Brand new US TV series Revenge follows a heroine who's out to get her...wait for it...revenge, and the leading lady, Emily Thorne, has got us thinking about all the other fictional heroines who kick ass and destroy people who've hurt them. So here's a gallery of some of our favourites. Who's yours?
The blonde, blue-eyed Emily VanCamp looks like butter wouldn’t melt, but as her character Emily Thorne, she’s out to wreak Revenge on all of the powerful, moneyed types who destroyed her father’s life. One by one, she’ll take them all out using very manipulative techniques, all the while getting closer and closer to arch-nemesis Victoria Grayson’s son. And she doesn’t kill them all. In a truly twisted way, she’d actually prefer to see them suffer alive. Eeeek!
The quiet, studious Buffy Anne Summers (no relation to the shop, BTW) is all smiles and cardigans by day. But at night she shows another side, kicking demon ass at the graveyard in sassy slayer-mode as Buffy The Vampire Slayer. In the seven seasons, the biggest revenge she gets is on ex-boyfriend Angel. He loses his soul after they sleep together (heard this one before, haven’t you?) Eventually, Buffy knows that the only way she can get her own back AND save the world (it’s complicated) is for her to slay Angel (now called Angelus, because he’s evil now, obvs) by stabbing him through the chest with a magical sword. Sure!
In this 1976 coming-of-age horror film, Carrie is bullied when she gets her period. The teachers don't care about her, and her fundamentalist Christian mum thinks it's a sign of a devil to be violently beaten out of her. But with the bleeding comes another, MUCH better side-effect - she can move things with her mind! So, when prom night arrives and she gets a whole bucket of pigs’ blood poured on her, she uses her telekinetic powers to destroy everyone who's ever hurt her.
Homeland opens with Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), causing a diplomatic scandal in Iraq. She does everything in her power to get to the truth of a dead informant’s warnings that the terrorist Abu Nazir has turned an American prisoner of war. The more that ex-boyfriend and boss David Estes is certain that she’s mental (well, she is secretly diagnosed as bi-polar), the more determined she is to prove him wrong.
The cast of Lost was full of feisty ladies. But you can’t do much better than curly-mopped Kate Austen, who'd been on the run since she killed her stepdad. She beat up a cop, pointed a gun at a pregnant lady, stole LOADS of stuff (including a baby and some money from a bank) and jilted her policeman fiancé at the altar. But it’s not as bad as it sounds. The only reason she blew-up her parents’ house in the first place was to kill her abusive stepdad.
Way back in 1994, Natalie Portman starred in Leon as Mathilde, an old-before-her-time 12-year-old New Yorker intent on exacting revenge on the corrupt cop who killed her entire family. Seeking help from bespectacled loner and hired killer Leon, they end up forming a touching friendship and taking the cop out, in a very explosive way.
Neve Campbell plays the lead character in the 90s teen slasher film Scream. And though there’s a vulnerability to Sidney, when she finds out exactly who has been killing everyone at school – including a blonde-bobbed Drew Barrymore – she makes sure he won’t ever live to hurt her again.
In the bestselling books and blockbusting film adaptations of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, lead character Lisbeth Salander is as hard as nails. The computer hacker wears leather, shaves off her eyebrows and dyes her hair black – looking like exactly the type of person you wouldn’t want to cross on a dark night. But there’s more to it than that. Without giving it away for those of you who haven’t read/watched the Millennium series - and why the heck not? - she’s been dealt a serious wrong and she will stop at nothing until it’s righted.
Dawn O’Keefe is hardly a household name, but her revenge is so great and gruseome we couldn't forget it. She has a very unique defence mechanism in the form of a particular bodily function. In Latin, it’s called ‘vagina dentata’, and in English, it means Dawn’s grown a set of teeth in a very unusual place. Once she comes to terms with her new skill, she unleashes it on whoever dares to take advantage of her.
Cult film director Quentin Tarantino cast Uma Thurman as Beatrix Kiddo, the lead character of his martial arts revenge film meets spaghetti western Kill Bill. The film, served up in two installments, follows the lanky blonde as she criss-crosses the world, kung-fu kicking ass and dishing out the coldest, harshest revenge to her ex-colleagues, who left her for dead. And these are no normal colleagues. They’re the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad.