5 Frightening Female Movie Characters


Asami Yamazaki

Asami Yamazaki

Film: Audition
Portrayed By: Eihi Shiina

What Makes Her So Scary?: I have a strong feeling this will be a running theme with this list, but the key to what makes Asami Yamazaki so frightening is just how damned crazy she is. On the surface, Asami is so very delicate, soft-spoken and innocent; however, that facade goes right out the window the moment she feels as if she’s been wronged by the one she loves. And to say the methods she uses to cope with her anger are extreme would be a great understatement. Asami is straight up damaged goods, a nut case that has major possessive issues that stem from a childhood almost as messed up as she is. She is scary because she is unassuming, a non-threat, so to see what she is capable of is a grim reminder that anyone is capable of anything if their mind is damaged enough to propel them to do so.


Kitty Farmer/Mrs. Carmody

Films: Donnie Darko/The Mist
Portrayed By: Beth Grant/Marcia Gay Harden

What Makes Them So Scary?: This twofer could be perceived as a cheat, but both Mrs. Carmody and Kitty Farmer are cinematic extensions of one another, with each character having the same goal: to judge, and possibly save, those who do not follow god’s plan. It is this judgment and the weight that they and their beliefs carry that make them frightening. They have the power to influence those around them, and that influence carries great consequences for those who are not on the same page as they. While these two women come to very different conclusions in their respective character arcs – with Mrs. Carmody going well over the deep end into a place where all rational sanity is lost – you can see where Mrs. Carmody ends up as being a logical path for Kitty if she too were put in a similar situation.


Mallory Knox

Film: Natural Born Killers
Portrayed By: Juliette Lewis

What Makes Her So Scary?: Much like Asami from Audition, Mallory Knox is shown to have a pretty terrible upbringing, so it’s hard not to feel some level of sympathy for her. On the other hand, she knows full well that what she is doing is wrong, yet, she does it anyway. Mallory takes all of the pent-up anger and the pain she endured from over the years and vents it right back out and onto others who are as undeserving of having their innocence lost as she did when she was a child. She is a cold-blooded killer with no (or very little) regard for human life, and her drive is pushed forward by an immature selfishness to be free from her childhood oppressions. But what makes her really scary is the fact that Mallory Knox is as sexy as she is deadly, and the pure fact that she is so dangerous makes her even sexier in a strange way. It seems as if it would be very easy to fall victim to her much like the gas station attendant who Mallory bones then quickly kills.

la femme

La femme

Film: Inside
Portrayed By: Béatrice Dalle

What Makes Her So Scary?: Seeking to take back what was once accidentally taken from her, La femme is driven by a vengeance to fill the void that was opened when she fell victim to a car accident that caused a miscarriage and the subsequent loss of her child. The idea that she would go after the person that unintentionally caused her loss, with the sole purpose of taking her unborn baby as a replacement, is bonkers, but it is the way in which La femme handles herself that puts her high on the “I just pooped my pants-o-meter.” La femme doesn’t just kill people who get in her way – she devours them with a ferocity that would make Jason, Freddy and Michael (Myers, not Jackson, though he was a creep) take a few steps back to avoid the splatter.


Annie Wilkes

Film: Misery
Portrayed By: Kathy Bates
What Makes her So Scary?:

  • Mentally Unstable: Check
  • Obsessive Stalker: Check
  • Strong Like Bull: Check

Everything about Annie Wilkes is terrifying, but what is most unnerving is how she presents herself as this cheery, happy-go-lucky woman who loves nothing more than to read romance novels and chop wood. Annie is clearly living in her own little world, a world where she cannot fully grasp the difference between what is and isn’t real. It is the characters and the stories that Paul Sheldon has created in his Misery novels that Annie loves so dearly, however, Annie becomes so attached to the characters that she believes them to be hers and will do anything to keep them just the way she envisions them. If that means taking the author hostage, beating him, drugging him and maybe even hobbling his feet, well, that’s just what ya have to do, I guess.

That about does it for my list. There are plenty of memorable scary female characters that have been brought to life throughout the history of cinema, and these five ladies (well, six I guess) are but a few of my favorites. Feel free to share your thoughts on my picks and, more importantly, please feel free to share some of your favorite frightening female movie characters!


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      1. Freddy March 31, 2013 at 4:30 am

        I was kinda hoping to see the character of Sarah Carter from The Descent parts 1 & 2.

        • zombiechoi April 1, 2013 at 12:34 pm

          freddy…yes, didnt she remind you of a ghost, the living dead cursed and haunted by the life she once lived and is living…in search of escaping this limbo, but as a ghost she only relives her memories and past that she cant seem to let go, and the only way she can is to haunt the living.

        • ellen April 1, 2013 at 12:38 pm

          zombiechoiApril 1, 2013 at 12:34 pm

          freddy…yes, didnt she remind you of a ghost, the living dead cursed and haunted by the life she once lived and is living…in search of escaping this limbo, but as a ghost she only relives her memories and past that she cant seem to let go, and the only way she can is to haunt the living

        • ellen April 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm

          nevermind mr. freddy, i was talking about asami….umm, sarah wasnt psychopathic, brutall, slasher-type…she just knew how to kickass in the most badass fashion, all the descent ladies did.

        • Matt-suzaka April 1, 2013 at 11:13 pm

          Thanks for the feedback, Freddy. I haven’t seen the second Descent film, but based off the first one, I would consider Sarah a very strong female character, not scary. She’s the final girl of the story (well, as close as you can get to one, anyway) and is a good person who is in a very bad situation. She might have a different path in the second film, but as I said, I haven’t seen it myself.

      2. ellen choi March 31, 2013 at 5:02 am

        asami….a man’s dream woman, who like women can (some) misintrepret a man’s actions, words and intentions…yeah you dont want her to misinterpret, cuz youre def gonna pay for it in the worst squeamish oh my gosh this is gonna hurt way….i pick asami as the queen b-ruatal…def asami, this is a list about women, and one of auditions themes is the psychology behind a woman and why she is the way she is…but damn good list…PROPS!

        • Matt-suzaka April 1, 2013 at 11:19 pm

          Thanks a lot, Ellen, and I’m excited you dug my list! I agree about Asami; the fact that she misinterprets the lead character’s actions as something less than genuine makes her quite frighting. She’s the type of character that once you have wronged her, there’s no changing her mind about it, even if it’s a misunderstanding.

      3. zombiechoi March 31, 2013 at 7:35 am

        i think i know why my comument was denied..i used foul language….i am sooooooo sorry, not cool of me….apologies….dope list, a friend of mine wondered where’s mrs. vorhees on ths list?

        • Matt-suzaka April 1, 2013 at 11:21 pm

          Don’t sweat it… not sure why it didn’t let your comment through, either, but I appreciate you leaving a second one! Mrs. Voorhees certainly could and probably should have a spot on this list. It would be tough for me to remove anyone, but it’s also tough to deny here! She is scary!

      4. ellen April 3, 2013 at 8:45 am

        matt-suzuka…descent 2 is pretty much the same plot and it does have a character arc for sarah, like you said, she is a good person, and not to give too much away…yeah she definitely has a lot of humanity and heart even in the situation she’s in…you gotta check out descent two, if you dug 1 then you’ll like 2 as well…thx for the response

        • Matt-suzaka April 6, 2013 at 6:11 pm

          No problem! I’ll definitely check out the sequel. I think it’s on Netflix streaming, too. Thanks again for stopping by!

      5. Tiago Almeida April 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm

        Babe Firefly, for the Mallory quality this character got, you can’t help yourself but like her.
        and Rachel’s sister from the Pet Sematary, I used to be very afraid of her when I was a kid, still creeps me out a little.

        • Matt-suzaka April 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm

          Ugh, the sister from Pet Semetary is so scary! She’s the stuff nightmares are made of!

          Baby firefly is a great choice, too, and as you said, is very similar to Mallory Knox. I actually like Sherri Moon… she’s not as bad as everyone makes her out to be, and she’s a lot of fun when she plays Baby. She’s also quite good looking, too, not that I noticed!

      6. Levi April 6, 2013 at 7:28 pm

        I was hoping to see Mary Mason from American Mary in this list. She’s undoubtedly similar to Asami Yamazaki.

        • Herner Klenthur April 6, 2013 at 8:25 pm

          I would suggest it hasnt made it because many of our team have not seen the film yet.

        • Matt-suzaka April 7, 2013 at 4:13 am

          Herner hit the nail on the head; I simply haven’t seen American Mary, so that automatically disqualifies her from the list! 😉 Thanks for the suggestion, though, and I do look forward to seeing that film.

      7. Tiago Almeida April 16, 2013 at 4:11 pm

        yeah, Sherri Moon is the stuff wet dreams are made off.