Fantasy

“You Can’t Sit with Us”: Witchy Girl Gangs and Covens

The Craft

Underwritten in this claim of selfhood, however, is a larger message. Each of the films and the TV series, to varying degrees, promote individuality over conformity. Eventually, each teaches viewers the importance of being true to yourself and avoiding the pitfalls of group mentality. …Each manifestation of the girl group trope proposes an affirmation of self-esteem, non-conformity, independence, and individuality.

20 Years of ‘The Craft’: Why We Needed More of Rochelle

The Craft

Rochelle was the social outcast with the other handful of social outcasts of St. Bernard Academy, sure. But how do we cinematize the Black girl outcast teenager that many of us felt like? That just so happens to be a practicing witch? Much of what can be read of Rochelle relies heavily on those of us whom she meant so much to.

‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ ‘Prevenge,’ and the Evils of the Trump Administration

Prevenge

Alice Lowe’s ‘Prevenge’ is in some ways a modernized version of ‘Rosemary’s Baby.’ … Throughout the course of history, and especially in Trump’s America, baby always comes first. Our government cares more about fetuses than it does about living, breathing women. This chills me to the core more than a scary movie ever could.

“You Are Who You Eat”: Digging in to Antonia Bird’s ‘Ravenous’

Ravenous

In ‘Ravenous,’ the primary meat and potatoes of the terror the audience feels isn’t provided by novel sights on the screen. While the visuals are gorgeous, its true potency comes from its sense of self-confidence. … Director Antonia Bird is unafraid of long silences; she trusts her skills to communicate plot and character visually without the need for exposition. … It makes for a moody, evocative, distinctive, and extremely memorable personal style.

‘Penny Dreadful’: Departure from Heroine

Penny Dreadful finale

We do not see the warrior that we have come to know and love, for her ability to not just fight battles, but to align others to fight against their darkest selves and moments for a better world. … Her death becomes a part of their story and creates an allegory of her character; she is not a woman anymore, but a figure to them, something they now own.

From Racist Stereotype to Fully Whitewashed: Tiger Lily Since 1904

Tiger Lily in Peter Pan

Whatever the other problems might be with this film (and they are many), my focus for this review is the character Tiger Lily, who was originally conceived as a racist stereotype by J.M. Barrie and who has had her Native identity completely erased in this latest iteration. Is this progress? I think not.

A Feminist Guide to Horror: Torture Porn TV

Penny Dreadful

Small screen torture porn, at least in the cases of ‘American Horror Story’ and ‘Penny Dreadful,’ seems to be serving rather to take our fear of sex and women out of the dark and into the light, giving us an opportunity to vicariously take women apart and show them as disgusting as a substantial portion of our society fears we might be.

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?

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and Bisexual Representation

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

But the clearest example of the Buffyverse’s discomfort with bisexuality, in my opinion, appears in the character of Faith Lehane. … Despite what was at the time a groundbreaking portrayal of a loving lesbian relationship, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ still had many issues in its messaging surrounding queer sexualities, in particular bisexuality. In my opinion, a few material changes could have gone a long way in removing at least some of this negative messaging.

‘Supernatural’s Scariest Monster: Bisexual Erasure

Supernatural

I won’t spend too much time trying to convince you that one of the main characters, Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), is bisexual — or would be, if the writers and producers would allow him to be — and that the show is queerbaiting. … What I am arguing is that queer people do not need a character’s sexuality to be canonized in order to identify with that character and recognize literary tropes that are generally used to align characters with queerness.

‘Jennifer’s Body’ and Bisexuality

Jennifer's Body

We don’t have direct evidence of how Jennifer or Needy would describe their sexual orientations, but ‘Jennifer’s Body’ works as a depiction of the relationship between two young bisexual women. If nothing else, it subverts expectations around gender and sexuality in horror films. … Even when Jennifer and Needy resort to physical violence with each other, their conflict has an erotic, and even romantic, subtext.