There are few things as satisfying as when a character finally starts kicking ass in horror films, and when those moments are owned by women getting revenge on those who have done them wrong, or have simply had enough of being tormented, it is all the sweeter for it.
In The Strangers Prey At Night (the sequel to the cult classic home invasion movie The Strangers from 2008), an everyday nuclear family are pushed to the brink when the masked murderers return with no other motive than the fact this family were home. Christina Hendricks and Bailee Madison play Cindy and Kinsey respectively; a mother and daughter duo with a rocky relationship. Their wills are tested when they, alongside father and son Mike and Luke respectively, are threatened by the masked murderers.
Will they fight back and save themselves, or will they wind up as the next victims? Find out in cinemas across the UK from Friday May 4, and check out which iconic badass female horror movie moments we can’t get enough of below!
5) Erin Harson – You’re Next (2011)
In this intense home-invasion slasher, Erin (Sharni Vinson) finds herself in the middle of a bloodbath when three masked killers make their way around her rich boyfriend’s family home on the night of a dinner party. However, it turns out Erin is a force to be reckoned with. A trained survivalist, she skilfully fights back to protect herself and her in-laws from further mortality; she takes it upon herself to barricade the house and set up traps as she goes. When the true nature of the attacks is revealed, our heroine has some incredibly difficult decisions to make – but that doesn’t stop her. Vinson’s awesome portrayal of this true bad-ass lady has received rave reviews and therefore puts her very comfortably in our list of badass female moments.
4) Selena – 28 Days Later (2002)
Naomi Harris’ depiction of hardcore survivor Selena in this classic dystopian horror is full of inspired badass moments! The one that often sticks with audiences is towards the beginning when Selena and Mark (Noah Huntley), having rescued Jim (a young Cillian Murphy) and taking him back to his parents’ house, get in a fight with some of the Infected. Realising Mark is bleeding after the altercation (making him an infection risk) Selena hacks him to pieces with a machete – stating she would do the same to Jim in a heartbeat if it came to that situation – as she wasn’t going to risk her own life by being sentimental in such a dire situation. Decisions like these are what make female characters in horror films so striking; they muster up strength in the face of adversity and prove to the audience that they aren’t to be messed with, often doing what no-one else is willing to do
3) Sidney Prescott – The Scream Series (1996-2011)
Sidney is not only a true proponent of badass moments throughout the Scream franchise, but she is the Scream franchise. While the most iconic symbol of the film is Ghostface, without Sidney and her fightback moments it simply wouldn’t be the success that it is. Throughout the first three films, she shows killers again and again that they are no match for her; she is a true fighter who will do whatever she needs to do both to survive and live as normal a life as possible in the aftermath. A fully-rounded character with a story arc to rival any strong personality, we see Sidney by the fourth film taking out the masked assailant via defibrillator, finally at the end of her tether from the previous experiences, and with an entire decade to stew over the past! Scream 4 sees her not only battling yet another masked killer whilst trying to protect her Woodsboro family, but also offers a new, matural personal storyline, fighting stereotypes along the way.
2) Mia Allen – Evil Dead (2013)
Despite being the first victim and main antagonist of this film, Mia Allen (Jane Levy) of Evil Dead absolutely deserves a place in this list. Towards the end of the film, having been possessed through most of the story, Mia is finally brought back to her senses and her ‘normal’ self. Of course, the trouble doesn’t end there as she is forced to fend for herself against ‘The Abomination’ after her brother sacrifices himself to save her. During the fight she ends up trapped beneath her brother’s Jeep, and she has no choice but to rip off her own hand in order to finish the fight… you read that right! She then manages to grab a chainsaw despite her injury and shoves it into the face of the demon. Grief-stricken, wounded and suffering, her quick-thinking in the wake of a horrendous trauma is truly badass.
1) Laurie Strode – Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
Although she features in two Halloween movies before this one, the performance given here is the most badass we see from Jamie Lee Curtis in her depiction of Laurie Strode. After Michael Myers returns, Strode is once again faced with fighting off the killer, but this time also has a teenage son to protect in the process. She is, on the surface, a shell of the woman she was 20 years previously, having been traumatised from being forced to run, hide from, and kill a serial killer who was focused on defeating her. And while she may be an anxiety-riddled helicopter parent, she is also still as switched on and ready to fight as she was in the original saga. Her bounce back from (and against) the anguish of the past is about as badass as it gets, and proudly deserves a place in this list. With a new Halloween film on the horizon, will Strode provide us with more awesome heroic actions?
So what do you make of our list? What are some of your favourite female moments in horror? Let us know, and check out The Strangers: Prey At Night in cinemas across the UK from this Friday, May 4, 2018.