9 Female Villains With Cool, Calm Exteriors That Totally Creep Us Out

Everybody loves a bad guy. But to be honest, there’s something about the evil genius of a great lady villain that we love (to hate) even more. Lurking beneath her poised facade is an eerie ability to scare our socks off when we least expect it. In fact, the more polished and fabulous her exterior, the scarier it is when she loses her cool and bares her claws.

We’ve teamed up with Investigation Discovery’s “Secret Lives Of Stepford Wives” to bring you 9 of the most unexpectedly terrifying female characters to ever appear on the big screen.

Brace yourself: These ladies are as mad as hell ... and as cold as ice.

  • 1 Joan Crawford – ‘Mommie Dearest’ (1981)
    <strong>Day Job:</strong> Movie Star; Original Helicopter Parent
<strong>Expertise:</strong> secretly terrorizing her ow
    Day Job: Movie Star; Original Helicopter Parent
    Expertise: secretly terrorizing her own children

    Let’s state the obvious: Faye Dunaway's chilling portrayal of Joan Crawford is one of the more viscerally upsetting things to ever grace the silver screen. In this classic biopic, fans learned that behind Crawford’s picture-perfect public persona lurked a menacing and abusive temper. But if there’s one maternal lesson we can take from Mommie Dearest, it's that there should be no wire hangers...ever!
  • 2 Effie Trinket – 'The Hunger Games' Universe
    <strong>Day Job:</strong> District 12 Escort; Fashion Icon
<strong>Expertise:</strong> reapings; making sure the odds ar
    Day Job: District 12 Escort; Fashion Icon
    Expertise: reapings; making sure the odds are ever in your favor (not really)

    Effie's cheery demeanor is especially scary when you remember that she's chosen a career in...well, basically sentencing impoverished children to certain, violent death. But we have to admit, this glorified executioner rocks some pretty incredible outfits.
  • 3 Alex Forrest – ‘Fatal Attraction’ (1987)
    <strong>Day Job:</strong> Publishing Executive
<strong>Expertise:</strong> homewrecking, indiscreet stalking, explosive
    Day Job: Publishing Executive
    Expertise: homewrecking, indiscreet stalking, explosive jealousy, rabbit stew

    She’s not going to be ignored, Dan. And, trust us, she means it. Glenn Close takes us on a spine-chilling roller coaster ride of pure, unadulterated crazy in her turn as a sexy seductress gone rogue in this psychological thriller.
  • 4 Annie Wilkes – ‘Misery’ (1990)
    <strong>Day Job:</strong> Nurse; Avid Reader
<strong>Expertise:</strong> kidnapping, incapacitating captives
    Day Job: Nurse; Avid Reader
    Expertise: kidnapping, incapacitating captives

    One of Stephen King’s spookiest villains, Annie Wilkes’ cruel antics were artfully sugarcoated by her homemaker image. But don’t be fooled: Kathy Bates' Annie is one lady you don’t want to mess with.
  • 5 O-Ren Ishii – ‘Kill Bill’ (2003)
    <strong>Day Job:</strong> Assassin, Head of Tokyo Yakuza
<strong>Expertise:</strong> swordsmanship, dramatic and violent
    Day Job: Assassin, Head of Tokyo Yakuza
    Expertise: swordsmanship, dramatic and violent revenge

    Lucy Liu's portrayal of this butt-kicking beauty in the Quentin Tarantino classic clearly proves looks can be deceiving. One might say that the decapitated heads speak for themselves. (Pun intended.)
  • 6 Nurse Ratched – ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ (1975)
    <strong>Day Job:</strong> Head Administrative Nurse, Oregon State Hospital
<strong>Expertise:</strong> psychological man
    Day Job: Head Administrative Nurse, Oregon State Hospital
    Expertise: psychological manipulation, torture, ruling with an iron fist

    She may be a nurse, but don’t expect any smiley-faced bandages from Ms. Mildred Ratched. Terrorizing the patients in her psych ward with vicious efficiency, Nurse Ratched is evil epitomized.
  • 7 Cruella De Vil – ‘101 Dalmations’ (1996)
    <strong>Day Job:</strong> Head of Couture Fashion House; Fur Enthusiast
<strong>Expertise:</strong> um...harvesting pupp
    Day Job: Head of Couture Fashion House; Fur Enthusiast
    Expertise: um...harvesting puppies for coats?

    Yup, Glenn Close does it again! And we know what you’re thinking: it’s a kid’s movie, so how scary can it be? But this modern remake of the animated Disney classic had fans of all ages ducking for cover, thanks to the to cold-blooded, dalmatian-hungry Cruella de Vil. Ms. Close's reimagined Cruella is more expensively styled than the cartoon original -- and ultimately, far more petrifying.
  • 8 Carrie White – ‘Carrie’ (1976)
    <strong>Day Job:</strong> High School Student
<strong>Expertise:</strong> telekinesis, fiery revenge
Who knew
    Day Job: High School Student
    Expertise: telekinesis, fiery revenge

    Who knew prom could be so deadly? There’s something about an unanticipated bath in pig's blood that can turn a helpless victim into a vicious villain. And when it all went up in flames, we were never again able to look at Sissy Spacek in quite the same way.
  • 9 Miranda Priestley – ‘The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
    <strong>Day Job:</strong> Editor in Chief of <em>Runway</em> Magazine
<strong>Expertise:</strong> fashion, being super m
    Day Job: Editor in Chief of Runway Magazine
    Expertise: fashion, being super mean

    And you thought your boss was demanding. In the Devil Wears Prada, Meryl Streep brought the art of mean to glamorous new heights. Listen, we're pretty sure she's never murdered a puppy or anything. But if looks could kill, Miranda's caustic wit and ice-cold insults would be excellent ammunition.

You think these women are terrifying? This temperamental roster has nothing on the real-life housewives turned cold-blooded killers on Investigation Discovery’s new series, "Secret Lives of Stepford Wives". Check out the sneak-peek trailer below.

Tune in Tuesday, April 8th 10/9c, on Investigation Discovery