I had originally thought the French television series Marianne was my first instance of a titular adversary (as opposed to a titular girl), but looking back I see a few other examples that qualify ( I Am Mother, Candyman, Mr. Frost, and Sweet Miss Honeywell’s Revenge), as well as others that refer to the adversary by title or description rather than proper name (Phantom of the Opera, The Darkangel, The Caller, The Iron King, Soultaker, The Gruesome Green Witch, The Thorn Queen, and my last post The Dark Stranger). Funny how I never noticed that before!

Emma has made a career writing horror novels about an evil witch named Marianne, who has survived death in spirit form to torment others. Over time it is revealed that Emma attempted to summon Marianne in an adolescent ritual, but in fact her connection to the witch goes back much further (though ultimately, in some way, she let Marianne in, even if she didn’t know what she was doing at the time). When Emma decides to stop writing the series and revisits her old stomping grounds, Marianne makes a violent reappearance, taking Emma’s parents and friends one by one in an attempt to force her to write again, thus giving Marianne a stronger hold on the physical world. Emma must rescue her friends, even when they turn against her. At the end, she still has some help in defeating the witch, but ultimately must overcome her in an internal struggle for her very soul.