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12 Horror Movies with Badass Female Leads

I love horror movies and I love them, even more, when they have badass female leads who don’t take any shit. Here are my favourite picks below! 

1. It Follows

I’m obsessed with this movie and its intensely creepy vibes. On top of being really unsettling, its female star plays her role incredibly well. Jay is an average, everyday girl who just wants to live her life and through no fault of her own gets thrown into this eerie nightmare. She’s way more capable than typical horror movies make young girls out to be and it’s a solid horror movie all around. 

2. Halloween

Laurie Strode has recently made her badass comeback to the big screen in the latest Halloween installment, which broke some pretty impressive records, but her start in the original 1978 movie is what solidified her as a true horror movie heroine. She isn’t completely fearless, but she defends herself and protects the kids she’s babysitting, which is more that can be said for her friends. 

3. The Descent
This is the only horror movie that I can think of that has an entirely female cast, combines several of my biggest fears, and features the most redemptive survivor in a move like this that I’ve ever seen. Watch it now if you want to be creeped out and pumped up by the second half of the movie at the same time. 

4. Scream
Sidney Prescott didn’t survive the original Scream and its multiple sequels to be regarded as nothing less than a kick-ass protagonist. She toughens up with each movie that she makes it through and protects herself when she needs to, not letting multiple Ghostface killers outsmart her along the way, no matter how badly she’s antagonized or targeted. 

5. The Silence of the Lambs
Clarice Starling is intelligent, quick thinking and perceptive, all things that make her the perfect female lead for this psychological thriller. Clarice is merely a student at the FBI Academy when she’s assigned to interview Hannibal Lecter, and she’s remarkably capable while she does it. Despite her terror while facing off against Buffalo Bill, (in the pitch dark, with moths flying everywhere and that lunatic stalking her with night vision goggles and a gun), she still manages to kill him. Honestly, she’s one of the greats for a reason. 

6. Annihilation
This complex, weird and all-around disconcerting movie can’t really be explained unless you watch it, but Natalie Portman shines (as she always does) in this lead role. The primarily female cast is great, and Natalie’s character is complicated, smart and capable. 

7. The Babadook
Give this poor woman an award for putting up with her monster of a son. I’ll take on the Babadook (the world’s most unexpected gay icon), over that little screaming terror and his constant whining any day. Battling depression and the woes of motherhood (especially when your child is this unpleasant) gives this film an automatic spot on this list. 

8. Hush
Imagine being deaf, living in the middle of the woods and then being terrorized in your own home by this creepy asshole? Yeah, nope. This horror gem that I found on Netflix had me on edge the entire time I watched it and proved to me that Maddie is a hell of a lot stronger than I would ever be in those circumstances. 

9. The Shallows
I love Blake Lively and everything she does, and her role in this film is no exception. She leads this movie almost entirely solo from start to finish, and immediately inspired me to get back in the pool and work on my swimming abilities. Her character is stranded in the ocean with a shark stalking her the entire time, while she’s injured and quickly running out of time to save herself. She holds her own though and uses her smarts, med school training and athleticism to escape everyone’s biggest fear when they’re in the ocean. 

10. Alien
Ellen Ripley is one of my favourite fictional heroes of all time. She’s the toughest of the tough and she carries a multiple movie franchise with her badass intelligence and big dick energy attitude. The first Alien film is where we see her put all of her skills into action, and there’s a reason why she ends up being the last survivor. 

11. A Nightmare on Elm Street
I would straight up die in this universe, no doubt about it. I can barely stay awake to finish an essay, let alone battle a terrifying monster in my dreams who’s quickly killing off all of my friends and then my boyfriend. Nancy has balls, which is why she’s able to take on Freddie when no one else can.

12. You’re Next 
Woah boy, let me tell you, there are just some characters you know shouldn’t be fucked with, and Erin is one of them. From the get-go, she knows exactly how to defend herself and she’s not about to let some creepy assholes in animal masks prove her otherwise. 

Emily Waitson

Wilfrid Laurier '20

Emily is a twenty-something fourth-year student majoring in English and History. She has a passion for writing, internet-famous cats, and sappy books.
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