17. Annie Wilkes
Played By: Kathy Bates
Movie: Misery (1990)
You've suffered a terrible accident. Squealing metal, crunching glass, snapped bones—these are just fragments of the painful kaleidoscope-like memory of the moment that landed you here, in this bed, where you're trapped. Your movement is limited. Like a child, you're dependent on the person caring for you.
In a stereotypical porno, your wounds would heal in 30 seconds flat and then you'd fuck your nurse. In Misery, the film adaptation of Stephen King's 1987 novel, your nurse is named Annie Wilkes and she'll break your ankles with a sledgehammer before she'll let you get away.
Kathy Bates won an Oscar for her portrayal of Wilkes, a deranged lover of fiction who winds up caring for her favorite novelist, Paul Sheldon, after he's injured in a car accident. She'll help Sheldon on the condition that he pen a new novel resurrecting the character she loves so dearly, Misery Chastain. Both the film and the novel milk the helplessness one feels during a hospital visit for everything it's worth, crippling the viewer with fear. —RS