Sure, Mother’s Day is a day of flowers and homemade construction paper cards and vouchers for doing the dishes, but there are plenty of mothers we’re forgetting about if we go that route. My mom, for instance, loves horror just as much as I do, and so will probably appreciate this list of mothers in horror more than a box of chocolates or a lifetime movie on DVD. So I dedicate this to you, Mom, for always encouraging my more macabre interests and for always laughing at crappy horror movies with me.
Erica Sayers (played by Barbara Hershey) from Black Swan
While we realize throughout the movie that Nina herself has quite a few screws loose, it’s initially her mother who freaks us out with her unbalanced temper and overbearing hold on her daughter, going so far as to grab a pair of scissors and chop off her fingernails, all while saying in a quite creepy voice, “Sweet girl…”
Margaret White (played by Piper Laurie) from Carrie
Speaking of mothers who have an overbearing hold on their daughters, Margaret White sure did a number on her daughter, Carrie. A fanatical religious zealot, she tries to kill her daughter when it seems that poor telepathic Carrie might be the devil, but of course, Carrie ends up crucifying her crazy ass by throwing knives at her with her mind.
Rosemary Woodhouse (played by Mia Farrow) from Rosemary’s Baby
While Margaret White may have been wrong in thinking that her daughter was the spawn of Satan, Rosemary Woodhouse was not. After being raped by the devil, she eventually does give birth to the antichrist, all the while being thought insane by those around her.
Anna Morgan (played by Shannon Cochran) from The Ring
This mother, once she found out that her daughter Samara was pretty much evil incarnate, decided to just go ahead and drown the freak, so she put a bag over the girl’s head and threw her down a well before jumping off a cliff herself. While she’s already dead during the movie, we see glimpses of her in Samara’s deadly videotape, and she makes us all wonder how on earth a woman brushing her long black hair in a mirror could ever be so unnerving to watch.
Grace Stewart (played by Nicole Kidman) from The Others
She seems like a loving mother, going so far as to live in almost total darkness for the sake of her children, who are allergic to sunlight… until we realize that she and her kids have been dead the whole goddamn time, and what’s more, she smothered the children with pillows before putting a gun in her mouth. There seems to be a trend of murder-suicide going on here. And speaking of mothers who were actually dead for the whole movie…
Norma Bates from Psycho
“Norman! Norman! Your mother loves you!” Yeah, that’s not creepy at all. This is another mother who’s already dead by time the movie gets going, but we don’t realize that until the end. We think she’s this horrible presence at the motel who’s always screaming at Norman… but of course, it turns out that she’s just a skeleton, and Norman is actually screaming at himself.
Pamela Voorhees (played by Besty Palmer) from Friday the 13th
In the first film of the franchise, Jason Voorhees isn’t even there: he’s dead (or so we think)! So who ends up being the villain who’s running around murdering all the camp counselors at a place that was nicknamed Camp Blood? Why, none other than Mrs. Voorhees herself, who’s a little pissed about her son accidentally drowning at the camp years before and goes a bit overboard looking for payback.
Really, where would horror be without mothers? They’re manipulative, murderous, and sometimes the mother of all evil. These mothers are downright badass. Moreover, they teach us that we should all be thankful that our own mothers don’t try to smother us in our sleep.