It's almost Mother's Day (consider this your reminder to call your mother this weekend), when we celebrate everything about our moms! I'm surprised I've never done this before, but I wanted to share some of the scariest moms featured in horror movies. Note: Before you go any farther, please note that there will be spoilers below - if you haven't seen the films mentioned, please don't read the descriptions as they will give key plot points away! Consider yourself warned...
Check out my list of the 20 Scariest Horror Movie Moms below:
1.) Alien Queen from Alien - Of all the horror movie moms, the xenomorph alien queen from Alien (and beyond) rules as the most frightening momma of all! She will stop at nothing to protect her young and propagate her species.
2.) Margaret White (played by Piper Laurie) from Carrie - The scariest thing in 1976's Carrie isn't the cruel kids at school that pick on Carrie or Carrie's telekinetic powers, rather it is Carrie's mother, a religious fanatic who loves to berate her daughter. Of course she thinks she is doing everything out of love to save her daughter's soul, but her fervent lectures to Carrie about sin are terrifying.
3.) Pamela Voorhees (Betsy Palmer) from Friday the 13th - When her son drowns as a result of neglectful camp counselors, Mrs. Voorhees goes insane and seeks vengeance, though she doesn't make an appearance until the end of the movie. There is something so tragic about Mrs. Voorhees, but she is still terrifying, especially when she hears her little boy Jason whispering "kill her Mommy, kill her!"
4.) Norma Bates from Psycho - Another mother who doesn't get that much screen time but plays a huge part in her son's upbringing and eventual psychosis. Though we don't see much of Mother, we see how she controls her son Norman and we can imagine how strict she was with him growing up. Oh God! Mother!
5.) Nola Carveth (played by Samantha Eggar) from The Brood - I may be in the minority, but I think The Brood may be one of my favorite Cronenberg films and it tells the tale of a separated couple going through a child custody battle for their young daughter. The mom, Nola, is under the care of a psychotherapist that has his patients express emotions through physiological changes to their bodies. Pretty soon brutal murders start happening to anyone that threatens Nola's family, and it turns out she has parthenogenetically born a brood of children who psychically respond and act on the targets of her rage. How's that for motherhood?!
6.) Vera Cosgrove (played by Elizabeth Moody) from Dead Alive - Vera is one of the most overbearing moms to ever appear in a horror film and here she is in Peter Jackson's (yes, that Peter Jackson) Dead Alive (one of my all time fave movies, by the way), first as a controlling mother in life and then as a zombie mom that complicates her son Lionel's life.
7.) Mrs. Loomis (played by Laurie Metcalf) from Scream 2 - Ah, another mother avenging her son's death. No matter if this time the son, Billy, was a psychopath, his mother Mrs. Loomis still loved him and she has come after Sydney for revenge for his death. You gotta give it to Mrs. Loomis - her desire for revenge led her to get a makeover and disguise herself as a local reporter to get closer to Gale Weathers and, as a result, Sydney.
8.) Beverly Sutphin (played by Kathleen Turner) from Serial Mom - While not exactly a horror film, I adore this John Waters' movie and this hilarious character who skewers anyone that messes with her suburban perfection. And the thought of Mom making obscene phone calls is just freaking hilarious!
9.) Ruth Chandler (played by Blanche Baker) from The Girl Next Door - This movie was adapted from Jack Ketchum's novel, which itself is based on a disturbing true crime that took place in a suburban neighborhood in 1965. In the film, a young girl and her disabled sister are sent to live with their aunt and cousins, but suffer abuse that escalates into torture and worse with their cruel aunt as the ringleader. Ruth is a vicious, uncaring, and depraved character and certainly one of the worst moms ever in a horror film.
10.) Aunt Martha (played by Desiree Gould) from Sleepaway Camp - As Angela's surrogate mother who raises her after a boating accident left her father dead, Martha is a disturbed individual who forces Angela (who is really a boy) to dress like a girl just because she wants a daughter. Though her screen time is short, the fact that she forced Angela to be something she wasn't definitely played a factor in causing Angela to snap and start killing at summer camp.
11.) Mama (played by Javier Botet) from Mama - Two young girls are protected by a terrifying mother in this supernatural horror film, a ghost mom who gets a little too protective and overbearing (and a little murder-y) when she thinks the girls are being threatened. This was a solid film and the creature design of Mama is one of my favorite monsters from recent years!
12.) Mother (played by Rebecca De Mornay) from Mother's Day remake - While the Troma original was a little wacky, the remake played it more straight-laced and had much more of a mean-streak. Rebecca De Mornay led the film as the controlling and very manipulative mother, and her performance is absolutely terrifying!
13.) Michelle Crane (played by Danielle Bisutti) from Insidious 2 - Eeeeeek another insane mom who abused her son and forced her him to dress as a girl. As a result of this torment, Parker turns into a serial killer called The Bride in Black and then haunts The Further after his death. Again, the movie isn't focused on the mom, but she is insanely spooky and makes me jump every time I watch this film!
14.) Mother Firefly from House of 1000 Corpses (played by Karen Black) and The Devil's Rejects (played by Leslie Easterbrook) - Speaking of batty, I absolutely adore Karen Black's performance as the matriarch of the Firefly clan in House of 1000 Corpses. She is devoted to her children, and loves to flirt and toy with their victims. She has a bit of a larger role in The Devil's Rejects (where she was played by Leslie Easterbrook) and we learn more of her back-story as a bank robber and prostitute.
15.) Madeline Matheson (played by Jordan Ladd) from Grace - Expectant mother Madeline is left alone when her husband dies in a car accident and discovers her daughter Grace has died in the womb. She carries Grace to term despite advice from her doctor, and when she gives birth a miracle seemingly occurs and Grace is alive...except she can only subsist on human blood. Madeline's character isn't evil, but the horror is in how far she will go to to protect and feed her baby.
I know there are a lot more scary horror movie moms - leave your favorites in the comments below!
Happy Mother's Day and stay spooky!