite, and unruffled. He was also a criminal mastermind who enjoyed showing off his tortured victims to prospective business partners just so they knew his reputation was based on fact. He might not be scarier than the Reavers, but he's still pretty chilling.