We reserve a special place in our nightmares for the horror movie villains that chill us to our core; some tremble at the thought of flesh-starved zombies devouring their loved ones, while others check the closets and under the bed for murderous clowns. The best baddies pervade your subconscious, sending shivers up your spine and making you think twice about walking home at night. These bloodthirsty maniacs are unrelenting, unforgiving, and unfortunately, almost always male.
But you know what’s scarier than the pickaxe-swinging brute creeping through that alley? More terrifying than the mutated monster of a man lurking in your cellar? The nice girl. The quiet girl. The innocent one, the one with the big doe eyes. She’s your sister’s friend, your high school math teacher, the checkout girl at the ice cream parlor.
These female baddies are the ones you should fear, and rightly so; you won’t see the table saw coming until it’s buried in your stomach, spewing your guts all over those $300 drapes.
Carrie White: Carrie
Turns out Sissy Spacek is the worst prom date of all time, which isn’t all that surprising when you think about it. She’s tormented at home by her zealot mother, bullied at school by a bunch of dickhead teenagers, then just absolutely doused in blood by those same dickhead teenagers at the big dance. I won’t lie, I was a bit conflicted about wishing bodily harm unto high school children until that moment. Then it was ON.
Some say revenge is a dish best served cold. Poor Carrie White doesn’t seem to agree; she appears totes satisfied with literally dry roasting those cackling hyenas and her awful mother like a hearty bushel of hand-picked ‘Taters.
Lola Stone: The Loved Ones
Guys, take notes. THIS is what happens when you bail on your girlfriend last minute.
Remember the whole ‘girl next door can be scary’ thing? Yea, Robin Mcleavy’s Lola fits the bill in The Loved Ones, an often-overlooked gem that’s just bursting with blood and other fun stuff. Look at that pretty pink dress! Look at that pretty pink crown! Look at that… power drill?
Mcleavy is downright remarkable in this film; she’s introduced as an innocent, cheerful girl and then BAM! Next thing you know she’s screaming like a banshee and bathing in her boyfriend’s blood. It’s a logical progression, really. What Lola wants, Lola gets.
Years before Megan Fox starred in Jennifer’s Body, Natasha Henstridge taught audiences how to steal hearts – and eat them, too. While the Species plot (hot babe is alien, hot babe alien must procreate with everyone and everything, hot babe alien takes off clothes) didn’t exactly further the feminist agenda, it did give us an awesome scene where Henstridge makes a guy’s head explode. With her tongue.
Yeah. Her tongue.
Baby: House of 1,000 Corpses & The Devil’s Rejects
Is it a crime to have a crush on a deranged, sadistic, dead-eyed sociopath? It is? Well then LOCK ME UP AND THROW AWAY THE KEY BOYS, BECAUSE I LOVE THIS WOMAN. Baby is slinky and manipulative, using raw sex appeal and her victims’ stupidity to lure them into deadly encounters with the Firefly family. More blood means more fun!
Sheri Moon Zombie might just be one of the very few female baddies I’d consider following over to the dark side. I can’t help it – she’s just so bubbly, so smiley, and really knows how to make one hell of an exit.
You can catch Sheri Moon and a new nightmare ensemble of stab-happy sociopaths in Rob Zombie’s crowd-funded splatterfest, 31. It’s got carnies. And clowns. Lots and lots of clowns. Consider yourself warned.
The Alien Queen: Aliens
She might not be a sight for sore eyes, but looks aren’t everything you shallow, insensitive pig! In the realest terms, the Xenomorph Queen (played by herself) is the Mother of all Female Baddies; she spits acid and sports a massive scorpion tail, two sets of jaws, and like 87 limbs. Where you at, Daughter of Dracula?
We’re talking about lady (albeit an insectile, space alien lady) who rips off her own egg sack to hunt down the bully (read: Ripley) that’s been setting fire to her adorable alien children. If you’d like to see her taken off this list, feel free to tell her yourself.
Julia Cotton: Hellraiser & Hellbound
Julia Cotton has precisely ZERO things in common with Peter Cottontail. Weird, right? I mean you’d think from the kid-friendly GIF directly above these words that they’d have some shared interests, but nope. Nada. Not even one.
Regardless, what Cotton (played by Clare Higgins) lacks in general fluffiness she makes up for in downright devilish schemes; in Hellraiser, Julia uses her feminine wiles to lure men into the attic so that Frank, the brother of her husband with whom she had an affair, can murder them and feast on their bodies in order to resurrect himself from Hell. In Hellbound, Little Miss Cotton returns from Hell sans flesh, and does pretty much the exact same thing.
I feel like she’s kind of revolutionizing the whole ‘Netflix and Chill’ thing.
Annie Wilkes: Misery
Oh boy, Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) in Misery haunted me for years. No kidding, something about Annie’s thin veneer of cheerfulness that rapidly deteriorates into delusional, psychotic aggression freaked me the eff out. And I thought my mom was overbearing. (Just kidding Mom, you’re the best).
Annie detains and tortures author Paul Sheldon (James Caan), the very object of her worship, without ever blinking an eye. In the film’s most celebrated scene, she smashes Sheldon’s ankles to pieces with a big sledgehammer. Imagine what she would’ve done to an author she didn’t like?
Regan: The Exorcist
Linda Blair was only twelve when they made The Exorcist. TWELVE! All that head-twisting, vulgarity-spewing, spider-walking demon shit that we can’t get enough of was done by a TWELVE-YEAR-OLD GIRL. This is a movie that had people running out of theaters back in the 70’s, clutching crucifixes and throwing up on their dates. TWELVE. I just can’t get past it.
Sometimes it’s hard to process that Regan was even played by a real person; her character becomes such an insane force of evil and Linda Blair played the part so well that you really forget you’re even watching a human at all. Blair tops the list of Best Female Baddies for turning a movie about a girl lying in bed into a cultural phenomenon.
Minions: did your favorite Evil Woman get left out? Are you fed up with MDR’s incoherent babbling? Let us know in the comments below – we want to hear from you!