Monday, February 4, 2013

Femme Fatale

I'm attempting to apologize for missing the Top Five List last October by giving them to you this February instead. It is of course Woman in Horror month and with that in mind these will all be themed around women and their part in horror. With the exception of next weeks list as it's aimed more for the other thing this month is famous for...Valentines Day (eck). This list as always will take place on every Monday throughout the month. They are subjects of my opinion and are not to represent as an ultimate.

Those who dismiss the genre as anti-femine or heavily aimed towards men perceive horror differently from me, in my opinion. I've always found horror to be the genre that gives more diversity than any other. In horror women aren't objectified to lusty teenager girls who fall in love with the nearest male lead. In fairness yes they've been known to objectified in sexuality and reduced to stupidity, but the latter could be argued for any male throwaway in a slasher film. However, as I said last year, horror allows a final girl, not a final boy. And not many other genres will allow women to take the reigns as the bad guy, so to speak. Which is the focus of my first list for WIHM, the beautiful and lethal women villain's that take our genre. I limited this list though to no supernatural related entrants such as Carrie White or Tiffany Ray (a very disheartening loss as I love her wicked little doll taunt) and only qualified those who were a hundred percent human. The title I'm using is a bit loose as I'm not going directly off definition, but rather accounting for the really terrifying women in horror. These are the women who can effectively capture and terrify us as viewers with their exquisite evil. And as usual these lists are always as of current and with more development in horror my opinion may change. Here are my Top Five Deadliest Women in Horror:

#5 The Woman from The Woman (2011)

Lucky McGee's film could be argued in a different point that the Woman is really victim. And I wholeheartedly agree but how could I not include the breathtaking Pollyanna McIntosh in her incredibly intimidating and scary role as The Woman? Despite the events that occur in the film The Woman is not to be messed with, with a primal fatale that the other women on this list don't quite have. She may enjoy the more simple pleasures of her violence (i.e. biting off Cleek's finger) but her instinct and her determination to live is what makes her so malicious. This isn't a woman sitting behind a desk barking orders because she's simply 'evil', anything she does is with intent to survive and in her nature to protect her clan.

#4 Sadie from The Last House on the Left (1972)

Craven's (in)famous first film is a genre classic for quite a bit of reasons but not really for its supporting female gang member. In turn the actress, Jeramie Rain, had a short career and doesn't have as much accreditation outside the film. But there's a vile heart to Sadie that tends to go unnoticed. There's something so disturbing in Sadie's etiquette to find a delectation in the murder of a young girl, and also her guiltless assistance as Krug rapes eighteen year old Mary. It's a particular disturbance that contributes to making Craven's film for what it is. Sadie sadism is deep and frays violently at the surface, making her a worthy entrant to this list.

#3 Baby from House of 1000 Corpses (2003) & The Devil's Rejects (2005)

Baby is more or less an embodiment of the term Femme Fatale, as definition describes a beautiful seductive women who lures her victims into compromising positions. An attack which she exhibits in both of Zombie's film. In particular though I think to the scene where Baby flirts with the older gentleman outside his motel room in order to let her in best displays this. She's quite predatory in that scene that it is almost as if it's instinct. Killing is so prominent in her that it almost seems natural, animal-like, as if it's encrypted in her makeup. And of course the grisly events that follow are gruesomely carried out in humorous tone to both her and her remaining family. Of all the women on this list Baby derives the most pleasure out of killing. Her malicious laugh being proof.

#2 The Woman from Inside (2007)

Admittedly I have only seen Inside as of recent but I'm still fairly confident in this placing of the list as Beatrice Dalle is absolutely horrifying as The Woman. As Dalle is rather beautiful in real life her performance deforms her, moments of lighting and her eerie expressions create an uneasy sense to The Woman. But at the core is where the real horror lies as her mental stability is non existent. Her motive in itself is simply scary as she breaks into a severely pregnant woman's house with intent to kill her and take her baby. There seems to be an astonishing lack of conscious for her as she goes to exceedingly bloody lengths to kill Sara (pregnant woman). It varies from her outbursts, that result in violent consequences, to her more intricate acts, that also end in brutality. Basically she has no intention of stopping until she gets what she wants, making her quite deadly.

#1 Annie Wilkes of Misery (1990)

First, let's not deny that Kathy Bates is simply brilliant in Misery. There's no performance that can duplicate Annie's absolute madness and unrequited love of author Paul Sheldon, and I feel any attempt otherwise would be laughable next to Bates. I've always attributed Misery to not really be a familiar horror, in that it's not likely to happen to you. Yet it's still scary, and I accredit most of it to Stephen King's delusional and unstable number one fan, Annie. There's a wonderfully misleading quality to Annie as she looks and posses the gentle soul of a nurse, but equally has quite vicious tendencies when properly provoked. The sledgehammer is undoubtedly the favorite but I love noting the scene where she gets worked up about the chapter plays, as it that proves both humorous and unnerving. Of course there as so many more moments where you get to see the true nature of Annie's sanity, or lack thereof, and it's apparent that she's willing capable to do anything. Reason being she's my number one scariest woman in horror.

Honorable Mentions: Alex (Glen Close) from Fatal Attraction (1987), Evelyn (Jessica Walter) from Play Misty for Me (1971), Mrs. Voorhees from Friday the 13th (1980), Asami (Eihi Shiina) from Audition (1999), Baby Jane (Bette Davis) from What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962), Ally (Jennifer Jason Leigh) from Single White Female (1982), and Pauline from Excision (2012).

If you're reading, please post your own.

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