Some women wait for their Prince Charming to save them. But then there are women who’d rather fire up a chainsaw with one arm and kill off a demonic force. While clicking around on the web, I came across a site called ‘Women in Horror Month’. Intrigued, I had to click to learn more...
"Women in Horror Month (WiHM) is an international, grassroots initiative, which encourages supporters to learn about and showcase the underrepresented work of women in the horror industries. Whether they are on the screen, behind the scenes, or contributing in their other various artistic ways, it is clear that women love, appreciate, and contribute to the horror genre."
WIHM celebrations contributions throughout the year, but in February they dedicate the entire month to blog posts, artwork, movie screenings and more. What a kick ass way to honor our women in horror! But then it got me thinking--who are some of the most badass women in this genre? In no particular order, I decided to round up my picks ranging from supernatural horror to good ol’ slasher flicks...
Whether it’s being a heroine or inflicting fear--these are the women that I think of when it comes to Horror films...
Jane Levy; Mia, Evil Dead
If you’re not aware of who Jane Levy is--you’re sadly missing out. Her craft as an actor is widely displayed in the 2013 remake of ‘Evil Dead’. The main character--Mia (Jane Levy) is no Bruce Campbell, but in this hit of a remake--she plays such a dynamic role. Her character evolves from the recovering heroin addict, to a demon and then ultimately epically surviving in the midst of blood rain.
According to a small interview with Hero Complex, she states that;
“I play practically three different characters in one movie. I get to deal with heroin withdrawal, then I become a demon, and then I come back to life, which is a spoiler, and I get to be an action hero."
In the final scene as she faces the ultimate evil in the bloody downpour (spoiler alert) she starts up that chainsaw and slices her attacker in half. Is there anything more badass than that? This is hands down one of my all time favorite scenes done by one of my favorite ladies in the horror industry.
Below is a fantastic interview with Jane Levy about her role by HeyUGuys.
Alison Lohman; Christine Brown, Drag Me To Hell
Drag Me To Hell is one of my favorite (yet underrated) horror flicks. Directed and Produced by Sam Raimi, the story follows that of good girl Christine Brown. Christine is desperate to get a promotion from her boss and in an effort to prove herself, she denies an extension on a home loan to an elderly woman. But because life is a shit show, the elderly woman turns out to be an evil gypsy who threatens her soul with eternal damnation.
First off-- I’d be fucking petrified. An evil gypsy? And she threatens my soul with eternal damnation? I’d be so fucked. I wouldn’t know what to do. Christine has the same type of fear--the fear of not knowing who to turn to and how to solve this problem. She attempts to apologize to the family--but that fails. She attempts to slaughter a kitten as a sacrifice to the demon who’s coming after her--but to little avail. And she even attempts to gather everyone for a ritual in an effort to destroy the horrifying demon. After each failing endeavor, she feels a sense of accomplishment and relief--only to be crushed by the soul-crushing weight of failure.
Her character is admirable in my eyes because she is relentless up until-- spoiler alert--she is inevitably dragged to the fiery depths of hell.
Below is an exclusive interview with Alison Lohman.
Robin Tunney; Sarah, The Craft
Personally, I’ve always had my hand dipped into spirituality and the occult. The Craft is one of my all-time favorite witchy films. It’s focused on the balance of the universe--what you put out there will come back twice as hard. Sarah transfers to a high-school in Los Angeles and becomes friend’s with three witches who are seeking a member to participate in their rituals. Realizing that their powers are tripled, the three of them are intoxicated by their witchy powers.
Sarah’s character is considered to be that of a ‘white witch’ with the knowledge of the spiritual balance which is a contrast to that of Nancy’s dark yet deadly intentions. Over time she realizes that she has even more power than that of her witchy cohorts--and that’s what makes her such a bad-ass protagonist in this supernatural horror flick.
Betsy Palmer; Pamela Voorhees, Friday the 13th
My women of horror list would be flaming hot garbage if I didn’t include one of the most prolific women to ever hit the slasher screen. What better way to have revenge than to slay all the camp counselors who were responsible in the untimely ‘death’ of her son Jason? I’m not even sure there’s a better way to get your revenge.
It’s deliciously satisfying to watch Betsy Palmer unleash her crazy in the final scene of Friday the 13th. She switches from Pamela to Jason effortlessly. Her character seems to be possessed by her dead son. Betsy Palmer really brings Pamela to life as an actor. Her character shows us range from the grieving mother to the vengeful psychopath.
Below is an interview with Betsy Palmer and how her role in Friday the 13th transformed her career. RIP Betsy Palmer.
Lin Shaye; Elise Rainier, Insidious
When Insidious first hit the screen, I was blown away by Leigh Whannell and his story of traveling into the further by astral projection. When a malicious entity embodies their comatose son, Parents (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) dabble with the ‘further’ to get their son back. Lin Shaye plays Elise, a psychic medium who has a history with Patrick Wilson’s ‘astral abilities’. Warning them of the further, she is the key to getting their son back.
I’ve always been a fan of Lin and her small roles in various films, but in the Insidious Franchise--her character embodies strength as a psychic. I’m a firm believer in the paranormal and there is nothing scarier than an evil entity. Abandoning her fears, she rises to the challenge in an effort to protect the people she loves.
Below is an interview by Mingle Media Tv with Lin Shaye and her role as Elise in Insidious.
Olivia; Louise Fletcher, Flowers in the Attic
The 1987 psychological horror film Flowers in the Attic isn’t your common slasher flick, but awakens common family based fears. You’re introduced to a family who is in financial turmoil and has no other option than to move in with their grandparents. But this isn’t a typical visit to your relatives house. Instead of a warm hug from your grandmother, you’re greeted with icy glares and a room that acts as your prison.
Louise Fletcher plays the cruel grandmother in this film. Without speaking a word, Fletcher embodies evil and inflicts fear. She legitimately scares the pants off of me with her stare (which I've been trying to incorporate into my daily resting bitch face). Her character has you wondering if you should disobey her and what consequences could arise from it. This film is loosely based on the novel which is also loosely based off a real life event. Be sure to watch the 1987 film not the one created by Lifetime in 2014. And whatever you do--don’t eat the cookies...or according to the book-- don’t eat the donuts...
7.) Blanche Baker; Ruth Chandler, The Girl Next Door
The Girl Next Door is not for the faint of heart--but what horror movie is? This film is based off of the 1989 novel by Jack Ketchum which is based upon real events. In 1965, Sylvia Likens is tortured and inevitably murdered by Gertrude Baniszewski. This book is probably one of the most disturbing works of literature to ever hit the shelves.
Blanche Baker does an outstanding job performing the role of Ruth Chandler. Ruth is given the responsibility of taking a care of her orphaned nieces. But instead of providing safety and love, she physically abuses Meg, her niece, and imprisons her in the cellar. At this point, she encourages her sons and the other neighborhood boys to torture her imprisoned niece.
Ruth's performance unleashes an unparalleled evil throughout the film. You almost begin to wonder how such evil ever existed. Her performance leaves you feeling uncomfortable and sick. Well done Blanche. Well done.
I wanted to showcase the women who aren't really talked about. Sure--I could have talked about Jamie Lee Curtis or Neve Campbell, but the spotlight is constantly shining on them because those women are constantly talked about again and again. But in this case--I wanted you to see the women that I see--the women that also carry a very strong presence in this industry--the women that are often overlooked for their on screen performances.
Which fearsome lady do you think of when it comes to the horror genre?
Let me know in the comments!