10 Baddest Villainesses of 2018

February 24, 2019

Oh forget Thanos or Killmonger. These are the women you have loved to hate onscreen over the past year.

Here's our latest annual rundown of the 10 worst female villains:

10. Lee Israel


Buried under the Lady Gaga campaign was organic Academy Award buzz about Melissa McCarthy in "Can You Ever Forgive Me?". Of all the Oscar nominees for best actress this year, it was McCarthy's portrayal of the real-life literary forger that was truly out of a thespian's comfort zone. For while Germanotta was a singer playing a singer, McCarthy actually broke mold and dipped into challenging material.

9. Eleanor Young


"You will never be enough" is something you don't want to hear from your mother-in-law in real life. But there Michelle Yeoh was, dozens of feet tall on the silver screen, holding a mirror to rich, tiger moms in the cinema who are afraid of losing their sons to gold-diggers. This archetype may have had some sort of redemption arc in "Crazy Rich Asians", but sadly in real life, this has not always been the case in Asia.

8. Elizabeth I


It's no secret outside Anglophone countries that the Queen of England was ruthless in her heyday, and Margot Robbie played up that conflicted villainy opposite Saoirse Ronan as the eponymous monarch on "Mary, Queen of Scots."

7. Ghost


Now this one's complicated. While Hannah John-Kamen's character on last summer's "Ant-Man and The Wasp" carried out some really duplicitous actions, they were predicated on her piteous quest to return to the mortal coil. Defo not a friendly ghost, this one.

6. Miriam Mead


"American Horror Story: Apocalypse" has many villainesses, and none among them are the witches. Kathy Bates' Satanist on the Coven-Murder House crossover season may have come across as yet another unhinged Devil-bible-thumper, if it weren't for the fact that the Anti-Christ really was coming. With some help from the robotics department, she really helped bring upon the end-times.

5. Mary Wardwell


"The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" finally made it from comic book to screen. While the Netflix adaptation is a diluted version of the diabolic goings-on in the Archie comics, the murderous alter ego of Madam Satan is a no less terrifying presence on streaming screens. Don't mistake her at-times protective gestures toward Sabrina as maternal instinct; she truly is the teacher from hell.

4. Evelyn Deavor


Unwaveringly cool, Eleanor does not fit the bill of a villain early on in the return of "The Incredibles" to cinemas last summer. (Syndrome was flaming obvious.) Toward the end, you almost feel as if the beloved Pixar family didn't mete out a more severe punishment on her.

3. Villanelle


Sandra Oh's Golden Globe-winning portrayal of the eponymous assassin on "Killing Eve" wouldn't be as exciting without her foil, the Russian assassin Oksana Astankova or as they cleverly call her, Villanelle.

2. Helena Markos


Last year was truly the season of the witch, led by a loose re-imagining of the 1977 cult classic "Suspiria." Fresh off the phenomenal reception of "Call Me by Your Name," director Luca Guadagnino took liberties with the Dario Argento original and framed Helena Markos, played under disgustingly heavy prosthetics by Tilda Swinton, as the true evil of the 2018 update. So evil that you'd almost point at the Mother of Sighs and say, "I am she."

1. Joan


Ann Dowd parlayed her hateful turn in "The Handmaid's Tale" into a terrifying appearance on last year's breakout horror hit "Hereditary." More than the other nefarious summoners on this list, this zealous witch got what she wanted in the end.

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