Annie Wilkes in Misery – Courtesy of Columbia Pictures
28. Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates, Misery)
Certainly, many horror movie fans consider Misery to be one of the best Stephen King adaptations. It tells the story of an obsessive fan, Annie Wilkes, whose wildest dreams come true when her favorite author Paul Sheldon crashes his car near her home. Under the guise of caring for his injury, she takes him to her house, where he is bedridden with broken bones. At first, it appears as if Annie is Paul’s savior.
To reward Annie for saving him, Paul gives her his newest manuscript. However, some of the content within it deeply upsets her. She also reads Paul’s most recently published book, and gets even more distraught when she learns the character Misery dies at the end. She goes off into a rage, informing Paul that she hasn’t told anyone else where he is, and now he has to do exactly what she says.
From there, Annie tortures Paul to get the story she wants. She orders him to burn his manuscript and write up a new book instead, Misery’s Return. Demanding the character be written back to life, Paul has no choice but to comply. Of course, Paul does attempt to sneak away, but once Annie finds out, she smashes his ankles with a sledgehammer to ensure that won’t happen again.