My 10 Favorite Woman-led Horror Films

This Women’s History Month, I want to recognize my Top 10 horror films spearheaded by women. In preparation for this post, I found I had to narrow my focus more than I anticipated. In the first draft of my list, I realized there are SO MANY great horror films starring women that I could not choose just ten with such broad criteria. Therefore, the films represented in this post are horror films with women in leading roles AND were directed and/or written by women.

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#10: Relic (2020)

This movie is not for everyone, but in my opinion the creators and performers did a wonderful job of translating a real-life horror (dementia) into a stirring horror experience.

#9: Ginger Snaps (2000)

This movie was a trailblazer for horror and cult films representing women’s life experiences through traditional horror movie tropes. Plus, it’s just a lot of fun.

#8: Raw (2016)

Julia Ducournau is steadily taking over the horror world with her boundary-breaking, wildly imaginative horror films. I am here for it (no matter how many times I gagged watching this one).

#7: Suspiria (1977)

Dance horror films have become their own unique sub-genre. This film co-written by Daria Nicolodi is one of the founding films that blended dance into a horror narrative.

#6: American Mary (2012)

This film tells the story of a smart young woman who uses her talent and ambition to start a small business; gotta love it.

#5: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

A hypnotic black-and-white movie that features vampires, iconic makeup, AND a chubby cat?? A masterpiece.

#4: The Babadook (2014)

The Babadook was the first movie I watched that made me realize how horrors of everyday life can successfully be represented in a horror context. Grief, loneliness, depression, and resentment are some of the themes explored in this chilling story of a single mother battling a poltergeist that has invaded her life.

#3: The Company of Wolves (1984)

Based on the short story and eventual screenplay by Angela Carter, this movie blends horror and fairy tales in a nightmarish whirl of storytelling.

#2: Jennifer’s Body (2009)

All hail Diablo Cody, Karyn Kusama, and the entire underrated, feminist camp masterpiece that is this film.

#1: The Love Witch (2016)

The Love Witch is not just a horror film written by, directed by, and starring women: it celebrates women in general. From its dark satire to its colorful production design and costumes, this film is a bouquet of many things I love about horror films.

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To discover more horror and cult films directed by women, check out this post.

Until next time,

Jordan

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