Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Because heroines are boring (just sayin‘). From Disney baddies who are just as frightening as they were when you were a kid hiding behind your couch, to Queens of mean who are out to get their revenge; we’ve picked 10 of the very best female villains from TV and film, just in time for Halloween. We’ll see you on the dark side.
Regina George — Mean Girls
Malicious, superficial, and calculating, Regina is every high school girl’s walking nightmare. She’ll beat down anyone who gets in her way, whether that’s by spreading vicious rumors or by turning the whole school against you—don’t mess.
The Grand High Witch — The Witches
Road Dahl’s Grand High Witch is horrifying, especially considering the tale is written for children. Hidden beneath a glamorous, deceiving human mask, with—of course—gloves and pointed shoes to conceal her claws and square feet, she has one aim: to banish children from the world by turning them into mice. Anjelica Huston plays her in the film adaptation, and when she takes off that mask…there are no words. Feel free to go on and Google (if you dare).
Cersei Lannister — Game of Thrones
In a show filled with corrupted, wicked characters of all shapes and sizes, there’s a certain villain who is arguably the worst of the worst, and that is the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms—Cersei Lannister. It would take quite a while to list all of the ruthless evil atrocities Cersei has committed, but her seething, icy stares alone are enough to make you well aware that this lady can’t be fucked with when it comes to her search for power and the protection of her family.
Winifred Sanderson — Hocus Pocus
A Disney ‘90s classic, Hocus Pocus is hands down the ultimate quintessential Halloween film, and we can’t help but love the fabulously mean witch, Winifred Sanderson, faultlessly played by Bette Midler. Few evil witches possess as much wit and comedic charm as Winifred, and her rendition of “I Put a Spell on You” is actually pretty damn good.
Bonnie Parker — Bonnie and Clyde
Bonnie Parker is one of the most notorious and dangerous female American gangsters in the world, and Faye Dunaway’s sultry portrayal in the two-time Oscar-winning film is iconic for many reasons. Recklessly living a life of crime and having a lot of fun along the way—Bonnie and her other partner in crime, Clyde (played by Warren Beatty), revel in the forbidden excitement of living beyond the law, and their on-screen magnetism make it appear all the more glamorous—that, and Bonnie’s killer wardrobe of stylish knits, berets, and knotted scarves.
Maleficent — Sleeping Beauty
She’s arguably one of Disney’s most memorable villains, and you can see why—those piercing eyes filled with pure hatred, those menacing devil horns, and her ability to suddenly turn into a fire-breathing dragon (shudder). Even her name alone sounds powerfully wicked.
Elle Driver — Kill Bill
A one-eyed assassin with an unflinching ability to kill, Elle Driver is an unforgiving, demonic killer with a knack for samurai swordplay and hand-to-hand combat. Worst of all, Driver has absolutely zero redeeming or empathetic qualities—she’s unabashedly and terrifyingly evil and will stop at nothing to destroy her enemies.
May Day — A View To Kill
Let’s face it—anything Grace Jones does is iconic, and her part as May Day in James Bond, A View to Kill, is no exception. The henchwoman for the film’s main villain, Max Zorin, (played by Christopher Walkden), May Day is silent but deadly and extraordinarily powerful, demonstrated when she effortlessly holds a man above her head. Whenever Zorin wanted someone killed without getting his own hands dirty, he’d turn to May Day. She does, however, switch sides and becomes a heroine once she realizes how little Zorin cares for her, but whatever—she’s too legendary to not be mentioned.
Cruella de Vil — 101 Dalmatians
“If she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will”, her theme song goes, and we pretty much have to agree. Cruella has her heart set on a beautiful spotted fur coat made from the skins of 99 puppies, and man is this lady scary when she isn’t given what she wants. What separates her from the other Disney villains is the fact that she’s so human—there are no spells or fantastical elements to her devilish persona, which makes her all the more real and petrifying.
The Wicked Witch of the West — The Wiazrd of Oz
We couldn’t not include the Wicked Witch of the West—one of the most recognized villains in the history of film. Played by Margaret Hamilton in the 1939 adaption, her portrayal was so legendary that it formed the stereotype we have of witches today, including her maniacal cackle. Many of her scenes were actually cut out because viewers found her to be too scary.