The end of a year is a time for reflection, and one thing I reflected on pretty exhaustively at the end of 2020 was which movies I loved the most last year. A big disappointment to me as I reviewed all the movies I watched in 2020 was that almost none of them were written or directed by a woman. In general I believe it’s on me to seek this stuff out…but also, by my count I watched 67 horror movies in 2020. At least a few of them should’ve been directed by a woman on accident. Without me having to think about it.
What actually happened is that I watched exactly one movie that was co-directed by a woman/man team (THE LODGE, 2019, dir. Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala) and one movie that was co-written by a woman but directed by a man (SUSPIRIA, 1977, dir. Dario Argento & co-written by Argento and Daria Nicolodi.) I consider this to be profoundly inadequate female representation! This is supposed to be a feminist site! Where are the women??
So here is my resolution: Starting January 1 I am watching only horror movies directed and/or written by women! (#LadyHorror! Look how hip I am, using a hashtag!) I want to say that’s the resolution for all of 2021, but…I’m basically guaranteed to run out of movies before the end of the year. I wish I were joking.
Prior to the beginning of the year, I generated a list of woman-directed horror movies. I made the list using the tried-and-true method of polling my Facebook friends for recommendations. That yielded like 10 results, so then I started googling “horror movies with women directors” and reading people’s top-10 lists and think pieces about Jason Blum, who appears to believe the only living female horror director is BABADOOK (2014) director Jennifer Kent. (OK, he doesn’t think that anymore. Probably.) I also reviewed a collection on Shudder called “A Woman’s Touch,” which features 19 films directed by women (also 3 short films, 1 podcast, and a miniseries) and indiscriminately added all of them to my list.
With 43 titles on my list I am 1000% confident this will not last me until the end of 2021! SOS! Please send reccs! I’m just going to keep watching movies by women until I run out.
Since we’re already 11 days into 2021, I’ve already begun executing my resolution. I’ve watched 3 lady-led scares (I know, I know, I’m behind). Over on Instagram you can see my initial reviews of BLACK CHRISTMAS (2019, directed by Sophia Takal and written by Takal and April Wolfe), BODY AT BRIGHTON ROCK (2019, written and directed by Roxanne Benjamin) and THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE (1982, written by Rita Mae Brown, directed by Amy Holden Jones). So far no life-changing faves, but BODY AT BRIGHTON ROCK is a good time. (It’s on Hulu, go watch!)
Up next I’ll be writing about the new book I’m reading, MEN, WOMEN, AND CHAINSAWS by Carol J. Clover, and how this book has spawned the one exception to my women-directors-only resolution!
Thanks for stopping by my first post of 2021! ALSO please, please, send me suggestions for horror movies directed by women! Drop them in the comments!