Role of Women in Horror Films

Topics: Horror film, Scream, Slasher film Pages: 4 (1103 words) Published: September 19, 2013
Good Evening,

I’m here to talk about the Stereotypical portrayal of Women in horror films. Since the horror genre is quite a broad category, I’ve decided to focus mainly on Slasher films, a subgenre of horror film.

Traditionally women are represented in horror films are blonde hypersexual damsels in distress with a seductive body language and strong make up being attacked by the killer because they have committed a sinful act. You may have noticed that the young girls that do get killed, in these films are those that have scenes showing them indulge in sex, drugs and alcohol, activities deemed inappropriate by society. The lone survivor is the dark haired Good girl with little or no make up that has been clean and a virgin throughout the film.

The slasher film typically involves a killer who stalks and graphically murders a series of victims in a typically random, unprovoked fashion. The victims are usually teenagers or young adults who are away from mainstream civilization or far away from help.

Women in these films are traditionally represented as the victims and men represented as the monster and hero. This was how women used to be treated before women had equal rights to men; so that was how they were portrayed in horror films. The book “Men, Women and Chainsaws” by Carol J Clover supports this. In her book she says, “The functions of monster and hero are far more frequently represented by males and the function of the victim far more garishly by females. The fact that female monsters and female heroes, when they do appear are masculine in dress and behavior and often in name.

This extract explains the typical representation of men and women in horror films and the roles they have; that men are the heroes and killers and that women are the victims and only the hero or killer if they show masculine attributes. This is supported in the movie “Scream”, released in 1996, by having strong female roles whom when are not damsels in distress are...
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