Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My 5 Favorite Female Villains

I know there are tons of epic and memorable female villains out there, but these are my favorite.

1) May Canady

May is my favorite horror movie villain because she is so sweet and sympathetic. She starts off the film as a little odd and shy, working at a vet's office and trying to make some friends. I relate to her because I wore an eyepatch when I was young and I am not the most socially graceful person. Everyone she tries to befriend turns out to be much different than she initially thought and she ends up hurt and alone. Her mother's motto when she was little comes to her mind: if you can't find a friend, make one. She takes the advice a little too literally and takes the best parts of her former friends and creates an all new friend. Despite becoming homicidal, May remains a sweet in her own odd way and makes this film one of the most unique because of this portrayal by Angela Bettis. I desperately wanted her creation to come alive because I truly wanted to see May happy. It takes a special performance for the audience to overlook such a glaring flaw as murder and still want to see her succeed.

2) La Femme

La Femme is the insane antagonist of Inside that wants to steal another woman's baby while it's still in the the mother Sarah's womb. This character could have been easily a one-dimensional crazy person, but La Femme is so much more. She has a tragic past inextricably tied to Sarah's. The same accident that killed Sarah's husband also resulted in the death of La Femme's baby while she was still pregnant. Motivated by sadness and depression that drove her insane, she sees Sarah as unworthy of a baby and of the life she has. Despite being totally insane, La Femme is smart and resourceful. She deftly wields a large pair of scissors and can act sane while lying convincingly when others try to come to Sarah's aid. Beatrice Dalle's performance as La Femme is what makes Inside so interesting to watch and makes me watch it over and over.

3) Lola Stone

Lola Stone is one of the most memorable recent female antagonists. Her weird blend of daddy's girl, super girly girl, and bloodthirsty psycho make her unique. To the public, she's a just an outcast that is barely notable to the people around her. Her private persona is completely different. Her emotions are all over the place, laughing and taunting one second and then screaming in rage the next. Lola is the extreme and twisted version of a spoiled child. Her daddy is her willing slave and together they torture boys and turn them into pets. Other than that, her other hobbies are fairly normal. Everything she owns is pink and she listens to sappy pop songs. She even keeps a scrapbook of all the boys she's tortured and carves her initials into their chests. These parodies of normal teen behavior make the film darkly comic and interesting to watch. Robin McLeavy manages to make the behavior, which I would normally find completely annoying, to be endearing in an odd way. She portrays her sadism, femininity, and childishness in a balanced way without every making her unlikable.

4) Asami Yamazaki

At first, Asami seems like an unassuming, shy, sweet woman with a tragic past. She used to be a dancer, but due to an injury had to quit and she has a romantically melancholy air about her. The first 3/4 of the film is an honestly kind of boring love story with touches of weirdness. The first indication that something is amiss is when Asami is shown in her apartment staring at her phone with a mysterious bag in the room. The phone rings and the bag moves! It's seriously one of the most disturbing scenes because it's so out of the blue. Anyway, Asami is shown to be brutal and cruel, gleefully torturing him with long needles and piano wire. The film is even more confusing when after Aoyama is saved and Asami is killed, the scene cuts to Asami and Aoyama in bed. Aoyama could have dreamed it because of his own guilt over meeting her under false pretenses and kind of being an ass or viewing her as monstrous because he views her as such because of the sexual abuse in the past. Whatever the reason, Asami is extremely frightening and stars in a very memorable and expertly filmed torture scene.

5) Annie Wilkes

Annie Wilkes starts off as a nice, welcoming nurse that finds famous author Paul Sheldon after his horrific car accident. Then she reads the latest book in his romance series and finds out the main character, Misery, is dead. She flies into a rage and forces him to properly resurrect her (without cheating the audience) under threat of torture. Her moods vary from brightly cheerful to deeply depressed to blindingly angry and can do so from moment to moment. The most insignificant things can set her off like finding out her favorite character died in a book or Paul pointing out the paper she chose isn't the best quality or anyone using profanity around her. She's incredibly manipulative and controlling yet paranoid. When others come around, she uses her cheerful side to lull them into a false sense of security. Her past as a nurse is deep and dark. She killed many people under her care, including 11 infants, but was acquitted of the crimes due to lack of evidence. Annie Wilkes is a weird combination of ubercrazy and nice. Her brand of crazy is compelling and frightening to watch. You just never know if she'll bring the pain meds or a sledgehammer. Kathy Bates won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Annie Wilkes, one of the few times the horror genre is actually officially recognized.

Did I miss your favorite female villain? Comment with your own favorite!

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