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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Exeter chapter.

It would not be spooky season without us talking all things female villains. Whilst they are in fact baddies, we just can’t help but love them. The fashion, the look, the sass – they have it all! So, I’m using this article to explore some of the best female villains we have seen on screen over the years! Not only could this help you decide your costume but could inspire a Halloween themed screen marathon. 

Villanelle – Killing Eve

Perhaps one of the most recognisable female villains of our time. Iconic is an understatement. I’m sure you are all like me, caught between feeling sympathy for her desire to be loved but turning your head in horror when she is on the warpath. A villain who truly steals every scene she is in, even the grizzly ones. It would be criminal to mention Villanelle without talking fashion. THOSE OUTFITS. The colours, the prints and the accessories, it is fair to say Villanelle does nothing without a splash of style. And yes, we are all thinking of the bright puffy pink dress… 

Cruella de Vil – 101 Dalmatians & Cruella

A female Disney super villain. I’m sure all our childhoods were marked by watching her on the big screen with that coat and red heels. In both films, she steals the show, proving herself to be the ultimate villain (and that’s without the dog-kidnapping). Her scary smirk, iconic outfits and two-toned hair definitely set her apart from the rest. Her place in villain history was only re-cemented by Emma Stone’s 2021 adaption on Disney+.

Regina GEorge – Mean Girls

If, by some crazy reason, you don’t know this character, go and watch her. Right now. The ultimate ice queens. She makes this film with her calculated coldness, cattiness and outright horrible behaviour. You can’t not hate her, but equally, she’s your ultimate high school villain, and we all love a villain, right? We are of course thinking of the Halloween party in the film, where she turns up in her sexy bunny costume… But for a real fright why not get a blonde wig, some pink clothes and go as Regina for Halloween. 

Maleficent – Maleficent

I have to be honest; I was never really captured by Disney’s Maleficent in the original Sleeping Beauty (1959). She’s definitely a villain, but there was never enough drama. Then came along Angelina Jolie and WOW. Her portrayal definitely spices up the villainess of Maleficent. The horns, the make-up and piercing eyes – you cannot help but be fascinated with her. Amplified by the amazing staging and costume departments, you forget her tragic start which ultimately shaped her into the Mistress of Evil. 

Lady MacBeth – Macbeth

Okay, so not the most obvious one, but it wouldn’t be an article from me without talking history. Cunning and calculating Lady Macbeth is arguably one of the original female villains throughout history on both screen and stage. No matter who portrays her, there is no escaping that you need to bring both evil and cold-heartedness to her character. Manipulating her husband into committing regicide for their own gain, is a scandalous crime in itself. But it is LM’s truly iconic monologues that make you envious of all the women who get to play her! We hate her, but we love the DRAMA. 

Megan Barber

Exeter '23

22 years old studying History. You can find me eating, reading or planning my next adventure...