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women in horror month

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Women in Horror Month: Five films to watch

Directed by women, these horror films focus on gender, race, and psychological issues.

February is Women in Horror Month. While a lot of the discussion tends to look at famous final girls, it is also  important to note the women at the helm of these films. There have been many female directed movies that have made their way into the hearts of all horror lovers. From Katheryn Bigelow’s vampire western Near Dark to the more obscure Stephanie Rothman’s Blood Bath, women have been creating and directing films filled with sex, gore, and clever storytelling.  Times are changing and there are now more female directors in horror than there have ever been. Today we take a look at some horror movies that tell the stories of women from a  female perspective. 

Tigers are Not Afraid (2017)

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Tigers are Not Afraid is a film written and directed by Issa Lopez. The film is set in Mexico City where citizens, particularly women, are routinely abducted and left for dead. Estrella must team up with El Shine and his gang of orphans to survive the deadly streets. Estrella is the only girl in the gang and this brings up questions of gender roles and chauvinism in society.  Mixing fantasy and harsh reality, Lopez tells a unique story about the terrors within a culture. 

XX (2017)

This is a really fun anthology featuring stories that range from the creepy to quirky. Each story is directed by a woman and puts an otherworldly spin on what could be  mundane situations. From the stresses of party planning to trying to get your children to eat, XX examines insecurities and the toll paid when trying to make the best decisions.  The segments features the distinct styles and voices of Jovanka Vuckovic, St. Vincent, Roxanne Benjamin, Karyn Kusama, and Sofia Carrillo. 

Culture Shock (2019)

Directed by Gigi Saul Guerrero, Culture Shock is the tenth installment of the second season of Hulu’s Into the Dark series. Culture Shock is about a young woman who is trying to cross into the United States  through unconventional means when she somehow ends up in a very sterilized and eerily perfect America. Can Marisol (Martha Higareda) adapt to her new life in America? Or will she end up losing herself in the process?  This film looks at immigration and gives a nightmarish look at assimilation. Culture Shock also stars horror icon Barbara Crampton

The Babadook (2014)

Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook introduced a new kind of monster to cinema. What does a mother do when their child’s imagination is working overtime? What does a mother do when they know it’s not their imagination? The things that might seem imaginary become shockingly real in this horror film about a book character come to life. Kent’s Babadook builds suspense and terrors and will keep you awake at night.

Lucky (2021)

Brea Grant is the screenwriter and star of Natasha Kermani’s Lucky. A self help author is stalked every day by an unknown assailant. What is his motive? Can anyone help her? This film looks into the one of the biggest terrors women face daily. What’s a woman to do when no one will take them seriously? Violent, clever, and stylish, Lucky tells a story that will resonate with many. This film is for anyone who has ever had to bite their tongue when they’ve been told to calm down. 

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