Top 10 Halloween movie heroines

Oct 27, 2010 at 2:50 p.m. ET

Happy Halloween from Hollywood! Horror movies have given audiences some of the most powerful female characters ever on screen from Sigourney Weaver's Ripley to Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween. Sure, they may be "scream queens," but these Top 10 Halloween movie heroines scream because they're scared and then promptly kick their adrenaline into gear: Evil does not stand a chance.

Sissy Spacek in Carrier

Sissy Spacek in Carrie

Creepy Carrie, indeed.

Sissy Spacek embodied Stephen King's literary Carrie so well there was even Oscar buzz for its young star when it premiered.

Carrie not only possesses the best evil prom scene of all time that has been often recreated and never reproduced, but also features the actress in the right part in the right movie at the right time to become the stuff of Hollywood Halloween iconography.


Sarah Michelle Gellar in The Grudge

While Sarah Michelle Gellar could have been a one-hit wonder with her Buffy the Vampire Slayer work, the actress proved powerful in the little horror movie that could -- The Grudge.

Equally strong and stirring, Gellar's Karen is a young woman living in Tokyo who is the unfortunate recipient of a mysterious supernatural curse.


Jessica Biel in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Jessica Biel's performance is the main reason this reboot of a classic horror movie worked and became an international hit in 2003.

Thanks to Biel, filmmaker Marcus Nispel and an attractive cast reliving a terrible horror story (that makes it great, no?), sequels have now come and gone.

The story is that of legend, a group of kids find themselves stranded in a small Lone Star State town. Enter a terrorizing family led by a manic with a chainsaw and you have one of the horror genre's standards of excellence.


Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs

Technically not a Halloween horror movie, but one of the scariest films of all time has to be on this list when its heroine is Clarice Starling.

Jodie Foster tore it up as Agent Starling in 1991 and took home an Oscar for her efforts plunging into the world of Dr. Hannibal Lecter opposite the also Oscar-winning Anthony Hopkins.

What's so fantastic about Foster in Silence of the Lambs is how her character is a cadet at the outset of the story and by the end of the first act, Clarice is at the center of a national manhunt.


Sigourney Weaver in Alien

Again, not the requisite scream movie, but Alien and its subsequent sequels made a star out of Sigourney Weaver and showed the world in the 1970s that this female empowerment movement was going nowhere with heroines such as Weaver's Ripley.

In 1979, when Alien arrived on the nation's screens, movies having a female heroine were a rarity. In the powerful, yet sensitive hands of Weaver, Ripley gave an audience something to root for in a galaxy of horrors.

When Alien first premiered, its tagline was "In space, no one can hear you scream."

For Weaver as Ripley, generations of female cinematic heroes have modeled themselves after her characterization. Horror of horrors, the Alien survives to scare in other sequels which is good news for audiences wanting to witness Ripley ripping more Aliens.


Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby

"What did you do to my baby?" is one of the most famous screams in horror movie history. As delivered by Mia Farrow, it is chilling to this day.

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