February is Women in Horror Recognition Month!! I heard about this event of BJ-C's blog Day of the Woman. Her blog is one of the only recognized horror blogs authored by a woman that I know of. Her view of films and horror through a feminist lens is refreshing and speaks to me as a female fan of horror. The event was founded by Hannah Neurotica and she encourages others to spread the word and recognize women in horror. So, this month, I decided to feature and review films I feel are overlooked, feature women, are by women, and/or comment on women in our society. So keep an eye out here for reviews and discussions about Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee's controversial film The Woman, The Descent, Teeth, Inside, and High Tension, just to name a few.
There are those, such as this Canadian blogger, that deny that there is even the existence of feminism or misogyny in horror films. Just like any text, my reading of a film may not agree with your reading, but it doesn't make my version any less valid. I don't even understand how this fact can be denied. Look at the slasher films of the 70's and 80's. There is one final girl that beats the big bad, which may be read as feminist, but take a closer look. The final girl is always a pretty, virginal, middle class, all American girl. It's pretty much screaming to teenage girls that they shouldn't drink or have sex to be an accepted part of society. The slutty, parting girls that get killed are acting in a way not socially acceptable and therefore are looked down upon. One argument that always irks me is "oh, the director/filmmaker/whatever didn't intend that to be in the film." As in literature, I quite frankly don't care what the author/director/writer intended. As long as I can provide evidence from the novel or film, my reading is completely valid, whether you like it or not. As an avid viewer of any and all horror films, I can say that gender issues are still very much alive and well in the genre.