Women in Horror – A Selection of the Best
WOMEN IN HORROR
Anyone who reads my novels, or regularly visits my website, will know I am passionate about anything dark and creepy. I like to explore areas of human experience that take us out of the mundane. As a result, I’ve enjoyed many horror movies over the years. I wanted to honour some of my favourite female horror actresses/characters. There are many men who are kings of horror: We have the legendary Freddy Krueger of Nightmare on Elm Street, Jason from the Friday 13th movie Franchise, and of course Michael Myers of the Halloween series. But what about women? I wanted to explore two of my favourite females in horror. The two I have selected are my favourites, not only because of their unsettling characters, but because of the strength of their performances.
My first selection is Jennifer Tilly, who plays Tiffany in Bride of Chucky. Of course, the Chucky movies have moments of dark humour (some moments are truly laugh-out-loud-funny!) but the movies always have unsettled me. I’m not sure if it’s the concept of taking something innocent – a childhood toy – and turning it into something sinister that troubles me, or if it’s the sheer magnitude of the violent deaths in the films themselves, but I have always been a huge fan. I felt that Jennifer Tilly was a brilliant addition to the cast. Not only is her performance as Tiffany brilliantly acted, but her presence on screen really adds something to the dynamic of Chucky as a character. I felt they made a brilliant duo – Chucky and Tiffany – and really brought something fresh to the movie franchise. And of course, the fact that Jennifer Tilly can make a killer doll sexy, is quite something! I hope there will be more of her in horror in the future, because she really is an actress that delivers on so many levels. It was this movie that made me a fan of Jennifer’s. My second selection is Cecil de France, and her character “Marie” in SwitchBlade Romance. This movie is very disturbing, and is more of an exploration of violent horror, not usually my favourite style of movie. However, this movie is so brilliantly scripted and acted, it’s quite outstanding. It’s very tense, and De France’s performance really impresses me. She manages to carry the weight of the story on her shoulders, as much of the story focuses on her character alone. I think she is one to watch out for.
Of course, there are some classic women in horror that I feel should get a mention: Kathy Bates in Stephen King’s Misery, Peyton from The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, and finally Bette Davis, in the classic, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. All of the women mentioned here have added a brilliant mix of style, sexiness and depth to the horror films they starred in. So, while we have the classic male characters that have domineered some of the famous horror movies of our time, I think it’s wise to remember the brilliance that women have given to the genre. I look forward to seeing more starring female roles in horror in the future.