High school and horror go together like milk and cookies, peanut butter and jelly, or even a spider and a fly. It makes sense because almost all of us have suffered through the horror that is everyday high school life. And part of that adolescent trauma often stems from bullies.
Horror, being the clever genre it is, recognizes that while ghosts and goblins do indeed scare the pants off us, it’s the things firmly rooted in our every day that spook us the most. Failure, loneliness, the whole shebang. So that’s why there are so many high school horror movies. And where there’s high school, there are mean girls. So in celebration of school being back in session here are ten of the meanest girls we love to hate. Don’t worry, this won’t be on the test.
10. The entire cast of Unfriended (2014)
Unfriended featured a familiar premise in an interesting way. A group of friends being held hostage through the popular chatting site Skype. The movie is set as found-footage style, with cleverly styled interludes of video chats and Facebook images. Death and chaos ensue, but it seems hard to pin down at first. Is it truly a malevolent spirit back from the dead picking on innocent teenagers? As always, the truth is never quite what it seems and it turns out, the entire friend group is collectively a mean girl.
9. Courtney and Marcie, Jawbreaker (1999)
Jawbreaker lives in a strange land of comedy, horror, and crime. Regardless of whatever genre it actually is, the film sets into motion some of the best mean girls around. Courtney (Rose McGowan) and Marcie (Julie Benz) are the amplified mean girls you’ll find around any educational institute. Capable of ruining lives with nothing more than a few sharp words and an even sharper hair whip, Courtney and Marcie rule high school with an iron fist. The two girls manage to take the term ‘frenemies’ to a new level. Beautiful, cruel, and even malicious, the two show that something as sweet as candy can be a deadly weapon.
8. Chris, Carrie (1976)
A large part of horror leads us to villains that seem deserving of sympathy. Usually, they’ve had a troubled past or experienced heartbreak. Chris seems intent on making sure no one feels that way about her. After her and her friends gang up on Carrie (Sissy Spacek) in a high school shower, the school attempts to punish them. But Chris has other plans and manages to orchestrate one of the most iconic movie moments of all time.
7. Jamie, Little Witches (1996)
Little Witches had the misfortune of coming out around the same time as The Craft which led to it being hidden in the shadows. However, the movie’s a cheesy good time featuring nuns, satanic rituals, and nineties era eyebrows. Jamie (Sheeri Rappaport) manages to pull off not one but several feats of mean girl moments. From assault, demon summoning, and learning Latin over the course of Easter break, Jamie has it all covered.
6. Judy, Sleepaway Camp (1983)
Poor Judy has one of the most vicious deaths on this list, but it only comes after peak high school cruelty. Though her appearances in the movie are few and far between, the moments we do have with her are some of the most memorable. Her spot holds steady with her hobbies focusing on hunky guys and making other girls’ lives hell. After seducing someone’s crush and throwing someone into a lake, Judy makes it clear; high school isn’t time for games.
5. Angela, Night of the Demons (1988)
To be fair, Angela doesn’t start out the meanest girl on the block. Maybe just one for bad decisions. But then again, that bad decision turned out to be a terrible mistake and now she’s actually a demon. A demon with incredible dance skills. Angela’s cruelty accumulates throughout the film in both gory and subtle ways, from biting off someone’s tongue to a razor-sharp wit.
4. Mandy, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)
Mandy (Amber Heard) is a girl who finds herself the apple of every adolescent boy’s eye after shooting through puberty over the summer. The new surge of popularity and sexuality are foreign to her, but not foreign enough that she doesn’t figure out how to wield it in order to use it against the people that brought her and her outcast friend Emmett to their knees. Not a stereotypical mean girl, but the cruelty in which she kills is something to remember.
3. Liz, The Hole (2001)
The Hole features top tier manipulation that seems far beyond what a high school girl is capable of. But Liz (Thora Birch) shines as both the misfit and the popular girl, showing the cunning nature of a person willing to do whatever it takes to get what they want, regardless of who suffers from it. Featuring some of the most harrowing scenes to come out from British horror in the past couple of decades, The Hole takes the idea of a mean girl to a whole new level.
2. Nancy, The Craft (1996)
The Craft is a witchy masterpiece that I could write about the rest of my life. But for both your sake and mine, I’ll keep it brief. The film features more than one mean girl, but Nancy (Fairuza Balk) is something else. While she herself suffers at the hands of high school mean girls, she ends up becoming one in a twist of cruel fate. Nancy showed that cruelty wasn’t meant for one brand of person. It could inflict itself upon anyone, much like a terrible illness. In the end, it was hard to watch her fall into the role of a mean girl. But that doesn’t change how hard we cheered when she helped her coven live their best witchy lives, at least for a little bit.
1. Jennifer, Jennifer’s Body (2009)
One of the many hills I am willing to die on is that Jennifer’s Body is one of the best horror movies to come out of the early 2000’s. Five minutes into the film and it’s easy to see why. Jennifer, played by the incomparable Megan Fox, is both a mean girl and someone you can’t help but pity a little. She’s powerful and insecure, beautiful and desperately lonely. Her cruelty almost seems justified when you learn her fate at the hands of a mediocre rock band. While the film wasn’t a huge success when it came out, the passing years have helped prove it to be a cult classic featuring one of the baddest girls around.
Those are the 10 baddest bullies n’ mean girls of horror! Who did we miss? Join the conversation with the Nightmare on Film Street community over on Twitter, Reddit, and in the Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook!