Check out all of the posts from our Sisterhood Theme Week here.
So what makes sisters such fascinating subject matter for horror films? What makes them both scary and powerful, yet the most vulnerable, both to outside forces as well as to each other when they are threatened? … Sisters can behave as a single entity and fight for the same things, but there are two bodies — two physical forces — to reckon with.
Check out all of the posts from our Violent Women Theme Week here.
Ginger, despite morphing into a werewolf, becomes our protagonist killer in a very human way, and the complexity of her journey is a cinematic rarity. A large part of its appeal is the addictive excitement-and-relief cocktail that comes with seeing your experiences reflected on screen–to see menstruation from a menstruating perspective. Who wouldn’t see want to see the violence of their PMS daydreams being played out?
Thematically, ‘Jennifer’s Body’ mirrors ‘Ginger Snaps’ in many respects: the disruption of suburban or small town life, the intersection between female sexuality and violence, the close relationship between two teen girls at the films’ centers, and—perhaps most strikingly—the contagious nature of violence in women.
The idea of “coulda, shoulda, woulda, didn’t” in regard to the source of most body horror films is very reminiscent of the way we as a society deal with victims/survivors of rape. Why is it that people immediately feel bad for MacReady and the boys when they’re attacked by The Thing without ever telling them they were “asking for it” by playing with a stray animal, but at the same time we’re still seeing news reporters and politicians try and discredit rape victims and assume it was the victim’s fault? Body horror is very closely related to rape culture because it puts a mask on the violence of rape by putting it in the context of an “other worldly invasion” and makes it permissible to revel in the other person’s destruction.
Basically, Brave isn’t really that brave of a film. It’s traipsing through a well-established trope that, though positive, is stagnant. Don’t get me wrong; I love all the prepubescent female power fantasy tales I’ve listed, and I’m grateful that they exist and that I could grow up with many of them. However, we can’t pretend that Brave is pushing any boundaries. It sends the message that little girls can be powerful as long as they remain little girls. The dearth of representations of postpubescent heroines who are not objectified, whose sexuality does not rule their interactions, and who are the heroes of their own stories is appalling.
Written by Amanda Rodriguez. I liked Disney Pixar’s Brave well enough. It’s pretty enough. It’s a story about a mother and daughter, and there was no romance, both of which are nice; though, as I’ll show, neither are as uncommon as they might initially appear. I didn’t find the feminist qualities of this movie to […]
This is a guest post from Eli Lewy. Horror films are commonly seen as one of the most sexist film genres; utilizing the voyeuristic male gaze, objectifying the female body, and reveling in helpless women being victimized. I am not discounting these claims, but horror has the potential to be more than that: films which […]