While female horror villains are a much rarer breed than female horror victims, they are every bit as vicious, manipulative, violent and evil as their male counterparts. Just take a look at my personal top 10 selections below. And perhaps next time when you think of women in horror you won't think of the stereotypical damsel in distress but of these lovely and deadly ladies!
Katharine Isabelle in Ginger Snaps
Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) – Ginger Snaps
Barbara Steele in Black Sunday
Princess Vajda (Barbara Steele) – Black Sunday
This evil princess vows revenge after being killed for practicing witchcraft and true to her word returns from the dead for vengeance. The stunning Barbara Steele steals the show in this gothic Mario Bava tale, playing both the evil Princess Vajda and her innocent descendant.
Samara in The Ring
Samara (Daveigh Chase) – The Ring
Lesley Gilb in Lemora, A Child's Tale of the Supernatural
Lemora (Lesley Gilb) – Lemora, A Child's Tale of the Supernatural
Patty McCormack in The Bad Seed
Rhoda Penmark (Patty McCormack) – The Bad Seed
Childhood and innocence don't always go hand-in-hand, and little Rhoda Penmark is definitely proof of this! This evil child likes getting other people in trouble, causing "accidents" and is generally rotten to the core. Which, of course, is why she is so darn endearing!
Béatrice Dalle in Inside
La Femme (Béatrice Dalle) – Inside
Bette Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Baby Jane Hudson (Bette Davis) – What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Eihi Shiina in Audition
Asami (Eihi Shiina) – Audition
Think you'll never find the right mate? Well, whatever you do, don't hold "auditions" to find a girlfriend/boyfriend and have them find out that they "auditioned" for the part of your significant other. Or you just might find yourself at the wrong end of a piano wire that can cut through flesh and bone easily. I'll never forget the "Kiri kiri kiri kiri kiri kiri!" sounds Asami makes...
Angela Bettis in May
May Dove Canady (Angela Bettis) – May
Mater Suspiriorum (Suspiria), Mater Tenebrarum (Inferno), Mater Lachrymarum (Mother of Tears)
The Three Mothers (Mater Suspiriorum, the Mother of Sighs, Mater Tenebrarum, the Mother of Darkness/Shadows and Mater Lachrymarum, the Mother of Tears) from Argento’s "Mothers" trilogy (Suspira, Inferno, Mother of Tears)
Honorable mention: Marie (Cécile De France) - Haute Tension, Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) - Misery, the villain in Tale of Two Sisters (to avoid spoilers, I won't give her name), the Merrye women in Spider Baby, the killer in Alice, Sweet Alice, Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) in Carrie, Mum (Elizabeth Moody) from Dead Alive, Angela (Amelia Kinkade) from Night of the Demons, Muffy/Buffy (Deborah Foreman) from April Fool's Day, the Bride of Frankenstein (though I don't really consider her a villain), Mary Lou from the Prom Night sequels, and, just for kicks, Serial Mom (Kathleen Turner)! I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch here...
Question: Who are your favorite female horror villains?