February is Women in Horror Recognition month. I like horror. A lot. As many of you know, I’m currently in post production on a short horror film I wrote and directed called Small Talk. I hear the same old bs all the time about how women don’t like horror, or don’t like gory horror, or only like horror for the excuse to snuggle into the arms of our boyfriends or what the anachronistic fuck ever. It’s 2013 and people still say this. I read that the majority of the audience who showed up for the recent Texas Chainsaw reboot were women, but such facts don’t seem to register among all the “common sense” in countless magazine articles and blog posts I will refrain from linking.
I know of course that while there are tons of women horror fans, women are way under represented when it comes to writing and directing films (at least those that get distribution and seen). I didn’t realize quite how especially dire the situation was until I tried to brainstorm scary movies I’d seen that were directed by women. The list I came up with is depressingly short, and I will share it with you in a future post, but for this one I decided to do something different: come up with a list of horror films directed by women that I’d like to see.
The selections below run the gamut from intentionally campy to likely seriously disturbing, relatively “mild violence” to gorehound candy, art house to mall-grade sequel cash-in. If you’re like me and have been missing women’s voices in your horror, maybe you’ll find something here to rectify this absence.
1. Trouble Every Day (Dir. Claire Denis)
A Salon review promises “lurid spectacles that would challenge the imagination of Herschell Gordon Lewis or H.P. Lovecraft”, and everything I’ve read makes it this sound right up my ally. Some of the stills I’ve seen are pretty gorgeous.
2. The Commune (Dir. Elizabeth Fies)
This coming-of-age-in-a-cult horror film sounds promising and is getting good word of mouth. It’s streaming on Netflix, so I’ll definitely be checking it out.
3. The Field Trip (Dir. Tiffany D. Jackson)
I saw this film come up a few times while googling about women in horror. I’m not usually a big fan of found footage horror (thought Blair Witch was just boring) but have heard some good things about this from the blogosphere. Also, director Tiffany D. Jackson has made it available on YouTube, and it’s a short, so why not check it out? To keep this blog post concept in line, I have not watched it yet, but will after this goes live. Here is the movie:
4. The Moth Diaries (Dir. Mary Harron)
This boarding school vampire flick didn’t get the best reviews, but I’ve loved every movie of Mary Harron’s so far. American Psycho is one of my favorite films of all time. So I’m more than ready to give this the benefit of the doubt, for now. Besides, it looks fun.
5. Blood and Donuts (Dir. Holly Dale)
For the name alone, but then David Cronenberg is in it also!
6. Office Killer (Dir. Cindy Sherman)
I’ve been curious about this since it came out, and it’s been sitting on my Netflix queue for awhile. This shall spur me to actually watch it. I remember it getting lukewarm-at-best reviews, but who knows? I’m intrigued by the idea of Cindy Sherman directing other people in a full length genre film, however successful or not the film ultimately proves itself.
7. Near Dark (Dir. Katherine Bigelow)
It’s so stupid that I’ve never seen Katherine Bigelow’s vampire movie. WTF.
8. The Rage: Carrie 2 (Dir. Katt Shea)
I’ve heard it’s not so bad. ’90s teen movie Carrie sequel–even if it’s awful, it’s a collision of enough things I like to make me want to see it. I meant to see it back in the ’90s, for god’s sake. Might as well do it now. It looks pretty fun. Katt Shea has a bunch of other scary movies under her directorial belt as well.
As an aside, I am thoroughly looking forward to Kimberly Pierce’s (Boys Don’t Cry) remake of Carrie starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore. It’s coming out in October. I’m as fond of the DePalma film as anyone, but this is no sacrilege.
9. American Mary (Dir. Jen and Sylvia Soska)
I’ve been hearing really good things about this movie from the festival circuit–that it has amazing f/x makeup, great acting, a story that is actually thought provoking…really, really hoping this comes to Netflix STAT. LOL! That was an accidentally appropriate turn of phrase as the film follows a med student through her debt and disillusionment into the world of extreme underground surgeries. Writer/director team Sylvia and Jen Soska also serve on the Women in Horror Recognition month board
American Mary Trailer
10. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (Dir. Rachel Talalay)
Just about the only film I haven’t seen in one of my preferred horror sequelfests. Directed by Rachel Talalay, who later brought us a killer soundtrack and Ice-T as a kangaroo in the Tank Girl movie adaptation.
Idk if it’s the best, and I know it definitely wasn’t the last, but if I actually sat through Freddy Vs. Jason, and that Freddy baby one, I have time for this.
Well, those are my picks for films to check out. Next I will share my thoughts on some horror movies by women that I have actually seen, so keep an eye out for that. I’ll spare you the bloody jpg I’d really like to include now, because maybe not all of you are into that. I tried to keep the in-post images mutilation-free, for all the splattered blood. Happy Women in Horror month! Support women in horror! xoxo