February has been designated as Women in Horror Month, so I thought a great way to celebrate this year is by ranking some of the best female characters in horror movie history.
When most people think of women in horror, they may picture the dumb big-haired bimbo running around screaming being absolutely useless as viewers scream at her common-sense tips for surviving the terror she is in. However, with a closer look, you will realize that horror is filled with a variety of female characters from those completely useless damsels in distress to the badass final girls who dish out as much punishment as the big bad that’s chasing them. Strong, smart, and sexy just barely scratch the surface when describing many of these ladies. Also, we have some stone-cold killers that give Jason, Freddy, and Michael a run for their money as they slash, maim and murder their way through their own victims.
Come and celebrate all sorts of female characters with me as we count down the 100 Greatest Female Characters in Horror history!
* Be cautious of spoilers below
90. Alice Johnson (Lisa Wilcox) | A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) and A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)
Alice started out as a meek individual from a broken home until she utilized her Dream Master powers to thwart off the Nightmare Demon. She would be one of the few to kick Freddy’s arse, and even when he came after her Dream Child while she was still pregnant, he got more of the same. Alice is one of the only children of Elm Street to survive Freddy Kreuger multiple times and live to tell about it.
89. Grace (Samara Weaving) | Ready or Not (2019)
For some girls, they dream of their wedding day and it is supposed to be the happiest day of their life. For Grace, it was, until her hubby’s family forced her to play a little game of hide and seek. She came from a rough upbringing and essentially feel in love with a prince and married into royalty. However, she must survive the night as she is hunted down by her maniacal new family.
Samara Weaving does a fantastic job of playing Grace who is sweet, unassuming and a bit of a dork. Once in survival mode, we see her street smarts kick in and a bit of the predator in her come out.
88. Deborah Logan (Jill Larson) | The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)
The progressive stages of Alzheimer’s disease are scary by themselves. A loved one developing dementia can lead to a host of bizarre symptoms that make them feel unfamiliar or vacant. For Sarah, watching her mother Deborah slip away thanks to the disease is unsettling in itself, but there’s also something more supernatural at play. It’s not just a disease eating away at Deborah, but the possession of an evil physician looking to complete a cannibalistic ritual he started years ago. It leads to startling truths about Sarah’s mother as she continues to deteriorate. Deborah grows increasingly more terrifying, right up to the unhinged finale.
87. Diana Walter (Alicia Vela-Bailey) | Lights Out (2016)
A girl turned demon that preys upon people as she causes serious havoc in the dark and hates the light. Diana is one of the newer villainesses that is hell-bent on revenge and keeping her only friend. This Boogeywoman had some effective scares while being menacing in the shadows with some creative body movements by Alicia Vela-Bailey to help make her extra creepy.
86. Grace (Nicole Kidman) | The Others (2001)
Grace is initially showcased as a traditional loving mom who is taking care of her children while her husband is off fighting in the war. She protects them but also shows obsessive behavior with a number of rules she has for her household and the kids. As this religious woman is unable to explain weird happenings in her house, we begin to see her unravel as unseen guests aren’t following her rules. Kidman does a solid job of playing the old fashion mom who seems like she is simply protecting her family from the paranormal but we end up finding out the sinister truth.
85. Jennifer (Megan Fox) | Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Teenage girls can be scary enough with their tweetgrams and snapfaces, but nothing is worse than a wild child teen who ends up being taken over by a demon. Jennifer goes down as one sexy prom queen succubus who likes to make her best friend feel insecure. Megan Fox plays Jennifer fiendishly well and seemed to have a ball as the character.
84. Justine (Garance Marillier) | Raw (2016)
If I came from a lifelong family of vegetarians, I might go a little mad myself once out on my own. However, for Justine, this didn’t occur until she is forced to eat rabbit liver for a hazing ritual. She soon develops a taste for meat and not just juicy sirloins. She starts off by simply gnawing on animal flesh but soon has a craving for something a little more human.
83. Jeryline (Jada Pinkett Smith) | Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995)
Horror is filled with unlikely heroes but they are usually the pure of spirit, virginal beacons of hope. You don’t really think of a wise-cracking, no-nonsense convicted thief as being the savior of humanity in a fight against evil forces. We usually see these characters become fodder to the villain so the “real” hero can emerge. But this reluctant hero does her best to dust herself off and fight Billy Zane’s fantastic villain, The Collector.
82. Lola “Princess” Stone (Robin McLeavy) | The Loved Ones (2009)
Oh, Lola. She doesn’t handle rejection all that well. Like your stereotypical teenage girl, she crushes a lot on the cute boy toys of her school. Unlike your typical teenage girl, though, her idea of crushing on a guy is by kidnapping her true love and inflicting a big heaping pile of torture upon the object of her desire. You know, the good old lobotomy by drilling holes into their skulls and pouring boiling hot water inside them. Daddy’s little girl gets to do whatevah she wants and Robin McLeavy is devilishly sinister as Lola playing the role to perfection.
81. Veronica (Geena Davis) | The Fly (1986)
David Cronenberg’s remake of The Fly dealt with some heavy issues. The most glaring was one succumbing to disease or addiction and on the other hand, one having to watch their loved one change and wither away. That’s where Geena Davis’ Veronica comes into play. She is essentially the viewer’s POV for the ones on the other side of addiction. She is a determined career-oriented person who becomes stuck between her career goals and the possible love of her life. Davis plays her wonderfully up until Brundlefly’s demise.
100-91 | 80-71
What do you think of the selection so far? Who are some of your favorite female horror characters? Maybe they will show up further on the list!