There have been many women in films but rarely do you see a compelling female villain. I have seen countless male antagonists who have stolen the show with their creepiness or their sheer awesomeness but being able to enjoy a female villain in a movie is so very hard to find. But today I’m going to list the female baddies whose wicked ways are shone in the most delightful (or horrifying) fashion and have grown to be some of my favorite characters. Enjoy!
10. Red Queen
Alice in Wonderland wasn’t the best Disney movie ever made but one thing I distinctly remembered about the film for years after seeing it in the movie theater nine years ago was the Red Queen. Her putrid behavior and her striking look were unforgettable, standing out amidst a mostly lackluster film that I pretty much erased from memory until I saw it for the second time a few months ago.
Helena Bonham Carter’s performance as the Red Queen wasn’t Oscar worthy but I’ll never forget her incessant screaming for her beloved Jabberwocky anytime soon.
9. Proxima Midnight
Proxima Midnight is awesome, pure and simple. She’s the only female member of Thanos’s Black Order in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame 1but that doesn’t mean she’s not as tough as her male counterparts. Her incredible fighting ability made her a threat to be reckoned with and even though she came to a dismal end her shining moments were very bright indeed.
8. Bellatrix Lestrange
You know when a villain is impactful if you despise their guts. That’s how I feel about Bellatrix Lestrange. There’s nothing about her that I like…and that’s great. Helena Bonham Carter played the role of the crazed witch so well that whenever I see her in other roles all I can remember her for is this character.
What makes it even worse is that she is the one who killed Sirius Black, which is awful considering that he’s one of my favorite Harry Potter characters. Bellatrix Lestrange is the worst.
(Ha! That’s two Helena Bonham Carter roles on this list.)
Beautiful, deadly, powerful, these are the traits of the goddess, Hela. Hela was the first major female villain in the MCU and what I loved the most about her was her incredible strength in Thor: Ragnarok. She singlehandedly destroyed Thor’s hammer, a feat Thor deemed impossible. She decimated the entire Asgardian army in record speed. She was pretty much invincible. To see such a powerful woman was not only exhilarating but to also have Cate Blanchett (who just may be my favorite actress of all time) in the role was even better.
6. Harley Quinn
I didn’t know I was going to like Harley Quinn. I had seen her in the commercials for Suicide Squad and she definitely didn’t look like the type of lass I would become a fan of but I have to admit, I love Harley Quinn. Her carefree yet dangerous attitude is entertaining. I love her sexy yet demented getup. And I love her toughness. Like I said before, I didn’t think I’d become a Harley Quinn fan but after watching Suicide Squad I am one now.
5. The Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
I only watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarves once as a little girl but the Queen’s villainous ways left an impact on me. Maybe it was her iconic consultations with her magic mirror. Or maybe it was her tale of pure hatred for her stepdaughter Snow White that made her unforgettable. Whatever the case, she’s one of my favorite female villains of all time.
4. Captain Phasma
I remember seeing Captain Phasma for the first time in some early concept art for The Force Awakens and at the time I had no idea the character was going to be played by a woman. When it was announced that this ridiculously cool chrome-armored trooper was indeed a female character I was through the roof with excitement. And with the immense hype surrounding her character through the marketing for the movie my excitement for this character grew even more. Unfortunately, in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, she was never given the opportunity to shine as much as she could’ve and she, for the most part, became a wasted character.
Even though her legacy will never be as incredible as it could’ve been she will always remain one of my favorite villains of all time because she’s just too cool to deny the 100% Awesome trophy.
3. Asajj Ventress
Asajj Ventress, like Kylo Ren, has had a complex journey. Growing up she was trained in the ways of the Force by a Jedi Knight. When he was killed she turned to Count Dooku who promised her great power so that she could get revenge on those who killed her former master and anyone else who dared cross her. But then Count Dooku betrayed her and she set out on a path of redemption that was incredibly fun to watch.
Female characters aren’t usually written with this type of complexity but Asajj Ventress was one of those rare occurrences. With more dynamic female characters like her, the future of Star Wars could be grand indeed.
2. The Wicked Witch
The Wicked Witch just may be the most iconic female villain of all time with her green skin, the black dress, the wide-brimmed black hat, and the broomstick. The Wicked Witch of the West with her iconic cackle is a villain worth fearing and is honestly one of my favorite villains of all time, of any gender.
I’m determined to one day dress up as The Wicked Witch of the West for Halloween. It’ll be a blast cackling like a witch and acting quite devious for an entire day. Hee-hee.
1. Annie Wilkes
The Wicked Witch of the West may be one of the most iconic villains ever to be conceived in cinema for all of the above reasons but Kathy Bates can easily be heralded as one of the most iconic actresses of all time for her role as Annie Wilkes in Misery. She won an Oscar that year for her portrayal of the psychotic fan of James Caan’s Paul Sheldon.
In what would seem a miraculous rescue Annie Wilkes saved Paul Sheldon from a horrific crash but it wasn’t long before Sheldon realized his savior was absolutely nuts. She constantly fawned over his novels and was utterly riveted by his latest draft. But when he killed off the main character she lost it. Oh my goodness, this movie is haunting from beginning to end and Annie Wilkes stands at the center of this unforgettable film.
So, these are my ten favorite female villains. I couldn’t believe how hard it was for me to rummage through the deep recesses of my mind to find ten female antagonists worth listing, for so many films are dominated by male baddies that its kind of ridiculous. Of course, there are a lot of movies that I have never watched that I’m sure have some rather interesting female antagonists but until I see those films this list will stay like this for a long time.
Who’re some of your favorite female villains? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day.