It’s been established that women aren’t to be overlooked, but there are times when they might be pushed to the side for male characters every now and then for a number of reasons, especially when it comes to horror movies. The truth is that a lot of male horror monsters are rather overwhelming and carry a much heavier punch than their female counterparts, but in some instances, one can’t help but think that this isn’t always true and that the female antagonists deserve a lot of credit for what they’ve done on screen. While some of them might not be quite as forceful as others, they’ve all contributed in one way or another, furthering the horror genre in a manner that has impressed quite a few people, even if they’ve been forgotten somehow. The truth is that female characters in horror are just effective and in some cases are even more so given that they bring several different qualities to the screen that male characters can’t always match.
Here are ten of the best female characters in horror movies.
10. Pamela Voorhees-Friday the 13th
It’s kind of amazing how many people still forget that Pamela Voorhees was the one that kicked off the franchise since Jason was more of an idea than a reality up until the sequels started rolling forward. She was a creepy individual, that much is certain, but once the second movie came out she was all but forgotten as she became the idea and Jason became the big deal.
9. Annie Wilkes-Misery
Some might want to state that she’s not really that dangerous outside of her home, but the newspaper clippings that Paul finds in her scrapbook kind of put those thoughts to rest since Annie is the person that people don’t see coming. This is due to the fact that despite being a crackpot, she’s sweet as pie to those that don’t know her well enough and think that she might be harmless. Anyone with her mindset can be absolutely deadly, and worse, they can go undetected for longer than people think.
8. Samara Morgan-The Ring
She can get at you through a VHS tape, just let that sink in for a bit. This little girl can kill you in a way that is a bit outdated at this point but is still creepy since if evil has shown us anything over the years, it’s adaptable. Imagine this tape somehow being uploaded to the internet and…well gosh, that already happened in a way, didn’t it? Samara is by far one of the creepiest villains since she doesn’t stop no matter what people do to reverse her curse.
When it comes to female ghosts and spirits, a lot of them appear to be tied to children and the fact that the spirit lost their own child, such as Mama. When she took on the role of mother to two young girls that were left in a cabin in the woods (admittedly after killing their father), Mama became the only protector they had. But when the father’s twin brother tried to bring the girls home, Mama wasn’t having it. Even spirits get jealous obviously.
6. Carrie White-Carrie
Carrie is a sad story really since the antagonist in this tale might have actually been a decent person to get to know had anyone given her a chance. But from her overly religious mother to the kids at school that gave her a hard time on a regular basis she didn’t have much of a chance. But when she managed to get her payback it was something to see considering that she made it clear that she’d had enough.
5. Jennifer Check-Jennifer’s Body
Demonic possession is a pretty common horror trope, but this movie decided to take it to a level that’s not quite over the top but is definitely a crowd-pleaser since people do still talk about this movie whether it’s for a good laugh or because it’s that entertaining. A succubus isn’t something that people tend to hear about in movies all that often, but the obvious sex appeal is something that Megan Fox does well, as like it or not, sex and gore are two big parts of what this movie is all about.
One of the most amusing lines in this movie comes when the lead scientist, played by Ben Kingsley, states that they injected alien DNA into human cells and made the resulting organism female in order to make it easier to control. It’s amusing since thinking that the female of any species is easy to control is an illusion, as those chasing Sil soon found out since anything but easy to track or even take down.
3. Queen xenomorph-Aliens
From a biological standpoint, the queen xenomorph is the most imposing of anyone on this list, especially since she doesn’t have to fight as often and can just sit there looking intimidating while her drones tear people to pieces or secure them as hosts for more of her kind. She’s also not a stupid animal, at least not entirely stupid, since the unspoken meaning that she and Ripley share in this particular scene is kind of obvious.
2. Mary Shaw-Dead Silence
Mary Shaw was definitely overlooked for some reason, especially since by the end of the movie she was still around and had essentially won, meaning that everyone that could oppose her was dead and gone, and she had an estate that many would kill to possess. Plus, she had the perfect body that she could operate through, which was creepy beyond belief.
1. Helen Lyle-Candyman
It kind of felt like a corny way to wrap things up at the end of the initial Candyman movie, but it’s also poetic justice in a way since Helen became so obsessed with the Candyman that she ended up giving up everything in the end. But the fact that her husband, Trevor, fooled around with a younger woman made it even sweeter when Helen came back to get her revenge.
Don’t underestimate female villains.