A few weeks ago my girlfriend and I went to see Us and as expected, it was amazing. You know it’s amazing, and I’m sure you’ve read or heard that it is, it’s probably not a surprise to you. Now if you think or expect this to be one of these posts where I over-analyze every aspect of the movie, this isn’t it, you can go to twitter for that.
But one thing I noticed that’s really interesting is this new trend in horror movies in which the women are at the forefront. Like I mean, REALLY at the forefront. Now don’t get me wrong, women being the main characters in horror movies is nothing new. From Jamie Lee Curtis to Neve Campbell to Mary Elizabeth Winstead, we’ve all seen them. But instead of seeing this in horror movies:
We’re seeing more of this:
Like I said before, women have ALWAYS been the main focus of horror movies, but over the past few years, women have been 3-dimensional and actually, having personalities, traits, and motivations to their characters. As crazy as that sounds, it’s true. Those Scream Queens I mentioned earlier are great and made big contributions to the Horror genre, but if you asked me to tell you three personality traits of Sidney Prescott (Scream) I wouldn’t even be able to name one.
Don’t get me wrong Scream is a great horror movie. One of the best in my opinion for it’s subversion of common horror tropes and underlying ways it parodies the genre. However, it’s mostly known for it’s unique plot and how Sidney’s involvement in it is part of the overall story. We don’t celebrate Scream for Sidney’s character, but for how it basically tells us how the horror classics such as Halloween, Friday the 13th, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre are pretty much all the same and have nothing new to offer.
The time of the damsel in distress characters in horror movies is just predictable and boring. We all know what’s going to happen, and people have just gotten tired of it.
As usual, the women are getting chased down or attacked by some psychopath or monster, but this time, they’re fighting back, or in some cases, they ARE the villains which showcases a side of them that viewers don’t normally see of women in horror/thrillers.
For example, look at Get out (2017). The main character (Daniel Kaluuya) is a man, but the people pulling the strings and causing his distress are women, to be more specific, his girlfriend and her mother. I have NEVER seen women portrayed as the antagonists in horror movies in such a refreshing and eye-opening way, and honestly they were the best part about the movie.