Some 28 years after its theatrical release, Batman Returns has developed a fierce and passionate fanbase, thanks to Tim Burton’s “all-in” psychological take on the rogues plaguing Batman and Gotham City: The Penguin (Danny DeVito) and Catwoman (Michelle Peiffer). Selina Kyle’s creepy AF origin story into the almost-supernatural Catwoman is one of the most frightening and iconic scenes in Burton’s filmography.
After being pushed out a window by her depraved boss, Max Shreck (Christopher Walken), Selina crashes through awning after awning before landing sprawled-out on snowy pavement. Dead. Until street cats slowly gather and swarm Selina’s body, nibbling on her bloody fingers until her fluttering eyes snap in jump scare fashion. But — that’s arguably not the scariest part of Selina’s resurrection. Pale faced and haunted, she returns to her apartment, trashes the joint, and somewhere between madness and conviction, stitches together her skin-tight costume to become a “thorn” in Batman’s side. The end result is one of the most haunting and tragic villains ever made for the big screen.