Here is a list of ten amazing female characters who will light up the screen with evil. Some of them appear briefly, but their presence helped bring those films out of the ordinary.
1 – MARGARET WHITE from CARRIE (1976)
Carrie’s mother was a religious freak who would stop at nothing in order to keep sin away. Piper Laurie played her beautifully. Every scene in which she appears is a tour de force. The moment you see her, you know she will end up losing control.
2 – MADEMOISELLE from MARTYRS (2008)
Madmoiselle played by veteran French actress Catherine Bégin shows up from nowhere, half way through the film, and simply steals the spotlight away from the protagonists. Her honest and heartfelt desire to understand what’s on the other side really makes us care about her – to a point we almost take her side. She alone delivers one of the most fascinating endings in horror film History.
3 – ASAMI YAMAZAKI from AUDITION (1999)
The moment you see the beautiful and innocent Asami, played by Eihi Shiina, you will not believe the horrors she is capable of. The character plays like a girl who’s lost in the woods. But this girl is not for the faint of heart… and definitely not for dog lovers.
4 – ANNIE WILKES from MISERY (1990)
Raise your hand if you knew Kathy Bates before MISERY. Nobody? Kathy Bates had a long career in television and roles in minor films. All until she played Stephen King’s über-psychotic nurse and book lover Annie Wilkes. The book itself is already fascinating, but Bates brings a vulnerability to the character that struck gold at the Oscars. And let’s face it: how many horror films ever win an Academy Award?
5 – NOLA CARVETH from THE BROOD (1979)
David Cronenberg’s THE BROOD is not one of his most remembered films. However, his female characters are always rich with extreme contradictions and unconscious desires. Nola Carveth is the perfect example of a helpless victim who turns out to be something quite unexpected.
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6 – RHODA PENMARK from THE BAD SEED (1956)
Perhaps the most fascinating thing about Rhoda Penmark (brilliantly played by Patty McCormack) is not how evil she is, but how innocent she looks. On the outside, she is a gorgeous eight-years-old angel. On the inside she is a ruthless killer. A villain like this is practically invincible. Plus: there is no reason behind her evil. She was never abused nor neglected. She is just evil. Period. Here’s a film that could never be produced today. Give me back my shoes!
7 – BABY JANE HUDSON from WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? (1962)
Baby Jane Hudson (played by Bette Davis) is not your average horror villain. She is not a monster. She was simply a misguided soul who turned out to do horrible things out of feeling that are very human: fear, anger, envy, loneliness. We never know how crazy she really is, but the torments she imposes on her sister Blanche will tell you a lot.
8 – MINNIE CASTEVET from ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968)
Ruth Gordon won an Academy Award playing this satanist talkative neighbor from Hell. The beauty of this character is that you don’t see her do anything wrong. However, as we’ll see along the film, behind that fragile old woman, there is an evil mastermind.
9 – LA FEMME from À L’INTÉRIEUR (2007)
There are characters who are crazy; there are crazy characters; and then there is La Femme. Her desire for another woman’s baby is so absolute that you will never look at scissors the same way again. The French never disappoint when it comes to the extreme. This film has it in spades.
10 – MRS. BAYLOCK from THE OMEN (1976)
She is a nanny from Hell, literally. Murderous and completely devoted to protecting Damien Thorn, who is… well… you know. Poor Lee Remick couldn’t stand a chance.
These are some of the greatest female characters in horror films that we know. Leave us a comment and let us know who are the female characters in horror films that you love. We’ll surely take the opportunity to add a second list with more characters.