4 Horror Movies That Empower Women

Just because social gatherings are dead this year doesn't mean you can't celebrate with a streaming service and a Zoom or FaceTime party. I mean, come on, "Unfriended" walked so we could run. Just don't make this Halloween more depressing than it needs to be by cringing at women getting slashed for daring to have sex. 

 

  1. 1. "The VVitch" (2016)

    Often compared to A24's 2018 film "Midsommar," this bone-chilling movie gives you high stakes, a complex protagonist to root for and an appreciation for the luxuries we take for granted in the modern century. The cinematography is beautiful, and the way Robert Eggers plays with the idea of witchcraft will haunt any feminist. "The VVitch" plays on everyone's worst fear, isolation, but then somehow finds a way to make not having anyone to scream to for help even more terrifying. 

    This should be your pick if: you liked reading "The Crucible" in high school, "Coven" was your favorite season of "AHS," or you've always kind of wanted to dabble in witchcraft.  

    This shouldn't be your pick if: you love over-the-top horror movies or can't stand a slow build. 

  2. 2. "Jennifer's Body" (2009)

    Created by the legendary duo of Diablo Cody and Karyn Kusama, “Jennifer’s Body” is a cult classic that gives the girls everything we could ever want: Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried navigating the complexities of female friendships in high school to a soundtrack composed of iconic pop-punk bops.

    “Jennifer’s Body” serves flawless 2009 realness, all while critiquing the misogynistic horror tropes we all know and hate. There are so many validating moments in this movie, it'll be genuinely difficult to decide which was your favorite, but the scene where Jennifer smears foundation over her tear-stained face has to be my personal favorite. 

    This should be your pick if: you’re living for the y2k aesthetic, love a mean girl or sometimes wonder if you had romantic feelings for your high school BFF. 

    This shouldn’t be your pick if: you can’t dig a little camp in your horror or are so over movies that dissect the high school experience.

  3. 3. "Suspiria" (2018)

    Though technically a remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 movie of the same name, Luca Guadagnino’s “Suspiria” amplifies the best elements from the original to a haunting degree. After all, what setting could possibly beat an all-girls dance company in Germany that may or may not be run by witches? I full-heartedly recommend the 1977 “Suspiria” if you’d prefer expressionism to explicit body horror, but the 2018 movie balances beauty and cruelty in a delicate choreography that’ll impress any horror fan who appreciates the best of both worlds. “Suspiria” delves into the powerful nature of religion and how it can be used against women regardless of who’s pulling the strings or what name they might call their faith, amongst other themes including motherhood and debilitating guilt. There’s so much going on thematically in this movie that you could very well finish watching it and realize every friend you watched it with interpreted the message differently.

    This should be your pick if: you dig art-house horror, are a sucker for atmosphere or prefer movies that pace themselves with spilling guts and gore.

    This shouldn’t be your pick if: you’re thirsty for fast-paced slashing, can’t commit to a longer movie or are squeamish.

  4. 4. "Scream" (1996)

    If you haven’t seen Wes Craven’s “Scream,” I actually envy you because I would pay good money to watch it for the first time again. While you could definitely argue that there are more recent movies that are more feminist than this 1996 film, its masked killer undisputably has a place in the horror hall of fame—and its protagonist, Sidney Prescott, belongs there too. “Scream” isn’t perfect, but it was definitely ahead of its time in its meta-critique of the genre's tropes and how Sidney openly defied them. From an enjoyment perspective, “Scream” will keep you guessing as to who’s under the mask and is overall a pretty safe choice if you want to make sure everyone has a fun night.

    This should be your pick if: you love the horror “classics,” self-identify as a movieholic or really want to watch something that screams Halloween.

    This shouldn’t be your pick if: meta moments in movies annoy you or you’d prefer watching psychological horror.

What's your favorite scary movie?