“Female horror directors and the things they are making are getting increasingly harder to ignore,” Alexandra West, horror journalist and co-host of horror podcast The Faculty of Horror, told Broadly.
While The Babadook, a 2014 Australian-Canadian psychological horror film, opened people’s eyes to women in the genre, good, scary horror movies by women have been wowing audiences and winning critical acclaim for some years now.
“And history traces a pretty impressive pedigree back through Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark (1987), Mary Lambert’s Pet Sematary (1989), Cindy Sherman’s Office Killer (1997), Antonia Bird’s Ravenous (1999), and, obviously, Mary Harron’s American Psycho (2000),” notes Wang.
Horror has long been seen as a boys’ club nonetheless, and while there is historical truth to this, Wang says, “it’s been obsolete for quite a while. Half of horror audiences are made up of women under 25 the genre’s biggest “constituency of die-hard fans is women. So what’s changed?
“You can only oppress a gender for so long,” Jen Soska told Wang. “Women have been told ‘no, no, no’ for so long that they’re like, you know what? Fuck you. I’m serious about this, I’m gonna be undeniable.”
For one, thanks to the internet, more female horror film journalists have refocused the conversation. For another, films are cheaper to make and distribute.