Before the Burn Book, there was The Journal. And if you thought outing Amber D’Alessio for making out with a hot dog was harsh, you’re in for a deliciously evil treat when you remember what Sebastian Valmont committed to paper about his wicked step-sister Kathryn Merteuil (whom he lovingly referred to as the Benedict Bitch) in Cruel Intentions.
Sarah Michelle Geller has now gone brunette and suited up in a chic skirt-suit just in time to reprise her role as the Manchester Prep HBIC for the TV adaptation, and, frankly, we’re already pretty afraid of whatever twisted scheme she’s going to resume ruining lives with next.
In case you forgot just how malevolent mean girls could be, here’s a quick refresher on why Kathryn Merteuil was the best at being the worst queen bee ever. The Plastics have got nothing on this girl.
First of all, she was a blasphemous little phony.Columbia Pictures
Kathryn's "Marcia Fucking Brady of the Upper East Side" routine was pretty convincing, especially when she whipped out her rosary as her source of strength in resisting all the temptation of her lesser-scrupled peers (ha!). And the truth is, she did actually relish her little religious icon -- but only because it was a secret canister for her illegal substances.
Regina sucked souls too, but at least she was pretty upfront about it.
And her concept of romantic revenge was raw.Columbia Pictures
Court Reynolds made a horrible decision when he hooked up with Kathryn in the first place, and when he realized that and ended their thing, the girl went on a soul-crushing rampage. Anyone with even a tenuous link to him was targeted, chiefly the hilariously innocent Cecile Hargrove (Selma Blair), whose rep Kathryn made it a personal mission of hers to destroy before she even stepped foot on Manchester Prep's school grounds.
She was also straight awful when it came to the slurs.Columbia Pictures
Her vocabulary was riddled with offensive bigotry. We're not going to repeat the things she said here, but ... YUCK. Of course, Regina George wasn't exactly known for being a beacon of acceptance either, but the way the nasties just flew off Kathryn's tongue like that took her to the next level.
There was also the fact that she got off on tormenting Sebastian.Columbia Pictures
Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe) was the furthest thing from a saint himself, but it was still pretty vile the way Kathryn constantly toyed with him, knowing good and well he carried a weird torch for her.
To get her nefarious way, there's no stop Kathryn wouldn't pull out.Columbia Pictures
Although she did expect Sebastian to do a lot of the dirty work, Kathryn was also a willing participant in her crimes against decency. To encourage Cecile's sexual awakening, she seduced her into a picnic make-out session to take the stigma out of first base and give her a major nudge on to the next. The worst thing Regina ever did on this front was trick Cady into admitting she thinks she's pretty.
She was also a shameless spy who actually planted a video camera on her victims.Columbia Pictures
Her depravity knew exactly zero bounds, guys.
Kathryn even made sure the boyfriend of the girl who liked her ex-boyfriend went down with the ship.Columbia Pictures
No one can remain wholesome on her watch.
She made sure that literally no one in her life was happy.
When Sebastian's plan to lure Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon) out of her "paradigm of chastity and virtue" backfired and he actually fell for her, Kathryn was the first to make sure that wouldn't last. She used her conversational wizardry -- threatening his prized reputation for being a heartbreaking a-hole -- to convince him to break it off, and when that worked, she rubbed her tricksy triumph in his face with a toast:
"My triumph isn’t over her. It’s over you. You were very much in love with her, and you’re still in love with her. But it amused me to make you ashamed of it. You gave up on the first person you ever loved because I threatened your reputation. Don’t you get it? You’re just a toy, Sebastian. A little toy I like to play with. And now you’ve completely blown it with her. I think it’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. Cheers."
Last but not least, she also gave exactly zero f--ks about setting the events of her step brother's actual death into motion.Columbia Pictures
Was Kathryn sorry when her lies caught Sebastian beaten up and then run over in the middle of the street? Nope. In fact, she saw his untimely funeral as yet another opportunity to boast her false image by giving a eulogy speech about her own ability to "set an example" of un-peer-pressurable greatness.
Too bad she never got to finish that ridiculous diatribe -- Cecile and Annette had teamed up to take her down mid-speech by making Sebastian's damning diary public -- because we're sure it would have been an Oscarworthy performance.