Fierce Female Revenge Films


Megan Stewart, Editor-in-Chief

Do you ever find yourself sick of unhappy endings? Did you check to make sure Gone Girl didn’t have a sequel after realizing Nick just stays with Amy? These days, it seems like a movie needs either a sad or a severely ambiguous ending in order to be critically acclaimed.

In a world where happiness in films has become taboo, I cannot promise you any Disney-esque movies where the character ends up better than they were at the beginning. But to quench your thirst for a movie that has all its strings tied at the end, yet is far from cheesy, I can promise you revenge.

In movies, women are often portrayed as voiceless, as victims, who sob and wait in a tower for Prince Charming.

So if you’re tired of women in movies who are victims that never bite back…

Here are some of my favorite female revenge films.

Assassination Nation is a modern Salem Witch trials. A small town is hacked, leaking everyone’s online information. Hysteria consumes logic. In a town where there no longer is any safety or rules, a group of high school girls, armed and suited in red vinyl jackets, serve justice where justice is due.
Revenge is a film about a girl, Jen, who vacations in the desert with her seemingly charming and decent boyfriend. But when his two creepy friends arrive, Jen realizes a dark side to all three men. After surviving being thrown off a cliff, she seeks utter revenge over the wrongdoers. Even though she is impaled and stranded in the desert, she gets herself back to health, and relentlessly carries out justice. Say goodbye to mercy.
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a film about a computer genius named Lisbeth Salander who is a masterful investigator. Coming from a life of abuse and injustice, Salander uncovers the truth behind mysteries alongside journalist Mikael Blomkvist. Whether you watch the American or Swedish version, the book-adapted movie will keep you on edge.
A Simple Favor is a film about a friendship between an elegant business woman, Emily, and a single mother, Stephanie. One day, Emily goes missing from her seemingly perfect life. Dark sides and secrets of both women surface as the hunt for Emily continues. Unlike Gone Girl, this film about the twisted mind of a heartless manipulator makes sure no psycho runs free.
Night Comes On is a movie about a heroic teenage girl, Angel, with an eye-for-an-eye philosophy who wants to kill her father for killing her mother. With a past of violence and time in juvy, Angel seems very capable of this task. However, her soft side is revealed through her love for her younger sister.
Hard Candy is about a young girl, Hayley, who meets an online friend, Jeff, in a cafe. After meeting, Jeff takes her to his house. Little does he know, Hayley has done extensive research on him and knows more than she lets on. She exposes him for being a predator and goes to all lengths to get him to confess.
Mad Max is about a warrior woman, Furiosa, who saves the enslaved wives of a tyrant and escapes through a desert. Furiosa joins forces with Max, another former captive, and they flee the tyrant and his henchmen through the Wasteland.
Beast is a movie about a disturbed woman who falls in love with the man that saves her life. Little does she know, this man is a suspect in a series of crimes. Finding it difficult to see her hero in another light, she denies these suspicions until she realizes what’s really important.
The Stepford Wives is a psychological thriller about a woman and her husband who move to a suburban community. On the facade, the community is very benign and perfect. But she realizes this community is where once empowered women are brainwashed into obedient, submissive wives. Her situation becomes volatile as it seems everyone turns on her: can she escape her fate?
Carrie is a movie about a misunderstood teenage girl, Carrie, who has supernatural powers. Her life at school is characterized by being constantly picked on and her home life is living with her crazed, hyper-religious mother. Tired of the taunting and of being alienated wherever she goes, Carrie takes a vicious turn.
Permanent is a comedic film about a girl, Aurelie, who wishes she can have a perm to fit in with the cool kids at her new school. Aurelie instead receives a botched hair job and is bullied by the popular girls. Realizing this, Aurelie’s parents sign her up for martial arts in hopes that she can fight back. After forming an alliance with another bullied classmate, Aurelie learns to stick up for herself.
Big Eyes is a film based on the true story of how Margaret Keane’s paintings were stolen from her by her husband, Walter Keane. A fraud and a wannabe artist, Walter Keane meets Margaret at an art walk where they both try to sell their art. After falling in love, Margaret silently allows Walter to take credit for her big-eyed portraits of people. During a time where women were rarely allowed to sign their names on anything, Margaret learns to fight for what is hers.
Doctor Foster is a series about Dr. Gemma Foster, a general practitioner and mother to a young son, who is wronged by her lying, cheating husband. As her husband tries to rob her of her child and her former life, she chillingly seeks revenge. Her ability to scrap her compassion in exchange for cold payback is surprisingly admirable.

Happy endings are wonderful, don’t get me wrong. But I’ve realized vengeful ones are equally as rewarding. Even though these movies probably won’t make you cry tears of joy, I hope you find the endings you’re looking for.