Jake Gyllenhaal's character in ''Nightcrawler'' is a first-rate sociopath who oozes danger. He fits right in with other famous cinematic creeps whose dead-eyed stares, unsettling demeanors, and all-around lack of humanity give us the willies. Here's a ranking.
1. Travis Bickle
Taxi Driver, 1976
You tawkin’ to him? If so, watch out. The vigilante cowboy (Robert De Niro) has killed. And he’s terrible at first dates.
2. Nurse Ratched
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 1975
Purse-mouthed and unyielding, Louise Fletcher’s villain embodies the ills of authority.
3. Arthur Leigh Allen
John Carroll Lynch’s suspect carries knives, kills chickens for dinner, and says icily (and unconvincingly), ”I’m not the Zodiac. And if I was, I certainly wouldn’t tell you.”
4. Duane Hall
Annie Hall, 1977
Before playing more prominent oddballs, Christopher Walken was Annie’s bizarro brother, who threatens to heed l’appel du vide.
5. Rupert Pupkin
The King of Comedy, 1982
The late-night wars have been bad at times, but at least no one’s gone as far as the fame-starved, host-kidnapping weirdo (De Niro, representing again!).
6. Lou Bloom
Jake Gyllenhaal’s videojournalistic predator must have left his moral compass in his other pants.
7 .Seymour Parrish
One Hour Photo, 2002
You’ll be grateful for digital photos after watching Robin Williams as this disturbing picture-developing voyeur.
8. Sean Walsh
Circle of Friends, 1995
Alan Cumming’s handsy, sleazy lech preys on Minnie Driver — all while looking like a Batman villain.
9. Barbara Covett
Notes on a Scandal, 2006
Judi Dench’s cunning spinster becomes obsessed with a naive colleague, then sabotages her marriage and career.
”Controls an army of rats” is probably something the Crispin Glover character should leave off his OKCupid profile.
11. American Photojournalist
Apocalypse Now, 1979
The T.S. Eliot-quoting acolyte (Dennis Hopper) is unnerving in his intellectualized devotion to the mad Colonel Kurtz.
12. Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network, 2010
The ruthless, arctic-cold tech whiz (Jesse Eisenberg) invents Facebook and Facebook stalking.