Running rampant through the 70s, 80s, and even 90s were the scream queens of horror. You know, those famous for their set of lungs, for fighting off the maniacal killer all the way up to the very end and somehow being among the only survivors. But here we are in the second decade of the 2000s and the way of the true scream queen is few and far between, with most actresses doing horror once or twice, but rarely do they have a thriving career at it and return for more time and time again. Except, of course, the blonde bombshell Jaime King. She’s in this year’s holiday horror flick SILENT NIGHT, not to mention a whole gaggle of other slasher flicks, thus making her the bona fide scream queen of modern horror cinema. Don’t believe? Let’s take a look at her career to date and revel in her awesomeness.
For most red-blooded men, Jaime King first smashed onto the scene with her bodacious good looks and incredible curves as Goldie in Robert Rodriguez’s SIN CITY. The seducer of Marv (Mickey Rourke), the vengeful twin sister, she had the killer looks and the killer attitude to go along with it. SIN CITY put her on the map, but it was her role in MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D a few years later that really let her talents shine as the beautiful burnette who becomes the final girl left to stand off against Harry Warden. She does a damn fine job at being both strong yet fragile in that flick, and it doesn’t help that it was a damn good 3D slasher flick, either.
Other gems in her blossoming career include the republican killer vs. hippies slasher flick THE TRIPPER, in which she plays yet another drop-dead gorgeous heroine against a killer in a mask (this time, it’s Ronald Reagan!). Seriously, King was born for this type of role. She really shines in it as her ability to make the audience give a flock if she lives or dies is uncanny. She also rocked in FANBOYS. And most recently, her role as the Deputy Sheriff on the hunt for a killer Santa Claus on the loose in SILENT NIGHT is another role she was born to play. She’s hot, she’s tough, and she’s the only one kick-ass enough to put an end of the mayhem.
Ah, but even though her acting career only kicked off in 2001, King has a number of stinkers under her belt that we simply can’t look over. Luckily, most of them are not genre flicks, and non of them are the type of hottie vs. slasher flicks she shines at doing. She has a little action flick under her belt that wasn’t as great as it should have been with BULLETPROOF MONK, co-starring Chow Yun-Fat and Seann William Scott. Not a horrendous movie, but compared to her other flicks, it’s definitely not the best.
No, her horrendous film efforts go to WHITE CHICKS (a comedy, but OMG what a shitfest) and one of my most-hated movies in the last decade, THE SPIRIT. On paper, THE SPIRIT was the perfect follow-up / companion piece to SIN CITY. It was stylized in black and white (with splatters of color), it was written and directed by Frank Miller (creator of SIN CITY), and it included an all-star cast (Eva Mendez, Scarlett Johanson, Samuel L. Jackson). But in reality, THE SPIRIT is one of the worst movies ever put to screen. It’s laughably bad. The dialog, the over-the-top acting, the silly storyline, and its sheer craziness that appears to come out of nowhere. I had to review this movie and therefore caught it opening day in the theater. It was one of the most painful movie going experiences I’ve ever had to endure, and it was the first, and last, time I had ever seen it. But really, once is all I needed. And honestly, that one time was almost too many. King’s role was small, and she wasn’t necessarily bad, but oh boy, do I loathe that movie.
As mentioned before, where King shines is her ability to portray characters that are both strong-willed and badass, yet have a layer of vulnerability to them that lets the audience care for her, and also not entirely believe that she won’t be killed off. She cries a lot, or is on the verge of crying, or looks like she could cry at any given second. That’s just how she rolls. She also excels at being incredibly hot, regardless of whether she’s blonde or brunette, King does a fantastic job at providing incredible eye candy in everything that she does. Speaking of which, holiday horror. That’s Kings bread and butter and she does the genre so well. She’s tackled Valentine’s Day (MY BLOODY VALENTINE), Mother’s Day (MOTHER’S DAY), and now, Christmas (SILENT NIGHT). If Eli Roth ever makes THANKSGIVING, King better be at the top of his list!
This year has been a big year for King, as not only does she have SILENT NIGHT out and has a recurring role on a hit TV series (HART OF DIXIE), but she also had another movie released earlier this year… MOTHER’S DAY. Based loosely on the Troma camp classic, the flick co-starred Rebecca De Mornay and Shawn Ashmore and was directed by SAW alumni Darren Lynn Bousman. For those who enjoy a good home invasion flick with plenty of gore and torture, MOTHER’S DAY is definitely for you. The flick made a tiny splash upon its initial release, but it’s pretty goddamn good and doesn’t get the respect it so rightfully deserves. Not to mention the fact that King, once again, does an outstanding job as the damsel in distress that’s a lot tougher than she looks. See this movie!
The next big project King has lined up for herself also happens to be one of the most anticipated films of 2013 for many fanboys. The project: SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR, the epic sequel to the film that changed how we see comic book movies come to life. King is returning as Wendy, the vigilante twin sister to Goldie from the first film, and assumingly, the aforementioned “dame to kill for”. I’m a huge fan of SIN CITY and so a sequel in the same world with much of the filmmakers and applicable cast returning for me sounds like all kinds of awesome. And with King being the dame in question, I can only image she gets a gaggle amount of more screentime, a plus in which we all benefit.
There aren’t many actresses we can call out as being Scream Queens in this modern day of cinema, but Jaime King is definitely one of them. She’s cornered the market on holiday horror (all kinds of holidays, not just Christmas), she seamlessly changes between being blonde and burnette, she’s sensitive and fragile one second then tough as nails the next, and she really knows how to cry. While she’s had her share of duds over the years, her quality genre performances outweigh all of them and then some. Be sure to check out her latest slasher flick SILENT NIGHT and be sure to stick around for more and more Jaime King announcements as there’s no way she’ll be short of work anytime soon.