Sometimes unhappy people find comfort in knowing others are unhappy as well. In other words, misery loves company. Thanks to Stephen King, the word misery will forever embed one person into my mind. Isn’t it incredible how we can associate one word to a person, place, or thing? The first time I watched the 1990 film Misery, I remember feeling completely drawn to Annie Wilkes’s character. Portrayed by Kathy Bates, she is one of the best female villains I have ever watched on-screen. The emotion is raw, real, and you can cut the tension with a knife. Or perhaps a sledgehammer would be more fitting. Congratulations to Annie Wilkes for being PopHorror’s Villain of the Week! Let’s try not to piss her off, shall we?
THE ROAD TO BECOMING A VILLAIN
What exactly do we know about Annie Wilkes? Well, she is a former nurse, the number one fan of writer Paul Sheldon, and a complete psychopath. As luck would have it, Sheldon gets into a terrible car crash not far from Annie’s home. She comes to his rescue and uses her expertise in the area of nursing to help Paul heal. Or does she? Paul awakes to find himself bedridden with two broken legs and a dislocated shoulder. Annie reveals how much she loves Paul’s novels. As a reward for rescuing him, he gives Annie a copy of his brand new manuscript. He immediately sees another side to her when the manuscript is not up to par for her. The hero has suddenly turned controlling, obsessive, and dangerous. The more Paul resists what Annie wants, the more villainous she becomes. In this story, the sun does not come out tomorrow.
It is no secret that Annie Wilkes is an avid reader. Significantly, she certainly has a way with words. Here are some of her best quotes:
“I’m your number one fan. There’s nothing to worry about. You’re going to be just fine. I will take good care of you. I’m your number one fan.”
“I thought you were good Paul…but you’re not good. You’re just another lying ol’ dirty birdy.”
“He didn’t get out of the COCKADOODIE CAR!”
“YOU LYING COCKSUCKER!”
“Now the time has come. I put two bullets in my gun. One for me, and one for you. Oh darling, it will be so beautiful.”
“God I love you.”
Paul eventually finds old newspaper clippings in a scrapbook of Annie’s. Apparently, she was linked to several infant killings when she was employed as a nurse. Due to lack of evidence, she walked free. This is the only information we have to believe she is actually a killer at this point. That is until the local sheriff decides to make a surprise visit to Annie’s home to investigate the disappearance of Sheldon. He doesn’t get too far. Annie takes him out with a double-barreled shotgun when he hears Paul’s cries for help. Will Paul ever catch a “break?”
Unfortunately, we do not bare witness to all of Annie’s epic kills. She is included in one of the scariest moments in movie history, though. Can you guess which scene? Hint: It involves a sledgehammer and both of Paul’s ankles. In King’s novel, Annie actually cuts Paul’s foot off and then cauterizes it with a blow torch. I wonder how that would have made the movie different from the route it took instead. Regardless, the sledgehammer scene will remain branded in my mind until the end of time.
Annie Wilkes was brought to life by Kathy Bates, who took home the Best Actress Oscar for this role. Deservedly so, as Bates effortlessly created Annie the villain. It was believable because Wilkes enjoyed torturing people in helpless positions. This traces back to the infant killings and how she was able to manipulate Paul while he was in a disabled state. She preyed on the weak and helpless. If that isn’t a villain, I don’t know what is. As always, who else would you like to see be Villain of the Week? Drop us a comment and let us know! Scare ya later.