15 of the most interesting female monsters in fiction

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2. The Bride of Frankenstein

Now, perhaps, for one of the most distinctive monsters on the list. So far, it seems as if it is the ultimate fate of all monsters is to cause destruction. They destroy communities, upend deeply held values, and injure or even kill our apparent heroes.

However, not all monsters share this fate. That doesn’t mean they have the kind of autonomy we’d like to see, at least not outside of a Guillermo del Toro movie. Still, it goes to show that even the most “classic” of stories have plenty of ways to surprise you.

In The Bride of Frankenstein, we aren’t properly introduced to the title monster until the final minutes of the film. That isn’t to say we don’t see her, or at least her constituent parts. Dr. Frankenstein and the very campy Dr. Praetorius spend quite a bit of time collecting various bits and pieces from burials in their neighborhood. It would be kind of cute if Frankenstein weren’t so obviously against the proposition.

A bad first date

At least, he is at first. Eventually, he gets back into the swing of things and is able to create a mate for his previous monster, played by horror icon Boris Karloff. When she finally awakens, the Bride stands, swaying, apparently dazed by the new but strangely familiar world around her. She sees the original monster and screams in animalistic terror.

Do you blame her? It’s not as if anyone asked her if she was ready to go straight from her sort-of birth to dating a complete stranger. They could have given her at least a little time to figure out speaking and table manners first.

The monster doesn’t have any patience, however. He shouts that “we belong dead” and dramatically causes the laboratory to collapse. The Bride is killed, again, and the movie ends.

Too bad, because she is a uniquely interesting monster. The whole film centers on her creation and existence, yet she doesn’t hurt anyone. She’s there as a proposition, a possibility, a puzzling question. What should we do with a creature such as the Bride? If only we had more time to figure it out.