Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth
Psychopath Rating: 🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪
No one has earned their place on this list quite like Kathy Bates, a national treasure who we must protect at all costs. Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) is the biggest fangirl of Paul Sheldon (James Caan), a writer of romance novels. After Sheldon endures a near-fatal accident, breaking two legs and dislocating a shoulder, Wilkes manages to scoop him up and take him to her reclusive home, where she nurses him back to health on the pretext that she’s called for help. As with any good Kathy Bates-led villain, there's something more sinister brewing just below her Good Samaritan facade. Soon enough, Annie becomes enraged with the fatality of Shelton’s most recent protagonist in his newest novel Misery. She forces him to destroy the script, ultimately placing his life in peril should he refuse to rewrite a story with an ending of her own design.
When seeking a Bates-level thriller, tread lightly. There are spine-chilling (read: literal bone-crushing) scenes in this one to haunt your dreams forever. But Kathy Bates delivers as always in a psychopathic role for the ages.