10 Best Female-Directed Horror Movies To Watch This Halloween


Males have largely dominated the horror movie genre. Just under 20 horror films have won an Oscar in the 94-year history of the Oscars, and not one has been directed by a woman. However, it might surprise you that women have been directing horror movies since the early days of cinema. Examples include Faust and Mephistopheles in 1903 by Alice Guy Blache and Suspense in 1913 by Lois Weber. Many female horror film directors have been forgotten, but not anymore.

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Over the past few decades, we’ve seen an increase in female-directed horror films. A 2016 article in rolling stone greeted”the rise of the modern horror filmmaker“, tracing a path from The Babadook at Raw. In the six years since this article, more filmmakers have helped elevate the genre. Horror is no longer a world of men.


“The Slumber Party Massacre” (1982)

When a high school student (Michele Michaels) is left home alone by her parents, she decides to do what any teenage girl would do and have a sleepover. The evening turns bloody when an escaped mass murderer with a penchant for power tools (Michel Villella) shows up at the party uninvited.

Realized by Amy HoldenJones and written by Rita Mae Brown, The Slumber Party Massacre is the first of a trilogy, with the second film directed by Deborah Broc and the third film directed by Sally Mattison. The Slumber Party Massacre trilogy (1982-1990) was the first series of horror films in history whose films were exclusively written and directed by women.

“Jennifer’s Body” (2009)

There’s nothing scarier than a teenage girl, especially a demon-possessed high school cheerleader (Megan Fox) who feeds on the flesh of his male comrades to satisfy his cannibalistic desires.

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Realized by Karyn Kusama and written by Diablo Cody, Jennifer’s body was a box office bomb in 2009. According to Cody, the film was marketed “all false.” Instead of emphasizing the film’s emphasis on female friendship, the studio targeted straight teenage boys. Producers took advantage of Fox’s bisexuality and heavily marketed the kiss between Fox and Amanda Seyfried to attract male viewers. However, Jennifer’s body has since been appreciated as a feminist, queer, cult film in the aftermath of the MeToo movement.

‘The Babadook’ (2014)

Amelie (Essie Davis) is a widowed single mother struggling to raise her six-year-old son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman). When they read a strange pop-up storybook about Mister Babadook, Samuel becomes convinced that the monster is real. Soon, their home becomes haunted by a mysterious presence, and the line between fiction and reality blurs.

Realized by Jennifer Kent, The Babadook open to positive reviews. In 2014, Rotten Tomatoes ranked it as the highest rated horror film of the year and the third highest rated film overall. Not only is The Babadook truly terrifying, but it’s also deeply moving since mourning is the real monster in the film.

“A Girl Comes Home Alone at Night” (2014)

In a desolate and scarred Iranian ghost town called Bad City, a lone skateboarding vampire stalks the locals. A girl walks home alone at night imagine a twisted, feminist fairy tale in which Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf are two sides of the same coin.

Realized by Ana Lily Amirpour, A girl comes home alone at Night is a hybrid of genres, mixing a spaghetti western with a vampire film. Shot entirely in black and white, with minimal dialogue, the film pays homage to the 1922 German Expressionist film Nosferatus. Amirpour was also inspired by graphic novels, with the fictional place referring to city ​​of sin.

‘Prevenge’ (2016)

Directed by, written by and performed by Alice Lowe, Prevent is a noir comedy slasher with a motherly twist. Ruth (Alice Lowe) is seven months pregnant when guided by her unborn baby; she embarks on a murderous rampage to get revenge for her husband’s death.

Lowe was pregnant during filming, and prior to the film’s release she gave birth to a baby girl, who got to play Ruth’s child in the film. Lowe wanted to discuss “how existential it is for another human being to come out of a hole in you. Men have always done science fiction around this idea, but why not women, in a different way?”

“Raw” (2016)

When Justine (Garance Marillier), a sixteen-year-old veterinary student and vegetarian, tastes meat for the first time in an age-old hazing ritual, she develops a craving for human flesh.

Directed by Julia Ducournau, Raw has been criticized for its graphic body horror since two people reportedly fainted at the Toronto International Film Festival. Ducournau has expressed frustration with the sensationalist coverage, saying she didn’t mean to offend anyone. In Raw, cannibalism is just a concept used to explore the horror and humanity of adolescence. In an interview with VultureDucournau responds to claims that his cinema is provocative, arguing, “Honestly, I don’t think if I were a man, nobody would say that.”

“The Witch of Love” (2016)

Elaine (Samantha Robinson), a beautiful young witch, is desperate for love. In her Victorian Gothic home, she seduces men with spells and potions. However, when her magic spirals out of control, she finds herself with a series of victims. When she finally meets her Prince Charming, Elaine’s desire to be loved drives her to the brink of madness.

Realized by Anna Billier, The witch of love playfully pays homage to 1960s camp horror movies and Technicolor beauty while questioning modern gender roles. The femme fatale archetype is often explored from a male perspective as an embodiment of misogynistic fears about women. As a feminist filmmaker, Biller approaches the theme of female fantasy through an alternative lens.

“Revenge” (2017)

When Joan (Mathilde Lutz) is left for dead in the middle of a desert after being assaulted by three men on a hunting trip, she recovers and seeks revenge on her attackers. The hunters soon become the hunted as Jen plots her bloody revenge. The brutal final scene earns Jen a place in “Final Girl” history.

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Realized by Coralie Fargeat, Revenge pays homage to classic rape revenge films such as I spit on your grace and Ms 45both run by men, but add a decidedly modern and feminist twist.

‘Saint Maud’ (2019)

When a devoutly religious hospice nurse named Maud (Morfydd Clark) meets the terminally ill former dancer she cares for (Jennifer Ehle), she becomes obsessed with saving her soul by any means necessary.

A24 is known for critically acclaimed, art-leaning horror films such as Midsommar and The witch. Often pushing the boundaries of the genre, horror films with the A24 stamp of approval tend to explore complex themes such as trauma, grief, and religion. Directed by Rose Glass, Sainte Maud is one of the company’s most impressive films in recent years.

‘Body Body Body’ (2022)

When a group of spoiled, self-absorbed twenty-somethings plan a hurricane party at a secluded family mansion, it’s all fun and games until one of the guests dies. When fake friends turn on each other, the party literally escalates into backstabbing and betrayal.

Another A24 darling, Body Body Body is a recent release by Halina Reijn in his English debut. If the characters are unbearable, the starry cast (composed of Amandla Stenberg, Rachel Sennottand pete davidsonto name a few) give outstanding performance. Body Body Body has earned its place alongside horror-comedy classics such as Scream, The cabin in the woodsand Jennifer’s body.

KEEP READING: “Bodies Bodies Bodies” Nails Its Gen Z Satire by Understanding (But Not Excusing) Its Protagonists

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