Top Ten Female Horror Movie Killers & Villains

The typical horror serial killer tends to be male, but let’s not forget that there are also many infamous female antagonists that have terrified many viewers throughout the years. From deranged serial killers to demonic entities, these are some of the deadliest villains in the horror genre.

The horror genre has often been labeled as one that casts the majority of its female characters as victims. Although in many cases this is true, a majority of the most famous killers, villains, and antagonists in horror are in fact female.

The Greatest Female Horror Movie Killers

The horror genre has seen quite the resurgence over the past few years, with films like UsMidsommar, The Conjuring, and Ma taking being the faces of the spooky genre.

Whether you’re a seasoned horror film aficionado or a scaredy cat who watches the entire film behind your couch, we have selected some of the most iconic and scary villains that exist in the horror genre.

These spine-chillingly scary female villains and killers will be sure to leave you sleeping with the light on at night. So you don’t have to do the scary research, Pop In A Box have put together a top ten female horror movie killers and villains article so you can watch them this Halloween (warning: spoilers ahead).

1. Regan (Pazuzu), The Exorcist

To this day, William Friedkin’s supernatural horror, The Exorcist (1973), is still regarded as one of the scariest films ever made. Based on the eponymous novel by William Peter Blatty, the film has become one of the most impactful films in the franchise and altered the face of horror as we know it today.

Upon its release, the film became a cultural phenomenon and terrified the entire world with its demonic antagonist. Viewers even began accusing the film to hold an ancient demonic force that lived within the film’s fabric.

In one of the extended cuts, the face of Pazuzu (the demon who possesses Regan) appears at 31 minutes and 29 seconds. The short shot of the demon’s face was deliberately placed by Friedkin to scare moviegoers.

The film follows Regan (Linda Blair), a curious little girl who accidentally summons a demon via a Ouija board. Regan becomes possessed and begins terrorising anyone who comes into her bedroom, curses like a sailor, and uncontrollably vomits. One of the most anxiety-inducing factors from Regan is the fact that the actual exorcism was inspired by a young boy from Cottage City, Maryland, and the 1634 Loudun exorcisms.

2. Pamela Voorhees, Friday The 13th

The hockey-masked killer Jason Voorhees may be the face of the Friday The 13th franchise, but Pamela Voorhees (Jason’s mother) was originally the first slasher in the series’ first outing.

She seeks vengeance on the young and negligent counselors who were not keeping a close watch on her boy after they failed to stop Jason from drowning. Betsy Palmer plays the deranged mother perfectly, terrifying viewers all around with the infamous slasher antagonist.

Throughout the franchise, Pamela manipulates and controls Jason Voorhees, making him murder and terrorise the victims of Crystal Lake whenever she pleases.

3. Annie Wilkes, Misery

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Regarded as one of Stephen King’s best work, Misery is a psychological thriller film that follows novelist Paul Sheldon after he has a serious car crash. Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) rescues him and brings him to her remote cabin to recover. Initially coming off as a kind woman who is a huge fan of his book series, Annie, enraged at Paul for killing off her favourite character (Misery), begins mentally and physically abusing Paul as she forces him to rewrite the book.

Annie doesn’t need a creepy mask to terrify viewers. Her psychotic tendencies are enough to shock horror fans to the core.

4. Carrie White, Carrie

Carrie (1976) is a very sad story since the antagonist was deep down a nice person (or atleast could’ve been). This was until her telekinetic powers kick in after her classmates pull a horrible prank on her at prom night. Doused in pigs blood, Carrie began seeking revenge by destroying her high school’s gym and killing nearly everyone in it.

Pamela Voorhees may have been a deranged serial killer, but atleast she clearly loved her child. This isn’t the same for Margaret White (Carrie’s mother).

Although Carrie is our number 4 pick in our top ten female horror killers article, we couldn’t not highlight one of the lead causes to Carrie’s downfall. The domineering, abusive, and religious fanatic that is in fact Carrie’s mother believes even natural bodily processes are sinful, which is why her titular daughter had to learn the hard way about menstrual cycles.

5. Samara Morgan, The Ring

Samara Osorio, better known as Samara Morgan, is the main antagonist of The Ring franchise, which was a remake of the Japanese psychological horror franchise Ring.

For those that aren’t familiar, Samara promises death to anyone who watches a haunted tape after seven days. She is by far one of the creepiest villains on this list since she doesn’t stop no matter what people do to reverse her curse.

6. Sue Ann Ellington, Ma

Sue Ann Ellington (Octavia Spencer) is the main villain in Ma (2019) and is by far one of the most multifaceted, sympathetic, and intriguing characters on this list.

Sue Ann “Ma” Ellington is a Ohio vet tech who is asked to buy alcohol by a group of local high-school students. Due to how lonely she is, she invites the students to her home and allows them to drink and party in her basement.

This causes one of the boys’ fathers, Ben, to confront Sue. It is then revealed that in high school Ben arranged for Sue Ann to be raped and publicly humiliated in front of their classmates. Sue Ann has been taking revenge on the children of the people who bullied her. Sue Ann’s character is simultaneously deeply loveable yet utterly terrifying. Her backstory and Spencer’s impeccable acting talents make this film memorable and watch-worthy. Sue Ann is a character that truly makes you think about how we treat others and the fatal repercussions of racism and bullying.

7. Rose Armitage, Get Out

A character that no viewers are surprised to see on the list is Rose Armitage. She is the main antagonist in Jordan Peele’s stunning, Oscar-nominated 2017 Get Out and an antagonist no one will sympathise with. The main protagonist, photographer Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), learns that his white girlfriend, Rose Armitage (Allison Williams), and her family are part of a conspiracy to implant the brains of white people into the more youthful bodies of unwilling Black people and he is just the latest victim of her trap.

8. Annabelle, Annabelle

This possessed doll is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable villains of our decade. Having first appeared in The Conjuring, Annabelle went on to have her own trilogy, including the prequel Annabelle: Creation, which describes the haunted doll’s origins. The doll is possessed by a demonic spirit and has supernatural powers: telekinesis, teleportation, and can possess people.

9. Kayaoko, The Grudge

According to lore in Japanese culture, whenever someone is violently murdered, it unleashes a curse that brings the victim back as a vengeful spirit. Kayako and her son Toshio became the first vengeful spirits in The Grudge franchise.

Unlike ghosts that can be vanquished in other horror movies, Kayako seems to be invincible and comes after her victims with relentless force. As she cannot be killed, she is a terrifying antagonist to watch on the screen.

10. Tiffany, Bride Of Chucky

It’s always a doll that scares you completely in horror movies. Played by Jennifer Tilly, Tiffany Valentine is Charles Lee Ray’s (Brad Dourif) lover and accomplice before his soul was transferred into a Good Guy doll. As she is a devoted girlfriend to Chucky, she will do anything for Charles, even if that involves sadistic murders to please him.

In Bride of Chucky, Tiffany’s soul is unwillingly transferred by Chucky into a female doll, and the two set off for Hackensack to retrieve a voodoo amulet so they can both become human again.

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Angus Scott

Angus Scott

Writer and expert

Angus is a content writer, SEO executive, and social media admin who is an avid film enthusiast and binge watches The Walking Dead, Peaky Blinders, and The Office.