The Ring

The Terror of Little Girls: The Roundup

Check out all of the posts for our The Terror of Little Girls Theme Week here.

“But I Do!”: Releasing Repressed Rage in ‘The Ring’


These abstract symbols not only frighten, but link events in the real world to Samara’s cursed tape: this particular creature recalls the “spiders, snails, and puppy-dog tails” that little girls are decidedly not supposed to be made of. When Rachel engages this videotape, notably created by the patriarchal forces that might be seen to repress Samara, she sees Samara in a sparse hospital room in fast motion, staring at the clock as its hands whirl around and around.

Little Girls in Horror Films: Setting the Stage for Female Double Standards

Grady Sisters

Little girls are often what we associate with innocence. Girls are said to be born out of “sugar, spice, and everything nice,” which attaches a stigma to women from birth that is unrealistic. Society is conditioned to believe this ridiculous myth, which changes the way we value little girls over little boys.

The Terror of Little Girls: Social Anxiety About Women in Horrifying Girlhood

Horror films hold a mirror up to these ideals, distorting the images and terrifying viewers in the process. The terror that society feels while looking at these little girls echoes the terror it feels when confronted with changing gender norms and female power.

Call For Writers: The Terror of Little Girls

The films that depict terrifying little girls are acting out the deep-seated fear of the loss of our culture’s goodness and purity, virginity and innocence. There’s also a collective discomfort surrounding the fact that little girls become women, and that womanhood is unpredictable and uncontrollable. Little girls in films like ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘The Bad Seed’ embody a premature, preternatural womanhood that is powerful, sexual, and taboo.

The Allure of the Female Ghost in ‘Ringu’

Reiko and Ryuji mean business

Horror. It’s a genre that ignites different reactions: excitement, disgust, fear or indifference. Who would have thought that an inanimate object – and the female ghost that comes with it (free of charge) – could be so frightening? The enigma of the monstrous female can be found throughout history in literature, movies, and contemporary pop-culture. An array of female monsters are waddling around in our hazy pop-culture memories. Think of the witch, vampire, psychopath, and the scorned ghost. The term “ghost girl” has now even levitated itself to our cultural lexicon.

Horror Week 2012: That "Crazy Bitch": Women and Mental Illness Tropes in Horror

Vivien (Connie Britton) in American Horror Story Ladies, how many times have you been called a “crazy bitch?” Once? Twice? 5 thousand times?? Or is that just me? This oh-so-not-lovely term of endearment gets tossed around waaaaayy too often. It’s bad enough when we get labeled the sexist term “bitch” — and it’s very different […]

The Terror of Little Girls: Social Anxiety About Women in Horrifying Girlhood

Horror films have a long-standing tradition of commenting on the social fears and anxieties of their time. Another universally recognized truth of horror is that scary children are terrifying–especially little girls. While an analysis of “creepy children” in horror films usually proclaims that they are providing commentary on a loss of innocence, and it would […]

Horror Week 2011: The Roundup

Alien_Ellen Ripley

Sleepaway Camp by Carrie Nelson The shock of Sleepaway Camp’s ending relies on the cissexist assumption that one’s biological sex and gender presentation must always match. A person with a mismatched sex and gender presentation is someone to be distrusted and feared. Though the audience has identified with Peter throughout the movie, we are meant […]

Horror Week 2011: A Feminist Reading of The Ring

“Before you die … “   Note: This article contains spoilers for the Japanese novel and movie Ringu that “The Ring” gets its story and concept from. Infection in the sentence breeds We may inhale Despair At distances of Centuries –Emily Dickinson By some stroke of fate, right around the time I had gotten over […]