Women in Horror Films: Commentary

When it comes to horror; many women have taken iconic roles within the movies. This can be seen in movies such as: “Carrie” where the title character takes her revenge, Ripley fighting “Aliens“, and Laurie being brave enough to fight Michael Myers on “Halloween“. In a gruesome genre such as Horror, people tend to forget those iconic characters and remember the victims, the screamers, the beggars for their life. Now just like women within the film, the industry also tends to forget the women that make them.

On the latest interview with Polygon, Jason Blum, an American director and CEO of Blumhouse production was caught off guard when they asked him about the lack of female directors in his production house he said, and I quote, “There are not a lot of female directors period and even less who are inclined to do horror”. Trying to save what he just said, he tried to justify it with how he wanted to work with female director Jennifer Kent (The Babadook) but she turned him down. Making things worse; he proceeded to ask his assistant names of directors which just caused to make a mockery out of himself. This comment coming from a well-known person in the horror industry came out as a shocker. Even after he posted an apology in his official Twitter, it sparked a conversation within the community.

Being a female in an industry full of raging men is a tough thing to live by. The thing is that Hollywood portrays that there are not enough women interested in the industry, but they’re wrong. It’s the lack of opportunities that they can give to them that makes it hard. If you’re sitting down in a room full of people, ready to present your idea and it could be a great one, but they will give a go to the guy next to you because you never had the chance to make a project in the first place.  It’s the job of production houses, such as Blumhouse, to scout and give the opportunity of making a film to anyone, regardless of gender. There’s plenty of female directors but they haven’t been given the platform to do it. There are talented women all around, you just have to give them a chance.

One of the biggest bias that horror movies have is that women can’t enjoy or create horror. It is a genre that has a mindset of only being full of men. On this day and age, it’s time to break that mold, but the fact remains that if this is how he thinks; this could be the same mindset of many people within the industry. Statements, just like the one Blum said, represent the lack of knowledge and the open mindset that some people in Hollywood have. Comments like this overshadow many creative women that have done horror films throughout the years, and even recently there’s been a big wave of women making great films from this kind of genre.

Rather than shutting them down let’s embrace and support our fellow female horror filmmakers and give them the opportunity to create and feed us fear that we sometimes crave when we are watching a horror film. Let them not be the victims that we see within the movie, but the iconic heroes of it.

Here’s a link to a list of female horror directors: enjoy!

 

{ picture by Brian de Palma . }

 

 

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