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The 10 Best Horror Movies Directed By Women

11 November 2015 | Features, Film Lists | by David Bronstein

The Babadook

It would be easy to presume that horror movies were made more for men than for women. How many times have you seen in the movies and perhaps in real life of a woman screaming and hiding in her lover’s arms when a scary and gory scene comes up. “Is it over, tell me when it’s over,” they say.

Well, a survey was made earlier this year that revealed that there are more female horror fans than males. For long standing fans of the genre this may not be seen as a surprise, just go to any horror fan convention and the place is loaded with women.

Whilst it’s true that some horror sub genres have certainly showed misogyny in their movies- just look at the slew of slasher movies in the 1980’s- many of those films empowered females and had them as the last person standing and often the hero of the day.

Women in cinema have been around since film began in 1896 but rarely in straight horror movies. This is a movement that is in general fairly recent and in this day and age there are many horror movies now being directed by females. Below is the top 10 horror movies directed by the opposite sex.

 

10. American Mary (Jen Soska, Sylvie Soska)

American Mary (2012)

A very refreshing movie made by the Soska twins who grew up reading Stephen King books and renting horror movies way before the legal age in the VHS era.

Mary Mason is a legit medical student but she needs money- and is able to get loads of it by going underground and getting involved with some bizarre characters, scars, gore, and jumps follow in this very polished movie. It’s a scream and an enjoyable ride even if American Mary is not perfect it’s still very entertaining throughout. So much so that it is worth keeping an eye on the Soska twins who will only get better and better.

 

9. Blood Diner (Jackie Kong)

Blood Diner (1987)

Blood Diner is a cult movie from way back in 1987 that is fondly remembered today by genre fans. A nice mix of horror comedy would be putting this movie mildly.

Two restaurant owners make mince meat of their customers in order to resurrect Shitaar, yes that really is the name, who resides in the kitchen. Shitaar is a 5 million year old Goddess who needs some young virgin flesh to feast upon. A little slow to start and obviously filmed in soft Kodak film, this movie gets better as it goes on and has some hilarious and great gore scenes. Kong only went on to direct one more feature after this movie.

 

8. In My Skin (Marina de Van)

In My Skin

In My Skin from 2002 and is the type of horror/drama that lingers with you long after you’ve seen it.

Director de Van also stars as Esther our main character who has a wonderful life, however a minor but freak accident leaves her thinking that she doesn’t feel pain in the same way others do. This is when she ‘experiments’ with her body and this is when the movie takes that dark turn that only French movies can.

It is look away stuff and not everyone will be able to stomach this, but from an artistic and acting point of view, In My Skin is a triumph.

 

7. Slumber Party Massacre (Amy Jones)

Slumber Party Massacre (Amy Jones)

This movie came at the tail end of the slasher golden age, from 1984. Amy Jones directs with an ironic wink for the full 90 minutes at the misogynist serial killer movies of the day.

Slumber Party Massacre doesn’t always hit the right notes as far as a serial killer movie is concerned but there’s enough over the top gratuity to satisfy any horror fans cravings. Probably best served coming into this movie without knowing that a woman was behind the lens just for that extra wow factor. The movie wouldn’t stop here either, two more sequels followed, so Jones must have done something right.

 

6. Pet Sematary (Mary Lambert)

Pet Sematary

Based on a Stephen King book, Pet Sematary was a real shocker when released in 1989. That shock belonged to the killing of a child actor by road accident and the devastating consequences that his family now faced.
The movie has death at every corner, near or fatal. The setting is eerie and atmospheric and in its time Pet Sematary was a movie hit.

Seeing that their family cat who was buried comes back to life in a certain cemetery, our main character in severe depression buries his recently dead child there to see if the same thing will work. Well you can guess what happens next- but as has been told from Frankenstein to Night of the Living Dead, the dead don’t return happy…..

 

 

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  • Allister Cooper

    American Psycho at number one? Hm… Okay :). I was expecting Babadook :). A female who digs horror movies is rare indeed :). Not a bad list! More, please?

    • Daniel Hwang

      Should have gone to Babadook.

      • James

        Should have gone to near dark

      • Allister Cooper

        I so agree, dude, I so agree! That was then, and this is now! Peace always!

  • Daniel Hwang

    I also like Honeymoon by Leigh Janiak and Hotel by Jessica Hausner.

  • Geisha De Rhin

    You should edit this. A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT is in Persian language, but it was shot entirely in California, not Iran.

    And it’s pretty much a western horror version of IDA.

  • Jacob Lyon Goddard

    Ravenous!!

  • Jacob Lyon Goddard

    If American Psycho counts, than We Need To Talk About Kevin should be on the list.

  • Veronica Clarke

    ‘Near Dark’ is cool, remember seeing that when it first came out, loved it!