12 Movie Neighbours From Hell

Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon)

The Film: Charley Brewster is a horror nut, so no-one believes him when he accuses new neighbour Dandridge of being a vampire. Charley turns to the one person who can help - the washed-up cynical host of shlock TV-show Fright Night.

The Neighbour: Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon) is handsome, wealthy and quiet - all things you want in a neighbour. Unless you find out his blood-sucking secret - then he'll sire your best friend and your missus, and do his best to kill you dead.

How to avoid: Eat garlic bread, wear a cross, decorate your house with pictures of Buffy and don't be so bloody nosey!

Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine)

The Film: FBI trainee Clarice Starling is drafted in to help a murder investigation and must turn to convicted serial cannibal Hannibal Lecter for help in solving the Buffalo Bill murders.

The Neighbour: The other serial killer in the movie, Bill is as brutal and twisted as his Cannibalistic counterpart, murdering hefty young girls in order to harvest their skin for a fetching patchwork suit.

How to avoid: Get on that treadmill - Bill is a chubby chaser, so some nice tone will keep him at bay. Failing that, run like buggery everytime you hear 'Goodbye Horses' by Q Lazzarus - the mangina won't be far behind.

Victor (Michael Reid McKay)

The Film: Sick serial killer John Doe mutilates and murders his way through the Seven Deadly Sins, targeting those who embody each one for extermination with escalating gruesomeness.

The Neighbour: Victor - the guy being punished with sin of sloth has been strapped to his bed for a year. Systematically and patiently starved to death, the stench as he rots alive is unbearable - despite the pine tree air-fresheners.

How To Avoid: A liberal application of Vicks to the nostrils should sort the smell out, though burning a few Febreeze candles wouldn't hurt.

Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr)

The Film: Hitchcock thriller where housebound James Stewart becomes increasingly obsessed with the activities of his neighbours as observed through their windows, eventually uncovering what he believes to be a murder.

The Neighbours: Never trust a salesman. After Lars Thorwald’s bedridden wife mysteriously vanishes, he’s seen cleaning a rather large knife, disposing of a mysterious packing crate, and possibly killing a dog. Wife-killer or not, this bloke is not good neighbour material.

How To Avoid: Curiosity didn’t just kill the cat, it also broke Jimmy Stewart’s one good leg. Next time the temptation to spy on your neighbours strikes, close the blinds and turn on some reality telly – it’ll give you the same voyeuristic buzz without the risk factor.

Abel Turner (Samuel L. Jackson)

The Film: Newlyweds Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington move into nice suburban neighbourhood, and are systematically terrorised by not-very-nice cop neighbour who dislikes their interracial status.

The Neighbours: Samuel L. Jackson’s Abel Turner is essentially a bigot, but he’s a bigot who works for the LAPD. He’ll slash your tires, shine floodlights into your house and even organise an invasion of your home, and there’s not much you can do about any of it.

How To Avoid: Call the NYPD? Or just go medieval on his ass.

Minnie & Roman Castevet (Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer)

The Film: Roman Polanski’s brilliant shocker about a nice young couple (Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes) who move into an apartment block and find the neighbours like to engage in devil worship.

The Neighbours: Creepiest of the lot are little old dears Minnie (Ruth Gordon) & Roman Castevet (Sidney Blackmer). Potions and tonics, quaintness and consideration are the deceptive public face of the evil seniors at the head of a conspiracy involving devil rape.

How To Avoid: Form your own alternative religious sect but make yours bigger and noisier. Do songs, do chanting and designate a giant teddy as your alter, which you and your thousands of loyal followers can dance around.

Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey)

The Film: Wacky comedy based on a comic book about loser Stanley Ipkiss, who finds an old wood mask that turns him into an big-toothed, bad-suited, noisy, green super-human super hero The Mask. Launched Cameron Diaz’s career

The Neighbour: P.A.R.T – Y? Because I’m an annoying twat. Can you think of anything singularly more irritating than living, or indeed at any point just being , next to Jim Carrey in full on sugar-rush, hyperactive mode? *shudder*.

How To Avoid: Wack him over the head with a giant frying pan? Drop an anvil or a piano on him? Or maybe just put valium in his cereal.

John Christie (Richard Attenborough)

The Film: Adaptation of Ludovich Kennedy’s non-fiction book about John Christie (Richard Attenborough), the ordinary looking guy who murdered at least 6 women, including his wife, in the 50s and 60s. Also framed his neighbour, Timothy Evans (John Hurt).

The Neighbour:
Special Constable and war vet who liked to gas women, strangle and rape them. Also got his neighbour unjustly convicted and hanged. Bastard.

How To Avoid: Trust no one. Beware odd smells. Run from special constables. Fear unexplained gardening and DIY. Be suspicious of quiet people. Avoid old people. Avoid people.

Zeke (Billy Baldwin)

The Film: Sharon Stone moves into the fabulous Sliver apartment block where she meets her neighbour William Baldwin. They shag in a lift. Other neighbours start dying, Tom Berenger turns up, UB40 sing the theme song.

The Neighbours: Not only is there a murder on the loose but you have to share space with Billy Baldwin’s slick voyeur, Zeke, who watches his neighbours via CCTV on massive screens, while rubbing his trousers (and listening to UB40).

How To Avoid: If you’re lucky enough to get a flat in such a des-res apartment you probably want to be watched all the time anyway. Don’t trust Tom Berenger though – look at the man’s face.

Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen)

The Film: Group of kids get systematically and brutally offed by a family of cannibals, although surprisingly mostly not with a chainsaw.

The Neighbours:
The hitcher: utter mentalist who likes to self harm and talk about ‘headcheese’. Leatherface: behemoth of a man who wears women’s clothes and a mask fashioned from human skin. The cook: evil rat of a man who sells human flesh from a gas station. Grandapa: decrepit old patriarch. Grandma: corpse.

How To Avoid:
Don’t go to Texas? If you do live next door to Leatherface and family best be cheerful and friendly and politely decline any dinner party invitations.

Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood)

The Movie: A grumpy old xenophobe with a dead wife and ungrateful kids is forced to rescind some of his bigotry after getting to know his Hmong neighbours. Clint Eastwood directs, stars and does some excellent growling.

The Neighbour: Walt Kowalski: grizzly man. Likes to sit on his porch and drink endless supplies of beer. A man’s man who loves his tools and his car he’s also a good old fashioned racist who’ll threaten you with a gun if you’re on his property.

How To Avoid:
Walt makes a fine neighbour as long as you don’t piss him off. Don’t nick his car, don’t be Vietnamese, and for god’s sake get off his lawn.

Oliver (Tim Robbins)

The Film: College Professor Michael Faraday (Jeff Bridges) begins to suspect his new neighbours Oliver (Tim Robbins) and Cheryl (Joan Cusack) are terrorists after he comes across suspicious documentation. No one believes him.

The Neighbour: [Massive spoiler alert] Oliver kills Michael’s girlfriend, kidnaps his son, then eviscerates Michael, his best friend and 184 innocent bystanders, while concurrently convincing the world, including Michael’s now orphaned son, that it is in fact Michael who’s the evil terrorist. What. A. Git.

How To Avoid : Forget wartime nostalgia – always be as reclusive and unfriendly as you possibly can. Talk to no one and no one will blow you up.

Rosie is the former editor of Total Film, before she moved to be the Special Edition Editor for the magazine group at Future. After that she became the Movies Editor at Digital Spy, and now she's the UK Editor of Den of Geek. She's an experienced movie and TV journalist, with a particular passion for horror.