Danielle Harris is one of the more celebrated actresses in the horror community whose managed to cement herself as a bonafide scream queen, also capable of pulling in strong performances when necessary. Harris has returned to horror over the last decade, producing, directing, and starring in many popular and news making horror titles and doesn’t seem to be quitting any time soon. To celebrate her newest release “Camp Dread,” we list our five favorite performances from the immortal Ms. Harris.
5. Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007) – Annie Brackett
Hey, if you’re going to choose anyone to take the torch from the sexy Nancy Klyes, at least cast the now fully grown and gorgeous alum from the original series. Danielle Harris plays the new Annie Brackett who suffers a very painful death from FrankenMeyers in Rob Zombie’s Halloween and then… returns for the sequel. She didn’t actually die, apparently. Oh well, a live Danielle Harris is a good Danielle Harris!
4. Hatchet III (2013) – Marybeth
Maybe it’s because the original actress who played Marybeth wouldn’t or couldn’t return, or perhaps director Adam Green really liked Harris and brought her on as a replacement. In either case, Harris really transforms Marybeth in to a more likable character as the movies go on. She’s much more tolerable in the third film, since in the sequel she really does nothing but cry and run. At least she fights a bit in this one. And let’s face it, Harris can scream just as great now, as she did when she was a child.
3. Eerie, Indiana (TV 1991) – Melanie Monroe
I fondly remember watching the episode “Heart on a Chain” when it first aired on CBS and found it quite sad. Harris is great as Melanie, a young girl who moves in to Eerie, Indiana and is waiting for a heart so she can get a much needed heart transplant. Main character Marshall and his friend Devon begin competing for her attention, but poor risk taking Devon is killed in a terrible car accident. Without knowledge, Melanie receives his heart for the surgery and soon begins taking on Devon’s traits, including risk taking, and mannerisms. She and Marshall soon find out that Devon’s heart chain he gave her as a present is refusing to let her move on, and only when she finally lets him go, can she begin to live her life again.
2. The Wild Thornberrys (TV 1998) – Debbie Thornberry
For a short period, Harris disappeared from film and television altogether, but returned once again to play older sister Debbie Thornberry in the excellent animated series “The Wild Thornberrys.” Centered on a globe trotting family of nature filmmakers, Debbie is the oldest sister constantly filled with aggravation and has trouble adjusting to her wild surroundings and extreme conditions. She’s also tasked with caring for the family’s adopted feral child Donnie. Harris is nearly unrecognizable with a strong Valley Girl accent, but really helps portray a flawed but very good hearted character.
1. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) – Jamie Lloyd
This is Harris’ cinematic debut as she plays the young adopted Jamie Lloyd, who we later discover is the long lost daughter of Laurie Strode. “The Return” is an unofficial reboot to the series, and the producers cast Harris as a successor to Curtis. She’s a wonderful performer here portraying a very charming and tragic character, and shocking enough she can scream just as well as Ms. Curtis. Often times much better. Harris’ portrayal of the tragic Jamie whose entire life is destroyed by her relentless psychotic uncle has become a favorite heroine among many horror fans. So much so that there is still immense anger at Jamie’s abrupt and outright tacked on death at the prologue of “The Curse of Michael Myers.”