Horror films are rife with psychopathy. One only need throw a stone to find a disturbed individual hell bent on exacting revenge in the wide world of genre film. But truly great performances are fewer and further between. These are ten standout showings from psychotic women in horror that have kept us up at night. Read on for our picks and feel free to add your own in the comments below.
Peyton Flanders from The Hand that Rocks the Cradle
Looking for the perfect nanny? Look elsewhere. Most likely she’ll steal everything from you including your family. Not convinced? Maybe it’s time to re-watch The Hand that Rocks the Cradle. Rebecca De Mornay turns in a chilling performance and makes a great case for why you should probably just parent your children yourself.
This evil granny despised her own daughter and her grand children. Aren’t grandmothers supposed to bake you cookies and send you money on holidays? Well, at least she gave her grand children cookies. However, they were poisoned. Louise Fletcher is perfectly frightful in her turn as Grandmother in this V.C. Andrews adaptation.
Thinking about adopting? Just watch out for those children with deep, dark, eerie secrets. Esther is sure to make you think thrice before adding a new member to your brood! Isabelle Fuhrman is frightfully convincing as Esther and really gives her adoptive parents a run for their money in this psychological thriller.
Annie is the worst nightmare of every celebrity. She is brilliantly and timelessly brought to life by Kathy Bates in an Oscar winning performance. A word of advice to those on the rise to stardom, watch out, for you may have a number one obsessive fan that finds delight in your pain and glee in your misery.
Beware of who you bring home. Sometimes you meet people who are completely loony but you don’t realize it until it’s too late. Personally, I’m a firm believer people’s true colors eventually show through, especially those who are creative serial killers, like Marie. This film really hinged on the performances from its leads and Cecile De France was a standout as the deranged and ultimately misguided Marie.
This woman is lethal! But it’s hard to blame her when she was auditioned for the role of wife. Good luck keeping a hold of your tongue, finger, or perhaps even your foot. Yikes! Eihi Shiina turned in a standout performance here, effortlessly vacillating between timid bride and lethal seductress at the drop of a hat.
Poor Sarah she’s trying to make it as an actress living in Los Angeles and she’s able to pay her bills by working a dead-end job at a fast food restaurant called Big Taters! She’s a ticking tomb bomb who rips out strands of her hair when she doesn’t live up to her own expectations at auditions. Sure, she’s a tad bit hard on herself but you don’t come between a woman and her passion. Alex Essoe turned in one of the best performances of 2014 in this indie darling and if you haven’t had the chance to check this one out, you should do so immediately.
You take her to the movies and she thanks you by ripping your eyeballs out. What’s a pimp to do? Geretta Geretta shows great range in this ’80s Italian horror flick. She seamlessly transitions from giggling call girl to snarling demon.
She was harmless at first until she becomes unnaturally obsessed with her roommate Allie. Hedy starts off doing creepy things like staring at Allie and buying the exact same clothes as Allie. Then she progresses to stranger things like watching Allie and her boyfriend having sex, stealing Allie’s mail, and even killing an innocent dog. This performance really cemented Jennifer Jason Leigh as a force to be reckoned with. And Single White Female remains the final word in creepy-roommate-stalker films.
During a time of fear people will gravitate toward anything or anyone that has a solution so Mrs Carmody did what any absurd, lunatic would do; she took advantage of the weakness of those around her. If that’s not enough for you, she wanted to sacrifice a child, guys. A child. Let that sink in. Marcia Gay Harden played the part to perfection and made the audience despise her in the worst way possible.
You should know that you’re messing with a real loony when she’s popping out of TV’s, dripping water everywhere and even crawling out of smelly, soiled wells. At least she was polite, though. She had the common decency to give her victims a week of living in pure terror before enduring a terrible death. Rie Ino’o’s creepy performance will certainly have you thinking twice before watching any more unmarked VHS tapes.