Title
6

Horror, Subversion, and Anxiety: The Female Role

It’s that time of year again, the perfect time to cuddle up with a cup of something hot and binge out on horror movies. Much has been written about zombies and vampires reflecting social anxiety regarding mindless consumerism and disease; let’s take it a step further and analyze movies with (anti-?)feminist themes. What do we learn about the pathologizing of young girls in "The Exorcist"? Or, to take a newer horror film, is the vampire in "A Girl Walks Home at Night" a rogue feminist? The possibilities are endless, and bloody, and endlessly bloody.

  • I often wonder about the significance of female characters as the protagonists in horror films. I remember reading Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell talking (somewhat shamefaced) about how, as college students, they thought Evil Dead would be scarier if it was so frightening, it would make a grown man afraid - hence, the rare male lead (Ash Williams). The contradiction of placing a woman in the role of "fear" (weakness) while also being the "hero" (strength) in the horror genre is very interesting and would be sure to generate a lot of conversation. I think about Alien, Scream...the female protagonist is often abused and exploited, but in the end, she is the one to makes it out alive. This certainly says a lot about cultural views of women. – risserca 6 years ago
    2
  • Great topic. I do think horror movies sort of reflect societies views on women, like the mention of The Exorcist and such. – Austin Bender 6 years ago
    2
  • This is interesting, I would be interested in seeing a point of comparison between the representation of women in American Psycho and The Quiet Ones. Another intriguing analysis could be in the early horror cinema, like Tod Browning's Dracula and other horror films of the 1930s. – emilyinmannyc 6 years ago
    1
  • I've never fully considered this before, but it might call into question the female presence in low-budget campy horror to add aesthetic appeal and remain in the background of the plot, but also the demonisation of female sexuality in things such as vampire movies. – OliviaBurgin 6 years ago
    1
  • I think it has much to do with innocence. Either innocence is something that should be protected from demons or innocence is terrifying when it is tainted by evil. – Candice Evenson 6 years ago
    1

Want to write about Film or other art forms?

Create writer account