With Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson’s All Cheerleaders Die arriving on VOD this week, I thought this would be the perfect time to celebrate some of my very favorite “mean girls” of the horror genre. And while I do love our beloved heroines as much as the next genre fan, there’s just something really fun about watching powerful women flaunt their cruelty and penchant for torturing others every now and again.
Check out my Favorite Mean Girls of Horror picks below and see if any of your favorite vengeful vixens made the list! Caution: Some of these may be a bit spoilery for the uninitiated!
Nancy Downs (Fairuza Balk)- The Craft
While she may have grown up a total darling in films like Return to Oz and The Worst Witch, Fairuza Balk was the true epitome of a nineties mean girl in The Craft. Her character, Nancy Downs, was a teenager who struggled with her own self-worth due to being bullied by her peers and a selfish single mother which meant she had a very big axe to grind once she and her friends unlock unyielding powers during a wiccan ritual. At first, it seems like maybe she’s the victim in everything but that’s only the half of it.
Nancy, being a bit unhinged and power hungry, goes to some very dark places in The Craft as she manipulates her fellow students into doing terrible things to themselves and to others, as well as elaborately faking the deaths of one of her best friends’ parents just because she can. Talk about mean- Nancy took cruelty to an entirely new level in The Craft, to the point where you actually begin to sympathize with the bullies which speaks volumes about her character.
Carrie’s Classmates - Carrie
Considering that many of Carrie White’s (Sissy Spacek) classmates from Brian De Palma’s 1976 adaptation of Carrie could earn their own individual spots on this list for various reasons, I thought it would be better just to get the whole gang in here for good measure. Usually led by Chris Hargensen (Nancy Allen), poor timid Carrie didn’t stand a chance against all the mean girls at her high school who mocked her beliefs, the way she dressed, her crazy mother or the fact that she knew nothing about what a menstrual cycle was.
Nothing was off-limits for these vicious teenagers, including the senior prom, which is why Carrie’s post-prank meltdown after being crowned queen feels like the perfect embodiment of justice. Carrie’s reactions may have been a little on the severe but let’s be honest- they all had it coming.
Baby Firefly (Sheri Moon Zombie)- House of 1,000 Corpses/The Devil’s Rejects
Rob Zombie’s directorial debut, A House of 1,000 Corpses introduced us to probably one of the most brutal and merciless ladies of the horror genre ever, Baby Firefly (Sheri Moon Zombie). The youngest member of the sadistic Firefly clan, Baby never met a victim she didn’t like to tease, torture or dismember….and that was if she liked ‘em. Truly the apple of Mother Firefly’s eye, the delightfully demented Baby always got whatever she wanted (in many cases, that involved men) and never failed to have an onslaught of wicked insults and jeers at the ready that were almost as vicious as her skills with a knife.
Wilma Northrup (Adrienne Barbeau)- Creepshow
Man, how overbearing and awful was Wilma Northrup (Adrienne Barbeau) towards her husband Henry (Hal Holbrook) in the Creepshow segment “The Crate”? There’s mean, there’s nasty and then there’s Wilma. And not only was she blatantly cruel and demeaning but Wilma was also a loud-mouth alcoholic that reveled in her husband’s inability to stand-up for himself ever. It’s no surprise that Henry finally snaps and Wilma gets her come-uppance in the end- my only question is, why on earth did it take him so long?
Judy (Karen Fields) & Meg (Katherine Kamhi)- Sleepaway Camp
Last but certainly not least are Camp Arawak’s mean girls duo of bitchy camper Judy (Karen Fields) and merciless counselor Meg who make poor Angela’s (Felissa Rose) summer a living hell in Robert Hiltzik’s cult classic Sleepaway Camp. Beyond insulting her and mocking her awkwardness every chance they got, Judy and Meg also preyed on Angela’s traumatic past by throwing her into a lake and then laughing at her as she begins to drown. If there was a line, apparently no one ever told Meg or Judy because there was nothing that these two wouldn’t do just for kicks as their abuse of Angela repeatedly crossed the line.
Of course, Judy and Meg get exactly what’s coming to them but let’s just say that while their demises were gruesome, they still both probably deserved far worse than what horrors they faced that fateful summer away at Sleepaway Camp.