Hollywood horror films are known for casting buxom beauties on the big screen, but it’s usually scantily clad hotties running through the woods in terror that get the most attention. Playing the main role in a horror film usually goes to a male actor, and female actresses get sidelined as just supporting characters or the unlucky ones that get killed off during the first few minutes.
The films that have featured women as the psychotic maniac are few and far between, and they haven’t always been the hottest celebrities on the market. While Glenn Close played the ultimate psycho in Fatal Attraction, the film was released in 1987 and it’s been quite some time since she was considered one of Hollywood’s sexiest starlets.
Other films have tried to emulate the over-the-top psychotic behavior of past films like The Hand That Rocks The Cradle and Misery, but they often put a different spin on it to divert from the main theme of the film. While Jennifer’s Body was a great way to highlight Megan Fox as the super sexy lead in a film, mixing in the demonic possession took away from the storyline. Anyone would be considered a psycho if they were possessed by a demon and eating those she murdered, so she doesn’t exactly make the list for great psychos in film. Instead, let’s take a look at 10 celebrity hotties that played a great psycho in film, and see how they stack up to some of the older horror flicks that paved the road for these leading ladies.
12 Sharon Stone
Sharon Stone may not be as young as some of the other celebrities on this list, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t worthy of still being called a hottie. Her portrayal in Basic Instinct will go down in infamy, and not just because of the scene where she crosses and uncrosses her legs. The opening scene where Stone’s character is having sex, features one of the more gory scenes in the film. After tying him up, she stabs him in the neck, nose, and upper body in what can only be described as a bloodbath. While there are other stabbing scenes in the film, this is the one that legitimizes her character as a true psychopath.
11 Mia Wasikowska
Mia Wasikowska seems drawn to film roles that stray from the same old roles in Hollywood. From the Alice in Wonderland film series directed by Tim Burton to Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, Wasikowska isn’t afraid to delve into the weird when it comes to the roles she picks. However, it was her portrayal in Stoker that showed just how magnificent her skills were in playing a psycho.
Shortly after her character turns 18 years old, her father’s brother (who incidentally killed her father) comes to live with her and her mother. He was formerly in a mental institution, and seems to have the same tendencies towards murder that intrigues Wasikowska’s character, India Stoker. He introduces her to this murderous desire, and helps to cultivate it in hopes of running away together. However, he may have taught her a little too well because she ends up killing him in the end, and doesn’t just stop there. The film ends with the audience wondering how many more people she will kill while on the road, adding a police officer to the top of the list.
10 Susan Ward
In the 2000 film, The In Crowd, a girl is released from a mental institution and gets a job working at a country club filled with the beautiful and elite. Susan Ward plays the role of Brittany, who is seemingly the head of the “in crowd.” Although she initially befriends the new girl, Adrien, things turn rather quickly when Adrien gains the attention of a guy Brittany has set her eyes on. A string of murders, an uncovered mystery, and a dead body buried in the woods lands Brittany in a mental hospital at the end of the film, but she never loses her sex appeal. Applying her patented lip gloss, even behind bars, the film ends with fans wondering how long it will be before she worms her way out.
9 Ali Larter
Starring as the deranged coworker in the 2009 film, Obsessed, Ali Larter is in hot pursuit of Beyonce’s husband, played by Idris Elba. Unlike other films that show the demise of a woman’s psyche due to an affair or one-night-stand that didn’t result in a lasting relationship, Ali Larter’s character was completely “obsessed” without the main character ever willingly participating in a romance – unless you count the time she spiked his drink, followed him into his hotel room, and “raped” him. Besides the hotel situation, crazy spam pop-up pictures, and suicide attempt, Larter’s character officially reached psycho status when she switched places with the babysitter and is seen rocking their infant son while they aren’t home.
8 Alicia Silverstone
Alicia Silverstone is an actress that doesn’t seem to mind playing a female with a few mental ticks, since she was the favorite actress for some of the more disturbed music videos by Aerosmith. Her film career offers a few instances of craziness, but the best psycho moments were definitely in The Crush. Playing Adrienne Forrester, Silverstone might seem a little old to play this 14-year-old character but what she lacks in youth she makes up for in pure craziness. While we can excuse the cyber hacking and intentional striptease, locking the girlfriend into a room while unleashing a swarm of wasps is a little difficult to overlook. False sexual abuse allegations and a slew of “accidental” deaths doesn’t really help the matter, and the film ends with Silverstone developing a new “crush” on her doctor at the psychiatric hospital.
7 Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman was first introduced to audiences as a fresh-faced youth that had fans rooting for her, even when she was the sidekick to a hitman in Léon: The Professional. While she’s starred in a few films that dabbled on the dark side, nothing quite compares to her portrayal as Nina Sayers in the psychological thriller, Black Swan. The film can be dissected in various ways, with some thinking of the film as a metaphor for what an artist goes through to achieve perfection in their craft.
However, the sheer fact that the main character loses her grip on reality, shows how psychotic her mental stability is. While she may not have actually stabbed Mila Kunis’s character in the film (or Winona Ryder’s to that point), she definitely meant to do so during the confrontation. The film ends to show that Nina actually stabbed herself, and is bleeding profusely at the onset of the credits. Not only did the film become a huge commercial success in theaters, but it landed Portman the Oscar for Best Actress in 2011.
6 Lucy Liu
Lucy Liu has played in a number of films throughout her professional career, but many of them have been pretty much family friendly. Yet, it was her portrayal of O-Ren “Cottonmouth” Ishii in the Kill Bill film series that showed fans she could play a psycho with ease. While you may have given her a pass in Chicago when she shot her husband after finding him in bed with two other women, it’s a little more difficult to forgive the beheading scene in Kill Bill Vol. 1. If the old adage is true and “a man is known by the company he keeps,” Lucy Liu wasn’t helping her cause by hanging out with fellow psychopath, Gogo Yubari.
5 Rosamund Pike
Rosamund Pike has starred in a number of different films throughout her career, but many of the roles chose to highlight her girl-next-door looks and soft-spoken style. However, it was her role as Amy in Gone Girl that had Hollywood considering her a rising star in the industry. She kept people guessing throughout the film, and pulled off every aspect of the character. Just as audiences started to feel sorry for the Amy character, she made sure they felt the heat of fear. It takes a true psycho to put so much effort into a revenge plot that culminates with your own suicide, and the scene where she slashes Neil Patrick Harris’s throat didn’t help earn any extra sympathy points.
4 Leighton Meester
As an updated version of Single White Female, The Roommate had brilliant casting with Minka Kelly and Leighton Meester. Since they almost look like twins as it is, it wasn’t difficult for fans to see the connection between this 2011 film and the 1992 film. The plotline is a bit different, since The Roommate is in a college setting, but Meester plays the perfect psycho as the Rebecca character. While ripping out another girl’s belly button ring doesn’t seem as bad as some of the other attacks seen in horror films, putting her roommate’s cat into a dryer isn’t exactly child’s play. The film gets worse and worse, divulging Rebecca is a diagnosed schizophrenic off her meds, and she ultimately stabs Minka’s boyfriend to death. Unlike other films that show the main psychopath seemingly getting away, Meester’s character dies due to a box-cutter to the back.
3 Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz is usually shown as the girl-next-door that everyone finds absolutely enchanting. From the quirky dancing in her underwear in the Charlie's Angels film series to her irresistible character in There’s Something About Mary, she usually plays in roles that bring audiences over to her side from the get-go. However, this definitely wasn’t the case in Vanilla Sky. Not only did she appear needy, slutty, and downright desperate, but she turned out to be a total psycho. Luring Tom Cruise into her car, she goes on a tirade that ends in a full speed (intentional) car accident that kills her and leaves Tom Cruise’s character scarred for life.
2 Margot Robbie
Margot Robbie had a bit of an unconventional start in Hollywood, since she started off in an Australian soap opera series. However, her role as Leonardo DiCaprio’s wife in The Wolf of Wall Street showed the world that she was made to be on the big screen. Bringing drop-dead gorgeous looks (enough to get Jonah Hill to self-pleasure himself in front of his wife) and extremely believable when she acts, she could hold her own against powerhouse actors like Leo and Will Smith. However, it's her role as the DC Comic character, Harley Quinn, that will show fans she is more than just a pretty face. Covered with smeared clown makeup and crazy colored pigtails, Robbie looks to be crazy as crazy can be in the upcoming Suicide Squad.
1 Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron is far more than just the face of Dior and a drop dead gorgeous Hollywood starlet: She can act. While her role in the Snow White & the Huntsman series didn’t exactly show her as the nicest person, it was her role in Monster that earned her the number one spot on this list. Completely transforming for the character, Theron embodied serial killer, Aileen Wuornos, in every sense of the word.
For those unfamiliar with this real life case, the beginning of the film actually made audiences feel a little sympathetic for Theron’s character. The difficult life of a prostitute, the corruption of the neighborhood cops, and the brutal raping by a deranged customer- it wasn’t like she was a soccer mom that all of a sudden started shooting people at random. However, there were too many deaths on her hit list to be ignored, and too many that definitely didn’t deserve to die. Theron played the perfect psychopath in this film, and it earned her a well-deserved Oscar for Best Actress. While she may not have been the hottest woman on the big screen during the film, she more than proved her beauty when she stepped up to accept her Oscar.