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I’m not really sure why it is that elderly ladies are used for scares so frequently. I feel like I should be concerned, seeing as I hope to become an old lady in the future. I’m guessing it harks back to the image of the hag, and the witches found in the art of Holbein and Breugel. Whatever the reason, horror films are replete with scary crones, and here are ten of them.

1. Black Sabbath – the Countess

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Oh balls, this bitch is terrifying. ‘The drop of water’ is by far the scariest segment of Bava’s portmanteau horror.

2. Insidious – the hag

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Way scarier than the lipstick demon in my opinion.

3. Psycho – Mrs Bates

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Needs no explanation.

4. The Others – blind lady

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The scene where Grace’s daughter is possessed by the old lady is the creepiest in the whole film.

5. Suspiria – Mother of Sighs

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The mysterious witch who runs Suzie Bannion’s dance academy. Legend has it that she was played by an elderly prostitute Argento found.

6. The Shining – woman in the bathtub

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This really is the last thing you want to happen whe you’re getting it on with a sexy lady.

7. REC

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It all seems so innocent when the group of firemen are called to help an old lady who has been taken ill in her apartment. Sooooo innocent.

8. Shutter Island

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You only see her briefly, but GOD DAMN.

9. House on Haunted Hill

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I realise I discussed this lady on my jump scare list, but seriously. Seriously. She has no business gliding arou d like that.

10. Snow White – evil queen

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The source of many a childhood nightmare.

One day I will write a decent criticism about why society fears elderly ladies, and why there seems to be a particular fear related to young women who turn into crones. It will be intellectual and thought provoking and all around badass, but for now I am settling for steeling myself to go to bed because THE FUCKING COUNTESS MIGHT BE IN MY ROOM.

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