Happy Galentine’s Day! 9 Horror Films to Celebrate Your Best Frenemy
Ladies celebrating ladies.
It’s February 13th, 2022 and for some folks out there it’s Super Bowl Sunday, for others Superb Owl Sunday, but for those of us who are still living like it’s 2012 and we are in Pawnee, Indiana it only means one thing! Galentine’s Day. The day before a most cursed holiday, (and my birthday, life is such a joy), Galentine’s Day is about celebrating platonic love, friendship, and probably waffles.
And because there’s really nothing quite like the love between two best friends, here is a list to celebrate the most toxic, messed up, and co-dependent female friendships ever put on film!
Jennifer’s Body (2009)
The mid 2000s cult classic from director Karyn Kusama (Destroyer) and writer Diablo Cody (Juno), Jennifer’s Body is a darkly comedic horror film about two best friends growing up, coming into their own power and sexuality, and of course, being possessed by a demon hungry for human flesh. Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox star as Needy Lesnicki and Jennifer Check, two seemingly opposite best friends. Needy is studious, shy, and anxious, while Jennifer is the outgoing school hottie. When Jennifer is murdered in a satanic ritual and comes back as a vengeful demon, it’s up to Needy to stop her former best friend. Super sharp, and super bloody, Jennifer’s Body is a hilarious and gruesome look at teenage friendship. It was also inspired by a real murder that took place in Arroyo Grande, California in 1995.
The Craft (1996)
Moving to new schools and making new friends can feel like a horror story all it’s own, but even more so when those newfound friends are a coven of witches. The Craft is another cult classic about the perils of teenage female friendship. Starring Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True, The Craft tells the story about a group of misfit girls who discover the power of witchcraft but quickly turn it to their own selfish uses. An incredible metaphor for the power dynamics of young friendships and cliques and the struggle of discovering your own individual identity, The Craft is the GOAT for a reason.
Single White Female (1992)
But the teens don’t get to have all the fun! Single White Female has it all – intense 90s bowl cuts, Steven Weber (Wings), as the love interest, and Jennifer Jason Leigh giving an all time great performance as Hedy – the roommate who moves in and tries to take over Allie’s (Bridget Fonda) life. Single White Female takes the friend turned clingy bad roommate to its ultimate conclusion. Hedy isn’t just jealous of Allie’s looks and success, she is slowly taking the steps to become Ally and she will do it by whatever means necessary.
Ginger Snaps (2000)
Sisters can be a real beast. Literally in the case of the Canadian horror classic, Ginger Snaps. Emily Perkins and Katherine Isabelle star as Brigitte and Ginger, two goth sisters with a death pact. When Ginger is bitten by a werewolf goes on a rampage, it’s up to Brigitte to stop her. There’s mood swings, there’s fur, there’s blood, and there’s uncontrollable lust, it’s a film about puberty and menstruation but also a film about sisterhood, friendship, and painful choices.
Heavenly Creatures (1994)
A psychological thriller inspired by real events in 1950s New Zealand, Heavenly Creatures was also Peter Jackson’s fourth film (and the first one he made after his “splatter phase.”) Heavenly Creatures tells the story of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, two teenage girls from different walks of life who form and intense and obsessive friendship. The two girls bond by escaping to an imaginative fantasy world and begin to lose touch with reality. When Juliet’s mother threatens to separate them by moving Juliet and her family to South Africa, the two girls decide the only solution is to murder Pauline’s mother. An incredible portrait, it also marks the film debuts of Kate Winslet and Yellowjackets fave Melanie Lynskey.
The Neon Demon (2016)
Jealousy is the all consuming monster (aside from the exploitative fashion industry, that is) in The Neon Demon. When sixteen year old Jesse (Elle Fanning) moves to Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a model, everyone wants a piece of her. Literally. She forms a friendship with older makeup artist Ruby (Jena Malone) and competitive rivalries with fellow models Gigi and Sarah. But the industry’s blood sucking nature takes a toll when Ruby, Gigi, and Sarah literally consume the naive and foolish Jesse in order to have her youth and beauty for themselves. Part vampire story, part cannibal story, part commentary on the violent fetishization inherent in the fashion world, The Neon Demon is slick, beautiful, and very gory.
Black Swan (2010)
Speaking of competition, nothing tops the body horror in Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky’s trippy psychological thriller. Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis are rival ballerinas vying for the lead role in their company’s upcoming production of Swan Lake. Portman’s fragile and fastidious Nina is perfect as the White Swan, however her rigidity prevents her from tapping into the dark, sensuous energy needed to dance the Black Swan role as well, something that Mila Kunis’s Lily has in spades. Lily attempts a friendship (and more) with Nina, but Nina, in her determination to become the Black Swan, loses her grip on reality and begins hallucinating that she is physically transforming into the bird. A terrifying trip into how control can spiral into madness, it is not for those who are squeamish about fingernail horror.
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962)
The ultimate, camp classic about toxic sisterhood, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford (two real life rivals) as Baby Jane and Blanche two sisters trapped in their home and in their past glories. Baby Jane is a former vaudeville child star who now delights in torturing her wheelchair bound sister Blanche, because Blanche managed to have a successful (if brief) career as a movie actress. As Baby Jane escalates her tactics, Blanche becomes desperate to escape, but ultimately reveals some dark secrets of her own. Bette Davis delivers one of the most iconic and terrifying performances of all time as Baby Jane, it is not to be missed!
Death Becomes Her (1992)
Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep go at each other as Madeline and Helen, two frenemies that would do anything to win the love of a schlubby Bruce Willis in this dark horror satire. That includes murder, backstabbing, and drinking a magic elixir that will supposedly keep them young forever. Unfortunately for them, forever means not even a shot gun blast through the stomach or a push down the stairs can stop the rivalry, and eventually they are left with only each other, marked by the many many scars they have inflicted on themselves.
(images: Universal, Columbia, Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, Fox Search Light, Miramax, Amazon Studios, Lions Gate)
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