10 Badass Horror Film Babes


5. Cecile de France in High TensionCecildeFrance

Let’s discuss the fact that we all went into this film without any idea of the level of gore it would reach. And that twist at the end? High Tension is one of those films that I can’t really watch more than twice. Even when Cecile de France is having sexy-alone-time in bed, I couldn’t get down with what she was serving because the tension of something terrible on the verge of happening was so overwhelming. A mad man kills everyone in the home and kidnaps her female friend/lover. Now she must do whatever it takes to get her back.

BUT HOLD UP. The twist at the end was perhaps the last thing I saw coming. There was no mad man trying to kill them after all. It was de France the entire time—she was the crazy, disillusioned killer. Now you know why you have to see this Sapphic nail-biter twice.

4. Piper Laurie in CarriePiperLaurie

When Margaret White warned her daughter, Carrie, that everyone would laugh at her at the prom—momma was right. I have to admit, as CPS as her prayer closet looked, Mrs. White really went all-out on her home décor. The candles, the rosaries, prayer cards, religious figurines—damn, There’s a peculiar feminine juxtaposition from Carrie’s opening scene in which girls are changing in the locker room and we see Carrie soap-lathering in the shower, only to discover she’s getting her period for the first time, to the final scene when, ironically, she is blood-soaked from a terrible prank by P.J. Soles and gang, and the gymnasium is on fire along with everyone in it.

Carrie seemed like the lesser of two evils, where Mrs. White was just batshit crazy and damned her daughter to hell instead of embracing her weirdness. Mrs. White’s look is fierce, though—her wild red hair, her black cloaks and her piercing eyes. Also, the witchy pre-prom candlelit “pillowy breasts” conversation is well-played. Maybe underneath it all, Carrie White is a chick that wasn’t going to give into the patriarchal brouhaha of prom, dating, kissing boys and getting popular girls to like her. Plug it up? Tell that to Carrie, and she’ll set you on fire. It’s not her fault that she was never taught about her period. Margaret takes the transformation of puberty very seriously. She may be off her rocker, but she’s one domineering woman.

3. Sigourney Weaver in Aliensig

I’d like to offer a moment of silence while we pay proper tribute to Officer Ellen Ripley. Let’s inhale and exhale deeply and repeat her name three times—she just might appear. And that wouldn’t be the worst thing. First thing’s first—”wife beaters” should never be called “wife beaters” again now that we’ve all caught up on 1979’s hit sci-fi film in which Weaver butches around a space ship killing mammoth aliens and protecting her kin. At one point, she’s underwear-clad with nothing else on but a wife beater Officer Ripley shirt. Enough said. Giant, scary mouth spitting aliens? Officer Ripley has got this. Lesbians of the ‘80s, you had it good.

In a word: Ripley was a hero—she saved mankind. She was smart, clever, quick, and she never broke a promise. I bet she can make a mean breakfast, too. You know you want to be the first one to do her laundry and fold it for her. Admit it.

2. Jamie Lee Curtis in HalloweenJamieLeeCurtis

Laurie Strode and Michael Myers had a pretty screwed up relationship dynamic. It’s eventually discovered in the Halloween franchise that Laurie is the sister of Myers, which explains why he’s always been after her (and can always sense where she’s at—Michael is intuitive?) He killed their older sister Judith when Laurie was just a baby, and then after their parents died in a car accident, she was put into the foster system and adopted by the Strodes. Now, Laurie is just a regular high school girl with a babysitting job on the night of Halloween in Haddonfield, Illinois, where Michael has made his return after escaping the insane asylum under the care of Dr. Loomis. By night’s end, Laurie will end up in a closet with wire hangers.

Somewhere in there is a coming-out joke—and a Mommie Dearest reference. But I digress. The real bad-assery comes out for Laurie in Halloween II where we pick up from where Halloween left off with Michael Myers seemingly dead in the front yard, only to completely disappear. Laurie is transported to the hospital with serious injuries to her foot. When she realizes Michael has found her there and that her life is in danger once again, that girl crawls and limps through that entire facility, up elevators, into parking lots—I get tired just thinking about it. Laurie “kills” Michael and makes it through the whole franchise unscathed. Or does she?

1. Jodie Foster in Silence of the LambsJodieFoster

I have to admit: I really couldn’t handle watching this film for a long time. I thought the depiction of Buffalo Bill was a gross misrepresentation for the transgender community and his dog Precious looked like my own pets. So, there’s that. But then I saw that look in Jodie Foster’s eyes. And I thought, “OK Jodie, if you can do it. So can I.” Clarice Starling—maybe the bravest woman I’d ever seen in a film—will not go on letting the lambs scream at her.

Physical encounters with a psycho are harrowing, I bet. But, what Silence of the Lambs did was totally get into our minds—and into Clarice’s mind. Hannibal may be behind a glass wall, but he can still “get to her.” But this is Jodie Foster we’re talking about here, so let Hannibal win? She couldn’t. In the end, Hannibal Lector spares Clarice, telling her the world is too interesting with her in it. I argue that this is the unspoken sentiment among many horror franchises, in which the main female is saved for sequels. Because what would these films be without their main fighting females?

Jodie Foster proved that the role of a demure woman in a horror film can be knocked down by a strong woman in charge of finding the truth at any cost—even if it means she must give herself up a little bit in order to receive that necessary veracity—so long as she holds on to the important parts of her that people like Dr. Lector could never touch, even if he tried. Jodie Foster is queen.

Which leading ladies who deserve honorable mention  did we leave off the list? Who are some of your own favorite badass babes in horror?

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