When it comes to horror movies, the female boogeyman is rather elusive. In fact, there are only a handful of women that terrorize audiences to the point that we compare them to such villains as Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger.
So today, I take a run at a Top 13 List of Femme Fatales. These women have slaughtered their way to the top and haven’t looked back. These women were never the victims. Only cold-blooded, insane psychos with one thing on their minds: Horror.
How does your list stack up against mine?
13: Brenda Bates – Urban Legend (1998)
Insane? Yes. Psychotic? No doubt. Brenda Bates (Rebecca Gayheart) gave it her all when it came to trying to kill her best friend, Natalie (Alicia Witt) all because Natalie and her friend Michelle killed Brenda’s boyfriend back in high school. Yes, that’s right. She goes completely bat-crap crazy because of a ‘Gang High Beam Initiation’ prank gone wrong. An urban legend was used to kill him, so Brenda exacts her revenge by turning all her ‘friends’ into urban legends.
A tale of revenge with some pretty creative kills kicks off this countdown. Just because it’s a story doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen….
12: Carrie White – Carrie (1976)
Insane? Not so much, but Carrie (Sissy Spacek) was driven to kill by her classmates after a prank on what should be the happiest night for a young lady. Covered in pigs blood after being named Prom Queen as a cruel joke, Carrie unleashes Hell on Earth when her telekinetic powers get pushed too far.
Revenge for laughing at her? Maybe. But truth be told, a lot of Carrie’s victims asked for it. Never bully an outsider. It will come back to bite you in the ass. Or drop a roof beam on you….
11: Camilla – The Guardian (1990)
Phil and Kate have a baby boy named Jake. They hire a baby-sitter, Camilla (Jenny Seagrove), to look after Jake and she becomes part of the family. Doesn’t sound like much of a horror film, but there’s a twist. Camilla isn’t what she seems. And to protect her secret until she can kidnap Jake she will resort to killing.
Camilla makes this list because she was the only female boogeyman to make the Boogeyman: The Killer Compilation list. As for what she is…you’re barking up the wrong TREE if you think she’s human…
10: Nancy Downs – The Craft (1996)
Not a woman you want to mess with. She’s so evil and the scary part is she’s only in high school. Nancy (Fairuza Balk) and her friends studied witchcraft. At first it seemed like fun, but then Nancy’s powers began to take full control, what seemed like harmless fun turns deadly.
Nancy’s powers are so strong that the heroine Sarah doubts that her white magic is enough to win. Whether you’re a fan of The Craft or not, you can’t dispute that Nancy is one deadly witch.
9: The Tooth Fairy – Darkness Falls (2003)
A vengeful spirit has taken the form of the Tooth Fairy to exact vengeance on the town that lynched her 150 years earlier. Her only opposition is the only child, now grown up, who has survived her before.
Never thought that the tale of The Tooth Fairy would be as scary as a trip to the dentist, but in this tale of terror, she is. Powerful, deadly and after your teeth, this is one crazed woman that won’t stop till she gets what she wants.
8: Angela Baker – Sleepaway Camp (1983)
Slightly disturbed and painfully shy, Angela Baker (Felissa Rose), is sent away to summer camp with her cousin. Not long after their arrival, things take a turn for the worst and everything begins to go horribly wrong for anyone with sinister or less than honorable intentions.
With a twist that no one saw coming, Angela certainly set a path for psychotic women everywhere. Don’t let the shy girl act fool you. Under that exterior is an ice cold heart that only beats upon killing.
7: Miriam – Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)
The story in a nutshell is an aging, reclusive southern belle, plagued by a horrifying family secret, descends into madness after the arrival of a lost relative. Director Robert Aldrich dared the unexplored female psyche, or psychosis, at a time when June Cleaver reigned supreme. In 1960’s America, women were wielding the Cleaver in the kitchen. Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte stared one of film’s most innovative women, Bette Davis, but it’s Miriam (Olivia de Havilland) who is the real killer.
Miriam embodies the metaphorical unraveling of Charlotte’s insanity, using everything at her disposal, including chairs and stairs to keep Charlotte crazy.
6: Julia Cotton – Hellraiser (1987) & Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
Actress Clare Higgins tackled some of horror's most disturbing scenes as Julia Cotton in Clive Barker's landmark Hellraiser. Julia's antics in obtaining flesh fodder for the incubating body of her dead lover's demon soul give new meaning to ulterior motives. At the time of the original Hellraiser release, she became the most twisted femme fatale in the horror imagination. She took the wicked stepmother archetype to disturbing places in Hellraiser, but as Cotton says in Hellbound: Hellraiser II, "I'm no longer just the wicked stepmother; now I'm the evil queen."
And even then "Evil Queen" was an understatement.
5: Baby Firefly – House Of 1000 Corpses (2003)
Let’s face it, if you’re driving along a deserted stretch of road and you see a sexy, gorgeous young hitchhiker, it might be the best thing to keep driving. Sadly in the film, they don’t and they pick Baby (Sherri Moon Zombie) up and take her back to her crazed family that is not only bizarre, but quite sadistic.
Baby has to be one of the most evil chickies on this list. Insane? Absolutely. Gorgeous? Oh yeah. Deadly? You’re darn tootin’ right on that one. After all, if it looks too good to be true, then it usually is.
4: Tiffany – Bride Of Chucky (1998)
Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) is head over heels in love with serial killer Charles Lee Ray. Of course, if that wasn’t bad enough, Tiffany is somewhat psychotic. In her quest to get all of Chucky’s pieces, she kills a cop, steals his lighter. There have also been other deaths linked to this blonde beauty. And that’s while she’s human.
Once in doll form, Tiffany becomes just as deadly as Chucky but we give her stand alone props for being more creative. After all, this femme fatale has Martha Stewart as her idol.
3: La Femme (The Woman) – Inside (2007)
Four months after the death of her husband, a woman on the brink of motherhood is tormented in her home by a strange woman who wants her unborn baby.
La Femme (Beatrice Dalle) is without a doubt one of the craziest, nuttiest females on this list. A mysterious woman obsessed with carving the baby right out of a pregnant woman‘s belly. She’s a tough gal, too, soaking up all kinds of punishment prior to the film’s conclusion.
2: Annie Wilkes – Misery (1991)
You don’t need a long introduction to Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates). After all, she is the epitome of what obsession looks like and more importantly where obsession and reality collide. You just need to say one simple word to have audiences cowering, hiding behind pillows and their loved ones while reaching for a bucket to heave into.
What is that one word? Sledgehammer.
1: Mrs. Voorhees – Friday The 13th (1980)
The ultimate woman when it comes to Femme Fatales. Mrs. Pamela Voorhees (Betsy Palmer) kick started the legend that would be known as Jason Voorhees one Friday The 13th. And she did it in style, proving just how far a mother would go for her child.
Would there be any doubt that this woman, who hacked, slice and diced her way through camp counselors would be at number one? Mrs. Voorhees is the quant essential homicidal femme fatale that leaves us wanting more.
Amanda Young – Saw II (2005)
Samantha Pringle – Deadly Friend (1986)
Asami Yamazaki – Audition (1999)
Marie – High Tension (2003)
Jennifer – Jennifer’s Body (2009)