5 Female Lead Horror Performances You Have to See

H.G. Well’s The Invisible Man has inspired lots of filmmakers. And in the age of sequels, prequels, and remakes, it’s no surprise that there’s a new iteration of the story in 2020. (If you’re curious about the original Invisible Man you can get it here and mix and match with other horror classics.)

The latest reimagining centers around a woman’s abusive ex and how far he will go to continue to abuse her as she realizes she’s being hunted by an invisible force. Director Leigh Whannell’s previous work includes the Saw and Insidious series, so he’s got some serious horror cred under his belt. Critics are buzzing about Elisabeth Moss’s performance in the horror mystery, which keeps audiences on the edge of their seat through the terrifying endeavor.

Even before the powerful performance in this remake, women have been making a lasting impression in horror films for decades. So we wanted to round up some seriously chilling female performances in five suspenseful movies: some classics, some featuring monsters, some featuring monsters disguised as humans, and some you probably haven’t discovered yet.  

Psycho

Psycho poster

There’s no way to talk about a legendary actress’ horror performance without bringing up Alfred Hitchcock’s notorious Psycho. The film follows Marion Crane, played by Janet Leigh, who ends up at a motel in the middle of nowhere after stealing from her boss. There she encounters the hotel keeper, Norman Bates, and his domineering, mentally ill mother. We don’t want to give away too many spoilers but the rest is truly horror movie history. The film features one of the most famous scenes of all time, the shower scene where Crane gets attacked by a man with a knife. Hitchcock’s style, the music, and Crane’s blood curdling performance all come together to create a scene that film students are still writing papers on to this day. Audiences reportedly ran for the theater doors and fainted in their seats when they watched the film. And it didn’t just freak out moviegoers. The shower scene was actually so impactful that Janet Leigh reportedly became afraid to take showers by herself and stuck exclusively to baths. And judging by how terrifying it is, we can see why.

The Others

The Others poster

This critically acclaimed supernatural movie earned Nicole Kidman a Golden Globe nomination in 2001. The Others takes place in 1945 and follows Grace Stewart, played by Kidman, who’s the matron of a family living in a remote country house with her servants. Unexplainable things caused by invisible forces start to happen around the house, and Nicole Kidman takes us all along on the journey to get to the bottom of the mystery. Just beware, this isn’t your typical haunted house movie. Kidman’s performance stands out as she tries to keep up proper appearances and seem normal around her children, but the stranger things get, the more that veil falls and we see the true fear in her eyes. In fact, it was so impactful that at one point Kidman quit during rehearsals because playing Grace literally gave her nightmares. Us too, Nicole.

The Cell

The Cell movie poster

The Cell is often overlooked in horror and it’s time to change that. The story follows a social worker, played by Jennifer Lopez, who goes into the mind of a serial killer to help the FBI track down his latest victim. As you can probably imagine, going into the mind of a psychopath isn’t exactly all rainbows and butterflies. We see Lopez evolve from a soft and gentle and social worker who just wants to help, to a strong badass who takes things into her own hands when she realizes it’s the only way. And she does both very well, taking us to some seriously dark and twisted places. Add that to the directing, stunning cinematography and intricate costumes, and you really get an immersive movie experience you won’t soon forget.

The Cell Jennifer Lopez Mask
The Cell Demon King Screenshot

We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to talk about kevin poster

We Need to Talk About Kevin brings a different kind of suspense to our list. The film focuses on a mother, played by the talented Tilda Swinton, and the estrangement she feels from her son Kevin, played by Ezra Miller. Kevin isn’t just an odd boy though – he’s got a darkness only she seems to see, and it only gets deeper the further we go. The film takes a unique look at some questions about what it means to be a mother and the pain self-blame leaves behind. Swinton deals with a number of irreversible consequences throughout the film, and we feel the intensity of her guilt and anguish as we watch her question everything. Swinton earned a Golden Globe nomination for this role, and with good reason.

The Descent

The Descent Poster

The Descent is our final pick and features a whole cast of talented ladies, including Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, and Alex Reid. The British film follows them as they go on a dangerous caving expedition and get trapped inside. But like all scary movies go, the girls soon find out they are not alone and have to survive in the dark among some terrifying creatures in some super tight, claustrophobia inducing spaces. We feel Macdonald’s panic through her impactful performance as we watch her try to wiggle her way out without completely breaking down, knowing she has no choice but to move through it. Interestingly enough, Macdonald reportedly said she is claustrophobic, so she did not find it hard to get freaked out during filming. Tight spaces or not, it’s easy to feel the girls’ fear as we watch them try to survive the unknown and the terrifying.

The Descent

The Different Faces of Jim Carrey in 5 Movies

The Internet has been buzzing about Sonic for months, and it’s not just because of the video game nostalgia. The Sonic character redesign caused a massive stir both online and in the film industry. And it taught us that if the Internet complains relentlessly enough about something, it will win. And now Sonic the Hedgehog is finally here! But it’s not just Sonic’s cute little face we’ve been waiting for. Jim Carrey stars as the evil, goggle-sporting, power-moustached villain, Dr. Robotnik in the film. And Sonic fans couldn’t wait to see these two characters wreak havoc on screen. After all, Jim Carrey is the king of wreaking comedic havoc, with decades of acting experience and more memorable roles than we can count.  

Jim Carrey is famous for his high energy slapstick comedy and animated facial expressions. But he is not a one-dimensional actor by any means. This talented guy has more depth to him than you might expect. Here are five Jim Carrey movies that show off how diverse his many sides are.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Ace Ventura Pet Detective poster

Starring as Ace in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective has to be one of Jim Carrey’s most iconic roles. The bright Hawaiian shirts, the pink tutu, the hair – they’re all essential to the vision that is Ace. The story follows Ace’s search for the Miami Dolphin’s abducted dolphin mascot. And like some kind of bizarre Disney princess, Ace has lots of cute animals assisting him through the movie too. Funnily enough, Jim Carrey said that he based the character of Ace on the movement on birds. That makes total sense given his cockatoo-like hair and colorful shirts. This is Jim Carrey in typical over-the-top fashion: loud, expressive, and hilarious. Oh, and did we mention he gave us this famous sassy movie quote too?

The Truman Show

The Truman Show Poster

The Truman Show was a big hit with critics and audiences alike when it came out in 1998. The comedy-drama follows Truman, an insurance salesman played by Carrey, who starts to realize that his seemingly perfect life is actually a mass reality TV show. This was Carrey’s first dramatic role, which finally allowed us to see more of his acting depth. At this point in his career Carrey was so famous that he was used to constantly being watched by paparazzi, which Carrey later said helped him relate to Truman’s character. Although Truman faces plenty of ridiculous situations as he questions his sanity, he must also make some serious decisions once he becomes aware of what’s happening. Does he follow his own free will, or does he do what the audience wants?  

The Truman Show Being Spontaneous Gif

Me, Myself, and Irene

Me Myself Irene Movie Poster

Me, Myself & Irene is a dark comedy that shows us a multi-faceted Jim Carrey. He plays the part of a kind, timid police officer, and father named Charlie, who happens to have Split Personality Disorder. When he runs out of his medication, the alter-ego that surfaces is the total opposite of his normal personality: utterly aggressive, super rude and hilarious. While Charlie deals with this, he’s tasked to escort a woman named Irene, played by Renée Zellweger, to a different state. They’re put in plenty of outrageous situations along the way thanks to Charlie’s split personality, and Carrey switches back and forth between the two seamlessly. Combine that with his animated face and exaggerated expressions, and this is the perfect role for Carrey. He ad-libbed several scenes in the movie as well. In a scene where he and Zellweger push a car off the cliff, Carrey says “on nine” instead of the usual count to ten, and Zellweger looks clearly surprised. In typical Carrey fashion he always kept everyone on their toes.

Me Myself Irene Carrey Zellweger gif

Man on the Moon

Man on the Moon Jim Carrey Poster

Man on the Moon is the film that showed us the most serious side of Jim Carrey yet. The story is based on Andy Kaufman’s life, an eccentric, one-of-a-kind performer and comedian from the 70s and 80s. Kaufman was known for keeping audiences on their toes: he could make them laugh, sit in uncomfortable silence, and everything in between. Everything was a performance to Kaufman. Even his close friends couldn’t tell what was real and what wasn’t. The part of Andy completely made sense for Carrey, and he took it head-on, staying in character as Andy on and off set. He even refused to be called by his real name when the cameras weren’t rolling. He drove the production crazy with his shenanigans, but at least he won a Golden Globe to make up for it.

Man on the Moon Jim Carrey Gif

Batman Forever

Batman Forever Movie Poster

Batman Forever is as star-studded as a superhero movie can get, featuring Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Nicole Kidman, Jim Carrey, and more. The story follows Batman as he falls in love and finally finds his legendary sidekick, Robin. And per typical Batman fashion, he must also fight off some villains to save Gotham City. The colorful villains here are Two-Face, played by Jones, and The Riddler, played by Carrey. Although this duo made quite an impact on screen, Jones and Carrey reportedly did not get along off-screen at all. Good thing these two are great actors so we couldn’t tell! In any case, here we finally see Jim Carrey play the part of a villain as The Riddler, and he does not disappoint. His bright red hair and bright green costume match his energy perfectly. He’s boisterous, loud and mysterious all at the same time. In fact, Carrey brought so much enthusiasm to the role that he reportedly broke about a dozen of his prop canes while learning how to twirl for the part. Worth it.  

Jim Carrey Cane Twirl Gif

5 Different Movie Flavors for Any Mood this V-Day

Who says Valentine’s Day has to be all flowers, chocolates and sappy romance? We get that not everybody wants to cry a river over that kissing in the rain scene in The Notebook. Or maybe you do… no judgment here! Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or a Valentine Grumpy Guss, there are lots of options for you this Hallmark holiday. Here are 5 different flavors of movie you can watch this Valentine’s Day, no matter your mood – whether you’re single or not!

Girl Power Galentines

Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids Poster

Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids has become a cult classic comedy at this point. The film follows Annie, played by Kristen Wiig, who finds out that her best friend Lillian, played by Maya Rudolph, is getting married. Lillian asks Annie, whose life is actually a bit of a mess, to be her maid of honor. We get to watch Annie navigate the world of wedding planning as she tries to make her best friend’s fairytale day special. But it doesn’t come without some hilarious moments and serious tests of their friendship.

Annie’s keep-it-real attitude is one of the most entertaining and relatable aspects of the movie. That’s really highlighted in this scene where she has to get on a flight. Only she’s got a serious fear of flying. So of course, one of the girls gives her some drugs to take with alcohol. And all hell and hilarity ensue.

Annie Bridesmaids Plane

Bromance With Some Laughs

Bad Boys

Bad Boys Movie Poster

Now that Bad Boys for Life is out, we have to pay homage to the original bromance film from 1995, Bad Boys. The chemistry between the actors is undeniable in this must-see for any action-comedy lover. The story follows detectives Mike and Marcus, played by Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. When millions of dollars’ worth of heroin they confiscated is stolen, the boys take a wild ride to get the stolen drugs back, or face their entire department shutting down.

Marcus and Mike have tons of memorable scenes together showcasing their contrasting personalities playing off each other. The movie also features the catchy song “Bad Boys” by the Inner Circle, made famous by the intro to the TV show Cops

via GIPHY

It’s essentially the most “cops” thing ever. And good luck getting it out of your head once you hear it. Bad boys, bad boys, watcha gonna do? Get the Bad Boys Bundle collection, which includes Bad Boys, Bad Boys 2, and Bad Boys for Life.

Til Death Do Us Part

Midsommar

Midsommar Movie Poster

Ari Aster’s Midsommar shows us what happens when romance goes… a bit off. The film follows a couple, played by Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor, who takes a trip to beautiful, sunshiny Sweden to get away and enjoy their fabled midsummer festival. Over the course of the story, the bright idyllic vision of the place turns into an inescapable waking nightmare. But beware, this journey is not for the faint of heart.  

This shot from the visionary mind of Ari Aster shows the very essence of the movie. With everything so bright, white and pure on the outside – how could there be something more sinister lying beneath? Welcome to the midsummer festival.

High School Sweethearts

10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You movie poster

You can’t talk about teen rom-coms without 10 Things I Hate About You. What you might not know is that the movie’s screenplay is based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, so take that high school English class! Anyhow, the story follows Kat and Bianca, two very different sisters played by Julia Stiles and Larisa Oleynik. Bianca is dying to start dating but isn’t allowed to until her older sister does. That’s where an intricate set-up to get Kat a boyfriend begins, and many of us are introduced to the charms of Heath Ledger for the first time. The rest is movie history, and we’re all reminded of the awkwardness and hilarity that come with navigating young love.

Heath Ledger’s character, Patrick Verona, demonstrates his love for Kat in several melt-your-heart moments throughout the movie. The scene where he sings and does a dance number to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” is a total classic though. And it doesn’t hurt that Heath’s got some serious moves.

Happily Ever After for the Hopeless Romantic

Titanic

Titanic Movie Poster

Titanic is the absolute epitome of romance. But for those who aren’t all about that lovey-dovey life, James Cameron packed plenty of action in this masterpiece too. At the time of filming in 1997, it was the most expensive movie ever made, costing $200 million. The story follows the unlikely romance between a wealthy woman named Rose and a starving artist named Jack, who meet on the ship and instantly fall in love. The on-screen chemistry between Kate Winslet, playing the part of Rose, and Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays Jack, is electrifying. But the intricate sets and special effects used to bring the ship’s tragic story to life are also nothing to scoff at. It’s a film worth seeing for anyone who appreciates impactful cinema and unforgettable acting. And of course, romance.

If you haven’t re-enacted this part of Titanic at least once in your life… you’re lying. In the most famous scene of the movie, Jack and Rose stand at the front of the ship and she’s understandably uneasy. Rose must decide how much she trusts Jack in this pivotal moment – both physically and emotionally. After hesitating for a bit, Rose finally exclaims, “I’m flying!” and they embrace and lean in for a kiss. Sigh, it’s so romantic it hurts.

Titanic flying scene