Women in Horror Week
In addition to featuring a female protagonist with disabilities, ‘Hush’ crafts a home-invasion story that isn’t about her “problems” or obstacles or the attacker at all, but rather it focuses on the tactful solutions she chooses along the way. …Its depiction of Maddie as a full, engaging character who fends for herself and thrives alone is an asset to adding more characters with disabilities in films, especially horror, as not victims but stars.
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.
With regular bombings being an everyday part of their lives, and a warhead landing in the apartment above them, the two of them live under the “shadow of war” in a very real sense. … The jinn, and the hauntings, also serve as a metaphor for Shideh’s own insecurities about motherhood.
This violence through language establishes a paradigm that persists throughout the film in which female expression, female control over their anatomy/body and others’ is aggressively and oppressively impugned upon and violated by male domination. Mary’s passion and talent — and thus selfhood — exists imperiled and impeached by the overtures of men.
…Horror has a strong tradition of using pregnancy to creep-out audiences too. From ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ to ‘Inside’ we can see that this notion is pervasive. (Don’t even get me started on the horror after the child arrives, but I digress.) ‘Antibirth’ is an interesting new slant on the horror of pregnancy.
‘The Witch’ is proof that when a film is made with utmost care down to the last detail, one can still be transported by it to another world — though, in the case of ‘The Witch,’ it is a downright creepy and unpleasant world, and one that I am grateful, as a woman, to not have to live in.
What horrors are directly related to Black women? What elements, themes, aesthetic appeal would make a horror film a solid example of Black female centrality and agency? And even still, strike fear in a universal audience… Our ghosts: how are they different?
With ‘The Eyes of My Mother,’ writer-director Nicolas Pesce explores the nature of human instinct and arrested development in a way that is uncomfortable to watch yet immersive just the same.
Closer to sirens than friendly flounders these creatures lure men to their deaths and feast on their flesh. … Deadly mermaids, Eastern European pop music, and crushing dreams may not initially seem like a wonderful combination, but The Lure mixes these elements together beautifully.
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.
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.
“They just assume I’m an actress. They would never assume that I directed it or made the film myself.” That’s the assumption that women-centric horror film festivals intend to quash. They’re also, as Women in Horror Film Festival (WIHFF) co-director and filmmaker Samantha Kolesnik said, a growing platform for “equal representation” in all aspects of film production.