Yes, we spent all October objectifying women in many articles concerning women in horror and what we’d do during sexual encounters and the final girls we love to ogle while cheering for. Now in the final Friday of October, we spotlight the strong women. They’re bold, courageous, pushed in to a corner, and battle their way out. They have brains, brawn, instinct, and often times are smarter than they men they’re battling alongside. They display amazing resilience in horrible situations, endure dark corners, sub zero temperatures, and maintain their sanity. They meet a challenge head on and fight to the death. These are ten underrated horror heroines we adore, these are ten underrated horror heroines we’d love to have beside us during confrontations with demons, zombies, vampires, or ghosts.
30 Days of Night
Stella Oleson is in the same boat as everyone else. Intending to leave the Antarctic on vacation, she becomes the victim of circumstances when a lone stranger enters in to town and begins sabotaging all the communication devices. Missing her ride out of the frozen tundra, she’s left to endure thirty days of darkness. And also, there are hordes of ravenous vampires that have just stomped in to town and massacre an entire community. That sucks. Oleson is a powerful and capable woman who spends most of her time on-screen doing whatever it takes to survive.
And she also has to witness the deterioration of her ex-boyfriend who, with his horrible asthma, has to struggle to breath, let alone wait out the thirty days of darkness when the vampires can finally leave. The vampires are fast, strong, and can infect their victims with their bites, and the human group Stella is apart of simply have no way of fighting back. But she keeps her strength and wits about, and never buckles under the pressure. That is until the sequel ruined it and turned her in to a mopy moron. But let’s pretend that never happened.
Whether or not Juno is a heroine is debatable. Many fans have agreed she’s indeed an antagonist who spend the entirety of “The Descent” taking actions that will benefit her and her alone. Sarah is a woman who is suffering from grief and a crippling mental illness, and is yanked in to an extraordinary situation by her best friend Juno. Juno is plagued by the selfish remorse of having an affair with her friends husband before his death and seems mostly guilty that her lover died rather than the fact that her friend’s family are gone.
And Juno also happens to be insanely sexy. But that’s neither here, nor there. To compensate for her crimes against her best friend Sarah, she leads her group of friends in to an unmarked and unexplored cave that eventually delivers them in to the bowels of hell. Juno and Sarah are undoubtedly warrior women who take every measure to survive. Juno battles an attack by nightmarish monsters with her hands and goes primal, while Sarah is also forced to confront cave monsters and destroy every monster that lunges toward her. Juno and Sarah are an uneasy pair.
Zoe Bell plays Zoe Bell as Zoe in Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof.” So while she is Zoe Bell, she’s not actually Zoe Bell, but Zoe, who is a fictional variation of Zoe Bell, but not actually Zoe Bell, the stunt woman. But more Zoe, the stunt woman. Makes sense? I know, but trust me it’s not as disastrous as that awful moment in “Ocean’s Twelve” where Julia Roberts character Tess Ocean infiltrated a hotel by pretending to be movie star Julia Roberts.
Someone actually thought that would be brilliant. It was insanely self indulgent. In either case, Zoe is a fun loving, thrill seeking, insanely hot New Zealander who has her eye on a Dodge Challenger for sale. When she goes for a joy ride with her friends and engages in a game of ship’s mast, little do they know they’re about to be victimized by Stuntman Mike. After surviving a collision, and chasing after their tormentor, Zoe and her friends beat the ever loving hell out of their male tormentor on the highway and finish him off with a boot to the face. Zoe is an amazing specimen and she has more balls than most men in horror films.
28 Days Later
Though it’s never extrapolated upon, Selina is a woman who has witnessed an enormous amount of insanity. In a matter of a month. She’s watched everyone around her die, and those lucky enough to die transform in to blood soaked monsters intent on tearing people limb to limb for no reason. Armed with her machete, Selina makes the hard decisions and displays a stone cold resolve that makes her a survivor, beyond all reason.
Even the man she spends many weeks with, surviving and foraging for food suffers a horrible death under Selina’s blade when he’s cut during an attack before Selina’s eyes. Selina will do what it takes to live another day. It’s the will to live to that drives her, and her wits make her the perfect warrior woman for the apocalypse. She accidentally finds a family in “28 Days Later,” but she keeps her wits about, and sees the dawn of a new civilization.
Blood: The Last Vampire
Saya is said to be the last of the “original” vampires who has been hired by the government to infiltrate various environments and, with the use of her katana, murders bat like vampiric creatures known as chiropterans. Saya is a vulnerable and aggressive young female warrior who wields her katana wonderfully and doesn’t mind hacking vampires and vampire monsters in two for the sake of completing her mission. Her back story is mysterious and foggy and her memories are often skewed, but she keeps fighting because it’s her mission to clean the world of the vampiric menace. And she pretty much has to.
Freddy vs. Jason
Lori Campbell is unfortunately one of the classic Freddy Krueger victims who has led a troubled life filled with questions and mysteries, all of which unfold in the duration of “Freddy vs. Jason.” Her mom suffered under the claw of Krueger, and for years she was convinced her dad committed the murder. When she and her friends are pushed in between the battle of two truly merciless supernatural murderers, she can do nothing but improvise and fight her way out.
Transforming from victim to heroine over the course of the story, she delves in to her own psyche, saves Jason Voorhees, pulls out Freddy, and allows both he and Jason to battle to the death while she struggles to find safety. The true villain of “Freddy vs. Jason” is Krueger, and Lori finds her strength in the end, standing up to him, and battling for her life. And Monica Keena is hot. So there’s that, too.
Major Scarlet Ross
28 Weeks Later
Scarlett is one of the many strong females in the Danny Boyle created “28… Later” series, and she’s a truly polar opposite to Selina. While Selina was a survivor, Scarlett is more a nurturing and passive presence. Going along with the American occupation of London, she fears that the rage virus will break out again. In spite of American hubris, the virus does break out, but not before she discovers a potential cure to the infection.
Tasked with bringing the key to the cure across the newly infected London landscape, Scarlet defies all odds to bring Tammy and Andy to the helicopter meeting point so they can be taken to safety. Scarlet is a courageous force of nature who manages to sacrifice her own life for her mission to save humanity. And as is the case with the narrative, like every other hero in the series, she suffers a brutal and violent death.
Nam Joo is an Olympic status archer who spends most of the film in a distant country dominating sporting events with her masterful skills involving the bow and arrow. Suddenly, an enormous situation presents itself in which a giant sea monster wreaks havoc in Korea and begins devouring local denizens. What’s worse is that it’s also kidnapping victims and leaving them for snacks in its dwelling, later on.
With the government seizing the country and creating intentional hysteria, Nam-Joo and her family decide to venture out in to the wilderness of the city and find their youngest sister who has been kidnapped by the sea monster and is being held alive. With incredible courage and confidence, Nam-Joo confronts the beast on many occasions and even risks being killed in one instance just to bring it down with her bow and arrow. The final scenes is where she truly shines, bringing down the monster with one swift shot of the bow and arrow. And they say archery is a useless skill.
Land of the Dead
Slack is a true survivor. She’ll do whatever it takes to outlive the zombie apocalypse, and shows that when we’re first introduced to her. Living her life in the ghettos of Fiddler’s Green, she spent most of her years as a prostitute and crossed the wrong people. When we first meet her, she’s dumped in to a zombie pit forced to fight off two of the walking dead, and gives her partner Riley Denboe her assistance in retrieving the Dead Reckoning after he saves her life.
She’s fascinated by Riley and his relationship with his mentally disabled partner Charlie, but like everyone else in the film, she learns to respect him, and proves she’s much more than a prostitute living on scraps. With guts, attitude, courage, boldness, a healthy bit of sarcasm, and pure instinct (not to mention blinding sex appeal), Slack survives for the entirety of “Land of the Dead” and manages to display a healthy chemistry with Riley. Their unofficial romance makes for a great portion of the story, but she doesn’t need a man to live in a world overrun by the walking dead. That’s for damn sure.
Sheriff Samantha Parker
Eight Legged Freaks
Beauty, brains, and great with a shotgun, Sheriff Samantha Parker spends most of “Eight Legged Freaks” leading the charge. Though a single mother who spends most of the first half of the film chasing after her children, she realizes the threat of the giant spider invasion and decides to use the situation as an opportunity to show why she deserves respect rather than mope. While every other man in the film spends their time running, whining, and complaining about something, Samantha Parker leads everyone in to battle against the giant spiders, and demands their attention and respect.
She never cries in the film, rarely ever panics, and even when watching her daughter about to be devoured by a spider, her first instinct is to take out the shotgun and blow the bastard to kingdom come simply because it dared to set foot in her house. She devises the wise plan to flee to the abandoned mall in the outskirts of town, and she stands up against the horde of spiders as everyone else escapes in to the safety of the mall prepared to hide and wait out the arachnids. Samantha Parker is a damned good horror heroine who gets no mention, and that’s a shame.