Andrea Riseborough: 3 underrated horror performances

Andrea Riseborough has become one of our most unpredictable character actors. Here are 3 of her horror performances that deserve more love.

In recent years, actress Andrea Riseborough has appeared in increasingly intriguing films, many of which deviate from Hollywood convention. You can currently find her as the protagonist in Brandon Cronenberg’s body-horror mind-f***, Possessor.

There are three films in particular that underline the range that Andrea Riseborough has within the horror genre. Not content to play the same character twice, it’s always exciting to see the UK-born actress’ name in the credits, as it guarantees something unpredictable.

2015’s Hidden is noteworthy for several reasons. This apocalyptic tale marks the feature writing and directing debut of Matt and Ross Duffer, who went on to create Stranger Things for Netflix. The film itself is well-executed, with a solid concept that captures the tone of a good Twilight Zone episode. Riseborough is fantastic as a mother who wants what’s best for her family.

In 2018, she appeared opposite Nicolas Cage as the titular character in Panos Cosmatos’ Mandy. As the haunted free spirit who manages a general store deep in the boonies, Mandy finds herself the target of a cult leader (Linus Roache) and his brainwashed followers. Whether narrating a passage in a sci-fi novel or laughing in the face of Roache’s coercive powers, Riseborough brings a subversive, otherworldly attitude to the proceedings (which are already pretty trippy).

And just this year, the actress appeared in the Sam Raimi-produced relaunch of The Grudge. While the film garnered an “F” from Cinemascore audiences, it’s far better than the vitriol with which it was dismissed. Director Nick Pesce knows his way around disturbing material, and takes this franchise entry to some appropriately dark places (made even darker because the characters are so tragic).

Andrea Riseborough plays a grieving widow left to raise her young son and resume work as a cop in a new town. The haunted quality of her performance in Mandy comes through in a different way here – in addition to her character’s emotional grief, she’s left to contend with the metaphysical paradoxes of a house with a gruesome past. Despite its poor critical and box office reception, The Grudge deserves a look.

You can catch The Grudge on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Starz and FandangoNOW. 

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