Something that I’ve always found fascinating in horror films is the role of the Mother. In simple terms: she is either the protector, who will shield her children from danger the best she can. The giver of life. Or she is that taker of life. Manipulating her position as a saviour and using it to kill. Of course I could go much much deeper into this but then this would turn into an essay and it wouldn’t make for light reading. However, after watching Goodnight Mommy this week I got thinking about my favourite evil mothers in film/tv (and by favourite I mean the ones I love to hate) and this is what I came up with.
Debbie Salt, Scream 2: Motivated by the death of her son the year previous, Debbie dons the infamous Ghostface mask and costume and begins slicing up students at Windsor College, with the intention of finishing with Sidney Prescott (the final girl in Scream and the one who killed Billy). What motivates Debbie is grief with a side of rage. Her love for her son goes beyond the fact he killed a bunch of people, she just can’t get past her loss.
Mrs Voorhees, Friday the 13th: This wouldn’t be complete without the mention of the original psychotic mother. Like Debbie, Pamela is driven by grief. So much so, she develops a split personality of her ‘dead’ son, Jason. You can see the craziness in Mrs Vorhees eyes, ACTRESSES NAME HERE performance is brilliant and is certainly one mother not to cross. In one respect I can’t help but to feel sorry for her but at the same time.. She kills a lot of innocent people.
Constance Langdon, American Horror Story: Murder House: Racist, homophobic, ableist an all round cruel person. This mother deserved everything she got. She believes herself to be above having disbaled children (even locking one in an attic). Jessica Lange, AHS royalty, is terrific in this role. You just love to hate her.
Margaret White, Carrie: There’s nothing to like about this woman. Her zealous belief in God is thing that drives her to be abusive and horrific to her daughter. She sees Carrie as a punishment from God for having sex; Piper Laurie is compelling in this role and the pure terror that she unleashes on Carrie makes her comeuppance an absolute joy to watch.
That’s it for this week but if you have any others that you think should be included feel free to join in!
Thanks for reading,
all the best,