One of my favorite topics is always the villain. If you have a character that is evil for the sake of evil, who cares. The best villain is the one who believes they are doing the right thing for the right reasons. And often, if the protagonist is the “evil” one, we find greater truths.
Starting with Maleficent, you get to see the betrayal that turned an innocent protector into a vengeful being. This echoes strongly with the story of Eris and the Golden Apple. You get to go from that view of the story told in Sleeping Beauty to see and empathize with her.
Other stories I love are the ones where you are trying to define the evil. In Cat People, both the 1942 and 1982 versions, you see a woman who is fighting with her impassioned human mind, against her animalistic instincts. A woman falls in love with a man, but because of a curse, she is unable to be intimate with him due to a curse. As things are wont to happen, another woman draws his interest, and the animal in the “villain” takes over. You have to question in a story like this, is the cursed woman evil, or is it the curse?
And if you’ve never seen the original “Let the Right One In,” (Not the American remake) it’s hard to really define the evil in the story. The obvious evil would normally be the vampire in the story. But if you look underneath, it’s really love and compassion for a bullied child that triggers the “evil.”
In all three of these stories, we see a female villain put forth, but as is often the case, it’s not that they set out to be evil, or commit horrors. We get to see allegories of the horrors that made those characters, and ultimately led to the decisions they make.
GIVEAWAY: Soon to be released are new covers for Books 1-3 in the Home Summoning Series, and an omnibus version. Anyone who signs up on my mailing list or sends me an e-mail with “Women in Horror” will get a free eBook version of Book 1!
BIO: James is a business and technology consultant, fiction and non-fic author, technology and futurist speaker.