10 Feminist Horror Movies That Will Make You Appreciate the Genre in a Whole New Way – MarieClaire.com

Horror movies aren't known for depicting women well. Female bodies are often treated like objects. They're designed to be looked at, violated, and discarded. But the genre doesn't have to be like this.

Old-school slashers introduced us to the "Final Girl" tropeAKA the girl who survives by being resourceful and tenacious (and ~sigh~ usually by virtue of being a virgin). But many newer horror films have moved toward female-driven narratives involving strong, complex characters. They operate under the true assumption that women in horror can exercise a great amount of agency, challenge expectations, and survive despite the odds being against them. Part of the move toward better female representation is the growing number of women filmmakers working in horrorthey make up over half the directors on this list, which is a pretty decent percentage considering Hollywood's track record. Here's the best of what they (as well as some talented male horror directors) have produced since the early 2000s.

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Ginger Snaps is about sisterhood, desire, and the horrors of pubertyas well as horror in general. On the night of her first period, Ginger is bitten by a werewolf. There are obvious parallels between the physical/emotional changes wreaked on her body by hormones and those wreaked on her body by supernatural transformation. Ginger is overwhelmed by lust for sex and blood, and she revels in the power she discovers.

This film has an all-women cast whose spelunking adventure goes terribly wrong when they get trapped underground. And nope, they're not alone. The six characters are resourceful and determined to survive, even though they're traveling deep into the earth through dark caves where there is no form of communication and limited supplies. The Descent is claustrophobic and tense, and will make you question what it really takes to be a Final Girl.

Teeth is a horror-comedy about a case of vagina dentataliterally meaning toothed vagina. Sweet teenage protagonist Dawn's teeth only emerge as a defense against terrible abuseand she learns to use them not just to take care of herself, but to seek vengeance. There are scenes in this film that will really make you squirm.

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Written by Diablo Cody and directed by Karyn Kusama, Jennifer's Body is a tongue-in-cheek feminist horror movie. Megan Fox is perfectly cast as Jennifer, a cheerleader turned demonic seductress who is "actually evilnot high school evil." She unapologetically uses her sexiness to take what she wantswhich happens to be men. You know...to eat. But Jennifer's Body is really about female friendship, which is part of what makes it so dynamic.

Meet Amelia: a desperately unhappy single mother, who's exhausted by grief and raising a creepy, troubled son named Sam. To make matters worse, the monstrous Babadook intrudes into their house, endangering them both. This film is a bold study of the all-consuming responsibility of being a parent, with Amelia a flawed maternal figure personifying the fears and pressures of motherhood. It's also 2017's biggest viral sensation thanks to the Babadook becoming a gay icon.

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10 Feminist Horror Movies That Will Make You Appreciate the Genre in a Whole New Way - MarieClaire.com

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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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