a toast to the scariest movie mothers ever

Around the country (and world?) mothers are being celebrated today. And rightfully so. Mothers make the world go ’round — literally — and they deserve flowers and chocolates and breakfast in bed and enthusiastic thank-yous  every day.

While I did join in on the heartfelt social media mom-honoring this morning, I also thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the worst moms in history, as seen in the movies. Here is my list of the scariest movie moms ever, in order from a little nutty to absolutely freakin’ terrifying. Do not tangle with these ladies.

5. Ellyn Burstyn as Sara Goldfarb in Requiem for a Dream (2000):
This movie traumatized me. And while it’s pretty horrific watching Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly descend into heroin addiction, the part that stayed with me most is Harry’s shut-in, infomercial-watching, diet-pill-popping mother. Here’s the trailer:

4. Barbara Hershey as Erica Sayers in Black Swan (2010):
Darren Aronofsky has a way with mothers. Hershey is chilling as the overbearing, overprotective mother living a little too vicariously through her daughter Nina’s ballet career. It’s a shade of her performance in Beaches with a bit more spiteful neurosis and vinegar.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jaI1XOB-bs

3. Louise Fletcher as Olivia Foxworth in Flowers in the Attic (1987):
Okay, so she’s the grandmother, not the mother. But when the hapless mother leaves her four innocent (or not-so-innocent, if you’ve seen the movie or read the VC Andrews books upon which the movie is based) children in her mother’s spooky mansion, she created an ultra-religious parenting monster. Who knew she would lock the kids in the attic, cut off their hair and feed them rat poison? And what a delicious twist that good ol’ Grandma is played by none other than Nurse Ratched.

I love how dramatic this trailer is:

2. Piper Laurie as Margaret White in Carrie (1976):
Mama White takes the fire-and-brimstone, we’re-all-going-to-hell act to a whole new level. It’s no wonder that Carrie unleashed a telekinetic shitstorm at the prom after being covered in pig’s blood. After all, her mother did predict everyone was going to laugh at her, and teenage girls hate it when their mothers are right.

“I can see your dirty pillows.” Classic.

1. Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest (1981):
My own mother would not let me watch this movie as a child, and I still don’t know if it was because she thought it inappropriate for a kid my age or if she was worried I’d one day write a tell-all book about her. Kidding. Seriously, though, in spite of my mom’s best efforts, I definitely watched this movie a million times in the ’80s and was equal parts mesmerized and horrified by it. This scene, with Dunaway in her cold-creamed face, will forever epitomize the crazy mother for me.

Your favorite not on the list? Please share in the comments below!

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