With the internet’s recent obsession with Suicide Squad and especially Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, I started thinking about female villains. What makes them great? Who have been the greatest in history, and why? Well I don’t know the true answers to any of these questions, but here's my best guess. A good villain is not only fun to watch through their interaction with the main character, but they are interesting and fun to watch on their own. The best villains bring out a weird cathartic release in audiences, letting us see a glimpse of the darker side of our souls without having to going full evil ourselves. This is the beauty of good vs. evil in films—both are convincing and both have their reasoning, no matter how much we agree with them.
Beauty, treachery, badassery, insanity, able to sport a cool outfit, dedication to being evil, these are just some of things that score points for me on my scale of villainess points. And, while it may not be an exact science, I’m sure that many will agree with my choices. That being said, there are so many great villains that didn’t make the list. Some I left off because I didn’t feel connected or convinced by their characters, other because I just didn’t like or never saw their movies, so sue me.
16 Pamela Vorhees – Friday the 13th
15 Emma Frost – X-Men: First Class
14 Catherine Tramell – Basic Instinct
13 Asami – Audition
12 Catwoman – Batman Returns
11 Mallory Knox – Natural Born Killers
10 Mama Fratelli – The Goonies
9 Kathryn Merteuil – Cruel Intentions
8 Regina George – Mean Girls
7 Mystique - X-Men
6 Maleficent – Maleficent/Sleeping Beauty
5 O-Ren Ishii – Kill Bill: Part 1
4 Bellatrix Lestrange – Harry Potter Franchise
3 Nurse Ratched – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
2 Annie Wilkes – Misery
1 Wicked Witch of the West – The Wizard of Oz
Here’s a test. Ask someone to close their eyes and think of a witch. Ask them to describe the witch. Now, I’m be willing to bet that nine times out of 10 that description matches the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. For me, Margaret Hamilton’s insertion into the public consciousness as the prototypical witch makes her the greatest villain of all time, male or female. The voice, her green skin (just to show off their new fancy technicolor feature), the digs, the broom, the hat, everything. She’s the witch I think of when I think of witches. But if this witch is my witch, which witch is your witch?
Sources: Ranker.com, IMDB.com
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