Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Female Villains in Horror: Peyton Flanders

Oh, the nastiness!

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle was one of those movies that made you squirm a little bit due to the fantastic performance of the villain. This woman is so self-centered and goal-oriented she makes a serial killer look like Howdy Doody. She may have her reasons for her doom and gloom mood, but she still makes for a seriously vengeful bitch.

Peyton is trying to get on with her life after her husband's suicide. He was a prominent OB/GYN who was disgraced after several acts of sexual violation against patients.
She's pregnant, and when she finds out her husband's money is now inaccessible to her, freaks out and goes into premature labor, losing the child.

Utterly distraught to the point of madness, she decides to become a nanny - for a very specific family. After seeing one of the women who accused her husband of sexual misconduct (which truly did happen) on the news, she makes it a point - through various nefarious means - to get hired as their nanny.

She moves in with the Bartel family and things just seem peachy keen on the outside. But we, as the audience, are privy to some pretty creepy acts by our nanny. Not only does she start breast feeding little Joey Bartel, but she threatens their daughter Emma's bullying classmate with imminent bodily harm-

-frames the semi-retarded gardener -making the family think he is a pervert, deliberately loses an important proposal for Michael Bartel's work - making it look like his wife Claire was careless with it, and finally resorts to murdering a family friend who has gotten too close to the truth.

Soon she is discovered and things escalate from there, but while we're engrossed in Peyton's devious deeds it is certainly a thrill ride. You want her to die a nasty, miserable death.

Rebecca DeMornay was excellent as Peyton. She's not complex, she's determined. She has one thought and one thought only. Revenge. Of course if she can raise the children as her own that'd be cool too...
You hate her. And when she gets her comeuppance at the end of the film, you want to cheer out loud.

*Buy it here.

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Sarah from Scare Sarah said...

Ooh, she is so darn creepy.

forestofthedead said...

Good Lord, the whole breast feeding someone else's kid without their knowledge, I've seen a lot of creepy stuff but that is really messed up.