The horror genre has provided viewers with strong, badass female characters time and again. While a select few of those gnarly women hear their names often mentioned among the echelon of all-time horror greats, there are hundreds more, patiently waiting for their own much-deserved spotlight. We here at HorrorGeekLife aim to give them just that. Without further ado and in no particular order, here are 10 underappreciated badass female horror characters.
Lola Stone – The Loved Ones (2009)
Kicking our list off with a villain, Lola “Princess” Stone isn’t someone to be trifled with. Crazy as crazy can be, Lola spends the majority of the film torturing Brent, the film’s protagonist, to the extent of injecting bleach into his voice box, stabbing knives through his feet, and throwing salt in his wounds. Though her actions are far from heroic, this is a woman who can be hit with a car and still crawl towards the people she aims to kill. If that doesn’t earn her a spot among these ten badass female horror characters, what will?
Brenda Carter – The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
Brenda is a character that never comes close to receiving an adequate amount of recognition among badass female horror characters, and for what reason? This is a teen girl who is beaten, sexually assaulted, and forced to watch members of her family be brutally murdered. Brenda harnesses her fear and brokenness, channeling it into the anger required to survive this nightmarish situation – something that culminates in her brutal revenge on one of the mutants. For her strength and resiliency, we salute Brenda Carter.
Rhonda LaBeck – Tremors (1990)
It’s impossible to think of Tremors without reminiscing over the goofball heroics of Val McKee and Earl Basset, the paranoid weapon expertise of Burt and Heather Gummer, and the immature jackassery of that goddamn Melvin. Seldom remembered, however, is that Rhonda LaBeck, in many ways, is the REAL hero of the film. Though she’s hardly a physical badass, Rhonda brainstorms herself and the characters away from death more times than one, and her pole vault skills are unrivaled. There should never be a list of badass female horror characters without her inclusion.
Beth Salinger – Hostel Part II (2007)
Since it’s one of her all-time favorite horror movies, I’m tagging in our own residential female horror badass, site owner/editor/writer Melissa Ann, to discuss what makes Beth a worthy entrant on our list!
While I absolutely love Hostel, the sequel ranks even higher in my favorites list. Keeping to the same mold as the first film, Hostel: Part II introduced us to a group of likable female characters who also fall victim to the Elite Hunting Club. Once the games begin, Beth’s survival instincts kick in and she does anything to survive, even becoming a Club member to escape. How does she prove herself to management? By cutting off her attacker’s genitals and feeding it to dogs, of course. She ends her revenge streak with a decapitation via a two-handed ax. Beth’s brutal revenge tactics definitely make her a badass!
Tuffy/Heroine 2 – Feast (2005)
Feast, in general, doesn’t seem to get the recognition it deserves as a horror film. A pull-no-punches gory riot, Feast packs an ample amount of laughs while still being a genuinely “fuck-that” sort of monster film. Tuffy, though not initially labeled so, is the hero of the film. After witnessing her own child being eaten by the monsters, Tuffy becomes overwhelmed by her grief, eventually harnessing it as revenge against some of the most brutal movie monsters ever conceived. She’s a badass, and she belongs on this list.
Kate Fuller – From Dusk till Dawn (1996)
Kate Fuller, From Dusk till Dawn’s residential good-girl-gone-rad, is certainly one of the most underappreciated badass female horror characters in existence. Forced to help smuggle criminal brothers into Mexico, Kate, her family, and the criminals find themselves held up in a strip club that turns out to be the home of vampires. Forced to watch her father turn into a vampire/be killed and to put down her own brother, Kate kicks vampire ass, resulting in her being one of the only two survivors of the horrific incident.
Selena – 28 Days Later (2002)
Though the main protagonist and eventual hero of 28 Days Later, Jim plays second fiddle to Selena throughout. We first meet Selena when she rescues Jim from the infected, and she only grows in badassery as the film progresses. Unabashedly brutal (she will kill you), Selena finds herself serving as both protector and savior throughout. There’s no question that she belongs on this list of badass female horror characters. She’s one of the baddest to ever do it.
Samantha Hughes – The House of the Devil (2009)
The House of the Devil is one of my all-time favorite horror films, in part because of the mastery of Ti West, but the film’s protagonist has a lot to do with that as well. A college student who takes on a “babysitting” job for a mysterious couple, Samantha finds herself the subject of a bizarre ritual aimed to impregnate her with Satan’s child. Rather than accept her fate, Samantha fights back, killing multiple members of the evil family, eventually shooting herself in the head so not to allow their plan to be successful. Whether the attempt works or not is irrelevant. Sacrificing yourself to stop evil is badass.
Maddie Young – Hush (2016)
There’s rarely been a bigger badass in horror, regardless of gender. Maddie is a young, deaf author who lost her hearing at the age of 13. When she is attacked by a man at her isolated home in the woods, Using her disability and writer’s imagination to her advantage, Maddie serves as one the strongest and smartest horror heroes in recent memory. If you’ve yet to see this film, do yourself a favor and check it out on Netflix. You’ll be thoroughly impressed by this character.
Lizzy – The Monster (2016)
Having seen this film four times now, I can say without a bit of doubt that Lizzy, though only 10 years old, is one of the most badass female horror characters of all time. When you couple her devastatingly brutal home-life with the bravery and toughness it takes to face-off against a literal, terrifying monster, there’s no denying that Lizzy belongs here. For our spoiler-free review of the film, head over here.
There you have it! Our list of badass female horror characters that deserve more recognition. There are so many more badass females in our beloved genre that didn’t get mentioned. Who are some of your favorites? We’d love to hear from you!