Bad-ass Ladies

5 Underrated Horror Villainesses


I’m back again to bring you 5 ladies in horror I feel deserve more love than they generally get. Villainesses, take it away!

5. Nancy (Fairuza Balk, The Craft)

Okay, okay, Nancy does get a fair amount of love from the horror community. But seriously, this witch, brought brilliantly to life by Fairuza Balk, is an idol for all us weirdo horror gals who came of age in the 90’s. So maybe she wasn’t a great friend in the end, and I admit, she ultimately proved to be a bit psychotic and megalomaniac. Doesn’t matter. She still rules.

4. Grand High Witch (Angelica Houston, The Witches)

How many of us out there LOVED this movie as kids and still do as adults?!? This lady is a major reason for that. The Witches absolutely helped mold me into the horror fan I am today, after seeing it at the tender age of 5. In her “human” disguise she was elegant, powerful, and compelling. In her actual skin she was super gross-looking and just plain freakin’ frightening. What I’m saying is, get you a lady who can do both! Minor character flaw? She was really into that whole, “extermination of children” thing.

3. Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates, Misery)

Annie is actually moving up in the world and seems to be getting more and more cred with horror fans, and I could not be more proud of the girl! Annie is a truly frightening and all-too-realistic example of what monsters human beings can be. She’s not a creature, not a demon. She’s one of us. Annie even blended into society for a while until she became a frost-bitten wilderness woman. Ms. Wilkes is a scary reminder of what one person is capable of doing to another. All it took for this obsessive fan was a little opportunity.

2. Minnie Castevet (Ruth Gordon, Rosemary's Baby)

Our beloved genre is notoriously over looked when it comes to winning (let alone) being nominated for all those big fancy schmancy Hollywood awards. But the powers that be could not ignore Ruth Gordan’s glittering performance in this film. In fact, she won both the Oscar and the Golden Globe in the Best Supporting Actress category for her portrayal of the manipulative, conniving, and frightening satanic cult devotee, Minnie Castevet. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, mix yourself up a nice cold tannis root smoothie and enjoy.

And who is my number one most underrated villainess of horror?!

1. Claudia (Kirsten Dunst, Interview with the Vampire)

This little blood sucker is trapped forever in the body of a child while her mind matures over the years. Not surprisingly, this makes for one twisted individual. Claudia is a selfish, obsessive, Machiavellian, remorseless little killer vampire in a satin bonnet. What’s not to love?

But wait! I do have a few women of note who deserve an honorable mention…

Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman, Orphan): Dear, sweet, misunderstood Esther. All she wanted was love. The only problem is, she’s completely fucking nuts. Esther does get a lot of attention for being a villainess, and she totally deserves it. I mean, just look at those EYES!! Spine tingling.

Laurie (Anna Paquin, Trick ‘r Treat): How can you not totally love this girl?! There’s really no way to talk about Laurie without spoiling the whole plot of her story in this beloved Halloween anthology. Anyway, let’s just say there’s more to Laurie and her posse than MEATS the eye. ← PUN.

Mombi (Sophie Ward, Return to Oz): Maybe this one technically isn’t horror, but I can’t be the only genre fan out there that absolutely loves this twisted movie. Mombi is a great princess villainess. But let us not forget the most frightening thing about her. She can take off her freakin’ HEAD and change it out for others in her collection. That my friends is the stuff of nightmares. Note: the above picture is my personal favorite noggin in her collection.

~ Sandra (@LilMsMnstr)

5 Underrated Horror Heroines

Hello! As a big supporter of awesome female characters in horror, I took it upon myself to compile my list of underrated carriers of the XX chromosome.

5. Elise Rainier (Insidious)

What a badass! Using her intense psychic powers, Elise helps families in need by dealing with the spectral creepy-crawly entities reaching out from “the further.” She also happens to look like a boss whilst doing so. Elise barely breaks a sweat and rarely loses her cool. This is obviously the gal you want in your corner when tormented souls or spooky red and black colored demons are bothering you.

4. Samantha (House of the Devil)

You can’t help but feel a little bit bad for poor Sam. Sure, it seems weird to accept a gig “watching” an elderly woman when you were set up to think you’ll be babysitting small children. But then there was the allure of free pizza and that rental deposit deadline looming. I can relate, Sam! Anyway, once she gets into trouble on this fateful night, Sam isn’t going down easy. She proves to be a fighter and a survivor. Not to mention a killer dancer.

3. Lorraine Warren (The Conjuring)

Here we have another psychic helper, just like Elise. But you know what makes Lorraine even cooler? She’s a real life person who turned 89 this year! Lorraine bravely squares off against evil in order to aid and defend the innocent. Bravo, sister!

2. Melanie Daniels (The Birds)

Played by the exquisite Tippi Hedren, Melanie is a dry-humored, practical joker trying to prove to the world she’s not some playgirl spoiled brat. Then she happens to get caught up in a bird-pocalypse along the way. She witnesses some crazy stuff and holds it together for a pretty long time. And lest we forget, she saves the school children from a particularly nasty feathered flock. Lesser women would have crumbled to pieces much sooner under the pressure.

Oh, wait! Before we get to #1, let me give credit to some honorable mentions…Thanks, ladies, for almost making the cut.

Liz Taylor! I didn’t want to venture in TV land for this list, but I cannot get the amazing Liz Taylor from American Horror Story: Hotel out of my mind! She’s a smart, loving, wise-cracking broad who is tough as nails. No matter what life and that crazy-ass hotel threw at her, Liz stayed golden.


Next, sisters Callie and Tricia from Absentia. I had a hard time choosing which of these brave and flawed ladies I admired more. Then I realized they’re just even better as a packaged deal. I liked how realistic these characters felt to me, as individuals and as siblings.


And here is the darling Emily from Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride. Emily is a whacky, fun, beautiful, and ultimately selfless romantic heroine. Animated or not, she’s a treasure to the horror realm.

And now, I give you my #1 pick! Drum roll please…

1. Dani (Hocus Pocus)

Last but not least! This little moppet is the quintessential 90’s cool kid. She’s a tough little cookie with a heart of gold. Plus, she loves Halloween like every true horror fan does. Awesome witch costume? Check. Comic relief? Yes. Brave? Yup. Wise cracks? You know it. Perhaps it goes without saying that she is SO much cooler than her lame brother Max and is the real hero of this Halloween story.


Sandra is a The Bloodlust contributor and has been a fan of scary books, movies, and spooky true tales since a young age. Her favorite types of horror are supernatural/paranormal, horror-scifi hybrids, classics from the 1960’s or earlier, and anything with a cult in it. Sandra is a married ghoul happily owned by a spoiled cat. When not immersing herself in the macabre, she’s usually running, crafting, playing with creepy dolls, and watching either Disney or sports.

~ Sandra (@LilMsMnstr)