Finally, after years looking for a fresh mainstream face to rally behind, horror fans have a breakthrough, awards-friendly actress to call their own: Elizabeth Olsen, the critically beloved star of last year’s psychological creeper Martha Marcy May Marlene. Without any blood, zombies, or horny vampires, the independent mood piece, which co-starred John Hawkes as a manipulative cult leader, achieved levels of subtle terror that the grisliest and flashiest of genre flicks rarely hit, and the bulk of the credit goes to Olsen’s mesmerizing and intense performance.

This Friday, the younger—and, frankly, more talented—sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley is back with another one for those partial to unsettling cinema. In the real-time, single 88-minute-sequence film Silent House, Olsen carries the entire flick (seriously, the camera never leaves her side) as a gal whose plan to renovate an old lake house turns into a nightmare that’s either of a home invasion, supernatural, and mentally disturbed variety—we’re not about to spoil that here. But just know that Olsen once again delivers a blistering, all-eyes-on-her turn. Simply put, she’s the real deal.

And, unfortunately, she’s also bound to bid the scare genre adieu for more dramatic and higher-profile projects, much like the female thespians on our following list of 20 Famous Actresses Who Got Their Start In Horror Movies. A few have since returned to the kind of cinema that began their careers, but most of them haven’t looked back. Which is fine, though, since we’ll always have The 50 Hottest Scream Queens Of All Time, anyway.

Written by Matt Barone (@MBarone)

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Tags: horror, elizabeth-olsen, eva-mendes, jennifer-connelly, jennifer-aniston, mila-kunis, rooney-mara
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