5 Great Devils in Film

With Daniel Radcliffe showing off his horny side in fantasy thriller Horns this week, Top 10 Films and The Reel Deal film show check out our favourite Devils in film…

5. Legend (Tim Curry)

timCurryLegend_top10filmsThe first film in our top five is an example of a great Devil in a cheesy, forgettable film. Tim Curry’s brilliant performance as the Satanic creature is as terrifying as it is remarkably ridiculous in director Ridley Scott’s odd fantasy about elves, dwarves and other mythical creatures battling to save their world from the Lord of Darkness.

4. The Devil’s Advocate (Al Pacino)

al-pacino_devils-advocate_top10filmsThe Godfather himself has a go at the ultimate evil in our film at four. Al Pacino camp’s it up opposite an increasingly perplexed Keanu Reeves who joins a New York City law firm without realising his new boss is the Devil himself!

3. Rosemary’s Baby (Unidentified)

Rosemary's Baby, The Devil, film,Roman PolanskiAt three is one of the most fleeting but powerful appearances of the Devil in film as director Roman Polanski presides over actress Mia Farrow’s brush with the Prince of Darkness. In this story of witchcraft and devil worship, mild-mannered Rosemary is impregnated with the Devil’s child during a harrowing dream sequence that sees the worst kind of evil personified by a pair of animal-like eyes on a haggard face. The fact Satan turns up for just a brief few seconds makes his appearance here even more memorable.

2. The Omen (Harvey Stephens)

damien_the-omen_richard-donner-1976_horror-movies-adults-with-children_top10filmsRichard Donner’s terrifying horror The Omen is our film at two. The scariest thing about Harvey Stephens’ depiction of the Devil is that he is just a child. An innocent face and sweet smile mask a haunting evil that brings devastation and death to those that cross his path. Gregory Peck, who plays the unwitting father of the child, begins to suspect something may be very wrong with his son after a series of strange occurrences. But is he powerless to stop him? A classic of the genre, I’m sure you’ll agree.

1. The Exorcist (Linda Blair)

the-exorcist_linda-blair_horror-movies-adults-with-children_top10filmsBut our number one film is the most frightening of them all. Again, the Devil takes the form of a child, in this case teenager Regan, played by Linda Blair. This haunting tale of possession, despite its roots in the supernatural, is made increasingly unnerving thanks to its recognisable fears – not least the powerlessness of a mother who cannot understand the great evil that has taken control of her daughter. This is made even more interesting by the appearance of the family’s only possible saviour – a Priest who is battling a crippling doubt over his own faith. It all comes together in one of the greatest horror films ever made.

Written by Daniel Stephens & Presented by Rebecca Perfect

You can see more from The Reel Deal on Top 10 Films or on YouTube.

About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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  1. Avatar
    Mark Reply


    Robert De Niro in Angel Heart

    Would the pram baby in It’s Alive count?

  2. Avatar
    Mark Reply

    Also …. I wasn’t going to bother mentioning this, but thinking about it a bit more I think Ian Holm in From Hell could be a contender – he literally morphs into the Devil during the final murder and Jack the Ripper did, in one of his missives to the police, claim he was forwarding his letters from Hell.

  3. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    No list about Devils is complete without mentioning DeNiro in Angel Heart.

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    Evan Crean Reply

    I agree with others that DeNiro’s devil in Angel Heart is at least worth an honorable mention. Tim Curry seems like he would be a fantastic choice to play the devil, so I’m not surprised he’s on this list. He is great at playing creepy villains. I know I was pretty traumatized by his Pennywise in Stephen King’s IT. I agree that the Exorcist belongs at number one. Such a great film and performance by the young Linda Blair.

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    Jeff Downing Reply

    All worthy films, but a demon or devil spawn is not the same as the devil .Several of these depict evil Satanic entities but not THE Devil. The devil himself is in few films since he is prohibitively expensive and difficult to insure.

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