|Alessa Gillespie, played by Jodelle Ferland|
Alessa is such a pretty sounding name. Who would have guessed that this pretty name belongs to the "villainess" of one of the scariest video game movie adaptations, 'Silent Hill' (2006).
For those not familiar with the movie or the game that is is based on, Alessa was born out of wedlock in the town of Silent Hill in 1965. Because of her illegitimate birth, she was bullied as a child by her schoolmates and called a witch. She was seized by a local religious cult who attempted to burn her alive for being a witch. She was however rescued, and the fire that was meant to consume her ended up destroying the whole town. Badly injured by her burns, Alessa was then confined to hospital, where her "pain and fear began to turn into hate" and "her hate started to change the world". The first movie was freakishly scary, and a sequel is due for release this month.
Alessa (pronounced ah-LESS-ah in the movie) is a short form of the Italian and Spanish variation of Alexandra, Alessandra. The name comes from the Greek alexain (meaning to defend or help), and thus Alessa means 'defender of the people'. Alessa is a beautiful name, a softer and far less popular than its counterparts. While Alessa has never ranked in the top 1000 in America, in 2011 Alexis was #26, Alexa was #55, Alexandra was #76, Alexia was #275, Alessandra was #397. Plus, the similar sounding Alyssa charted at #37. Here is Australia we only have data for the top 100 names, but in 2011 Alexis ranked #36, Alyssa was #55 and Alexandra #76. So Alessa has a very popular sound and feel, without being a popular name. I really like that about this name.
The other great thing is that unlike a lot of other names from horror movies, Alessa is not necessarily immediately identified as a horror movie name unless you're talking to someone who either loves the video games or is a horror movie fan. This makes Alessa a subtle Halloween choice, but extremely pretty and rare. Most importantly, it would be very easy to use on an actual person.