From Florence Pugh to Mia Goth, HUNGER charts the most iconic female rage moments in film

The wicked world of female rage in cinema is having its moment, and to honour that, HUNGER has compiled a list of the best on-screen scenes that challenge stereotypes with their violent anti-heroes.

Formerly, most depictions of female protagonists have been predicated around the male gaze, which eschews anger for more palatable emotions like sadness. The likes of American Psycho, Joker, and Fight Club fuelled the idea that aggression is a male trait, but now audiences are realising they can reclaim this female rage as their own.

With the help of TikTok’s scrupulous editing skills, often stitched together over the likes of songs like ‘Emotions’ by Brenda Lee, women are seeing an accurate portrayal of their own feelings on screen. Even films like Jennifer’s Body in 2009 are being reclaimed by women who relate to the violent nature of the possessed lead, further charged by her methods of seeking revenge by consuming men. Horror is catching up, rewriting its means of Hagsploitation in the likes of Mia Goth’s character in X, and forfeiting bimbo-ified deaths in Scream in favour of their own emotionally charged characters who aren’t afraid to show how pissed off they are. Violent women aren’t hard to come by now in film, and contemporary cinema finally seems to be having its moment with female rage. 

The editing sequences have even become so well known that users are remaking their own by trying to replicate the blood-curdling screams with friends – a bonding exercise like no other. If you aren’t gathering your girls to recreate Florence Pugh’s despair in Midsommar at your weekend pre-drinks, then what exactly are you doing? So while we continue practicing our screams, we have compiled a list of the best films to inspire your most piercing of shrieks…


In the 1997 movie adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s classic novel, Dolores (known as Lolita) is played by Dominique Swain. As Jeremy Irons’ character Humbert Humbert begins to fall for the underage girl and finally faces the consequences of his actions, we see the exact moment that the novel flips from his perspective and gives us insight into the life of Lolita. Humbert’s ‘woe is me’ untrustworthy narrations grow tired, and just at the moment you think you have had enough of his abusive ways, Lolita takes a deep breath and screams out. “Murder me like you murdered my mother,” she shouts at him, repeating it over and over.

Don’t Worry Darling

In one of 2022’s most highly-anticipated films (partially for its off-screen drama), the Olivia Wilde-directed psychological thriller shows the repressed state of a husband and wife living in a utopian 1950s set called Victory. When cracks in the seemingly perfect facade begin to show, wife Alice (played by Florence Pugh) begins to question everything. The film shows how much she is willing to lose to expose what is really going on, and as her husband Jack (played by Harry Styles) continues to convince her that life is all well and good – she snaps. “You were miserable, you were so unhappy, you hated your life,” he says. “It was my life!” she screams back. 


If anyone could show a mother’s true pain in film, it would have to be Toni Collette. In the 2018 horror, she plays Annie Graham, the grief-stricken mother whose disturbed ancestry begins to expose itself. In this, her son screams at her to release what she has to say at the dinner table after she tries to keep her cool. “Don’t you ever raise your voice at me you little shit,” she screams as she bangs her fists on the table. “I am your mother. Do you understand? All I do is worry, and slave, and defend you.” She continues to lecture the men in her family on her own pain, as they sit stunned at how much she has been holding in this entire time.

X and Pearl

The most recent and most viral depictions of female rage are all thanks to Mia Goth in her Ti West-directed films X and the prequel Pearl. If you are yet to watch either, these films are a must-see, as it breaks down a plethora of old horror female archetypes in favour of a new-age serial killing violent character. Goth’s character went viral thanks to her spine-chilling “I’m a star” shriek, and the films are laden with outbursts we only wish we had the lungs to recreate. With too many iconic howls to name, TikTok editors have taken it upon themselves to compile some of Goth’s most raucous moments.

Hidden Figures

In this 2016 drama based on a true story, the treatment Black female mathematicians faced at Nasa in the early years of America’s space programme is explored. Taraji P. Henson plays protagonist Katherine who faces discriminatory and racist behaviour from her colleagues who refuse to touch the coffee pot after she has, and make her walk miles to go to the bathroom. She is driven to the end of her tether when her boss reprimands her for coming into work wet from the rain, to which she gives the company a lesson in what she has had to endure at the hands of their rules. “I work like a dog, day and night. Living on coffee from a pot none of you want to touch,” she tells the room of white men. “So excuse me if I have to go to the restroom a few times a day.”

Sex & The City

Now the 00s classic that focuses on a group of friends in New York is pretty much on everyone’s radar, more for its nostalgic watch ability than depictions of female rage. But a formative scene in the episode ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ where Carrie Bradshaw gets stood up by her partner Big on her wedding day will always stick in our mind as an accurate representation of how we should all react to the selfish behaviour of men. Bradshaw throws her bouquet at him and collapses, as her friend Charlotte played by Kristin Davis grabs her and screams “No!” at Big. As far as friendships go, this is one of the best iterations of empathetic anger and shows that despite their fawning over the men of New York, they are still willing to give them what they deserve when it comes to outbursts. 


Averaging around 16.3 million viewers per episode, the successful TV series Euphoria is one of this generation’s go-tos for exploring the nauseating side effects of young adulthood. As far as female characters with a range of complexities go, Euphoria truly delves into the murky waters of female brutality on screen. By exploring the protagonist Rue’s issues with drug abuse, she comes to a head with her mother and sister when they find she is reusing. “You wish I was different? So do I!” screams Rue. Played by Zendaya, a lot of the scenes revolve around the effects her behaviour has on the rest of the characters. This is including when she reveals to Maddie (played by Alexa Demie) that her best friend Cassie (played by Sydney Sweeney) has been sleeping with her ex-boyfriend. Cassie has a fully-fledged breakdown in her imagination before she deals with the real response, with the scene of where she screams “You guys can all judge me if you want, but I have never, ever been happier!” going viral. 

WriterElla Chadwick
Banner Image CreditA24