The 10 Most Insane Women to Grace the Silver Screen (Brace Yourself)

Cinema has a long history of women losing their minds on film. So when someone recently requested movies “where one of the female characters is literally bats*** crazy,” it wasn’t too difficult for other movie lovers to deliver a wonderful variety of suggestions. 

1. Batman Returns 

Blank 1600 x 900 59
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Many agreed that MIchelle Pfeiffer’s Selina Kyle/Catwoman in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns was a perfect fit for the criteria. One user called her a “Chaotic feminist icon” while another called her transformation from sheepish secretary to the feral feline persona Catwoman “glorious.”

2. Possession

Blank 1600 x 900 52
Image Credit: Gaumont

Possession may offer the most iconic scene of a woman’s madness in film when Isabel Adjani’s character wails and contorts her body in a subway. It’s an incredible scene that captures a wildly committed performance, and that’s just one scene in a movie about a woman demonstrating increasingly dangerous and, well, unhinged behavior after asking her husband for a divorce. 

3. Misery

Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Several users suggested Misery and Kathy Bates Oscar-winning performance as Annie Wilkes. The film centers on an author whose car breaks down and is cared for by Annie, a woman one respondent described as “an extreme psycho fan girl.”

4. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? 

Blank 1600 x 900 53
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Multiple respondents recommended What Ever Happened to Baby Jane which centers on the titular Baby Jane (Bette Davis) as an adult who psychologically tortures her older paraplegic sister. One person even noted that “Half the movies mentioned here don't exist without this movie.”

5. X/Pearl

Blank 1600 x 900 54
Image Credit: A24

I’m cheating a bit here by including two films, but the same actress (Mia Goth) plays the same character in both of them so we’re going to go with it. In Pearl and X, Goth plays Pearl at different stages in her life. In Pearl we see the bright-eyed and hopeful young sociopath’s dreams of stardom dashed, and in X we see the consequences of her being forced to live an ordinary life.  

6. Infinity Pool

Alexander Skarsgård and Mia Goth skip merrily into privileged hell in Brandon Cronenberg's utterly deranged masterpiece 'Infinity Pool'
Image Credit: NEON

A very recent film also starring Mia Goth, Infinity Pool shows that she may be the current queen of “bats*** crazy.” As one person who recommended Infinity Pool said “anything starring Mia Goth” would be a good fit for what the original poster was looking for. The film centers on a man who falls in with a group of people who have discovered a way to live without consequences on vacation and take that as license to do whatever they want. Goth’s Gabi is an absolute delight to behold on screen, but not someone you’d ever want to meet in person. 

7. Natural Born Killers

Blank 1600 x 900 55
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Multiple people suggested Natural Born Killers for Juliette Lewis’s portrayal of spree killer Mallory Knox who goes on a journey through the American southwest with her husband, killing people at every stop. As with the best unhinged women, Lewis makes Mallory lovable and even cute at moments between violence. 

8. Death Becomes Her

Blank 1600 x 900 56
Image Credit: Universal

Some respondents called out Death Becomes Her in which arrogant star Madeline Ashton (Meryl Streep) discovers a magical potion that can grant her everlasting youth and immortality. That seems like a blessing at first, but as the film unfolds it turns into a curse. As one commenter said, Madeline “is literally unhinged, like on a ‘skeletally and muscularly coming apart’ level.”

9. Jennifer’s Body

Blank 1600 x 900 57
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

A couple people suggested Jennifer’s Body for the titular Jennifer (Megan Fox) who becomes a succubus after a band attempts and fails to sacrifice her for rock stardom. Her transformation leads her to alternately uncaringly and delightedly devour the young men at her high school to sustain herself while also toying with her friend Needy (Amanda Seyfried) who is in love with her. 

10. Gone Girl

Gone Girl 2014 1
Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

Many users recommended David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl was among the best movies featuring unhinged women for the central Amy (Rosamund Pike) who goes missing at the start of the film. It’s a difficult movie to describe without spoiling so suffice to say that her going missing is just the beginning of this wonderfully twisty story centered on a woman willing to do whatever she must to get what she wants. 

This thread inspired this post.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.