Crime & Mystery

The Love That’s Really Real: ‘American Psycho’ as Romantic Comedy

American Psycho 4

Although primarily a horror film, ‘American Psycho’ has a satiric backbone that appropriates codes from the romantic comedy genre to expose the absurdities of our gender ideals. Director and co-writer Mary Harron’s lens skewers the qualities we find appealing in romantic comedies as terrifying.

Trespassed Lands, Transgressed Bodies: Horror, Rage, Rape, and Vengeance Within Indigenous Cinema

Rhymes for Young Ghouls

By forcing the subconscious fears of audiences to the surface, horror cinema evokes reactions psychologically and physically — that is its power. This power can serve and support uncensored Indigenous expression by allowing Indigenous filmmakers the opportunity to unleash dark, unsanitized allegorical representations of the abhorrent, repugnant, violent abomination that is colonization.

10 Women-Directed Films for Halloween

10 Women-Directed Films for Halloween

Are spine-chilling films always in demand because they help us dialogue with and about death? … In the past year, I’ve been focused on seeing films directed by women because I participated in the “52 Films by Women” initiative.

Bi Erasure in Film and TV: The Difficulty of Representing Bisexual People On-Screen

How to Get Away with Murder

As frustrating as our erasure and stereotyping is, however, I’d like to go beyond the question of “good” and “bad” representations of bisexual characters to ask this: exactly what it is about bisexuality which makes it so hard to represent on-screen? And why, when bisexuality is visible, is it so likely to collapse back into dominant stereotypes of bisexuality as either promiscuous or merely a phase?

‘Person of Interest’s Sameen Shaw Stamps Her Place in TV’s Bisexual Landscape

Person of Interest

She is a victor, a fighter, and a survivor. Shaw is a queer, neurodivergent, woman of color, and she was allowed to be all of these things without ever being judged or punished for them. Though ‘Person of Interest’ never used the label, and Shaw herself is not likely to ever use such labels, she is unmistakably a bisexual character, and her status as such is treated by the narrative with matter-of-factness, but also with respect and compassion.

Bisexuality in ‘Kissing Jessica Stein’ and ‘I Love You Phillip Morris’

I Love You Phillip Morris and Kissing Jessica Stein

Both films, then, arguably fit a wider cultural pattern of bi erasure, suggesting that bisexual characters must “resolve” themselves as either gay or straight. I would argue, however, that what marks ‘I Love You Phillip Morris’ and ‘Kissing Jessica Stein’ as something more nuanced and interesting than another tale of “inauthentic” bisexuality, is the subtlety with which they examine all sexual orientations as limited by our internalized need to socially perform.

The Trope of the Murderous Bisexual Woman

Basic Instinct

There are a number of films — frequently defined as “erotic thrillers” — which feature bisexual women who are violent, manipulative, and even murderous. … The trope of the promiscuous, aggressive, violent, and unstable bisexual woman is one that truly needs to disappear. Even if directors do not intend any harm to queer people or communities, these inaccurate portrayals lead movie-goers to believe that bisexuality is something dangerous, to be feared.

The Women Men Rescue (or Choose Not To): ‘The Witness’ and ‘Disorder’

The Witness and Disorder

Saving a beautiful woman from danger is such a pervasive male fantasy that right now, no matter where you are you could probably see an example of this trope by randomly flipping through channels or wandering into a multiplex. But what if the man was never able to save the woman? Or what if he has problems of his own that keep him from being a stereotypical hero?

‘The Stepfather,’ Toppling Patriarchy, and Love of 80s Horror Ladies

The Stepfather

Stephanie emerges as a poised, perspicacious, and resilient female lead. She is a wonderfully surprising alternative from most of the panoply of horror heroines who are tortured, fight, and scream their way through the terrifying films of the 80s. … Stephanie embodies what each of the archetypally male characters in the film fails to, and in doing so transcends the clutches of gender expectations in the film…

Stop the Fridging: The Invisible Feminism of ‘Arrow’

Arrow TV series

So while ‘Arrow’ seems pretty reluctant to move away from the traditional stance on women existing to be love interests and to be rescued, the individual female characters themselves sometimes show some hints of progressiveness… if only they’d be allowed to live long enough!

Elektra in ‘Daredevil’: Violence, White Masculinity, and Asian Stereotypes

Daredevil Elektra 4

Elektra is in some ways, the most problematic character. … Yet there is something strangely compelling about Elektra, not as an extension of the show’s tired prejudices against Asian people, but as a woman who despite her questionable origins transcends the limiting Strong Female Character trope. …Her presence in and of itself disrupts the masculine hegemony of violence in the show.

‘Catwoman,’ ‘Elektra,’ and the Death of the Cinema Superheroine

Catwoman and Elektra movies

Now, don’t get me wrong – neither ‘Catwoman’ nor ‘Elektra’ are by any means good movies. The first is silly, the second dull, and both are confusing and ugly, with little interest in their source material and an odd propensity to give characters magical powers. They deserved to fail – but they didn’t deserve to take an entire gender down with them.