Is Scream 4 “The First Mainstream Feminist Horror Film”?

My buddy Stefan passed along the link to this article to me. It argues that Scream 4 is a watershed moment in horror history for being “The first mainstream feminist horror film.” I think I disagree with this statement just on a basic level. I mean, Jennifer’s Body, written by Diablo Cody, was lauded for being a “feminist” horror film a few years back. And it was a mainstream movie from an Oscar winner that was given a massive marketing campaign, so right there that sort of undercuts the thesis statement of this woman’s article. But that’s not what I’m interested in. I’m more interested in the question: What exactly is a “feminist horror film”? Can such a thing even exist? If Scream 4 is the first “mainstream” feminist film, that means there hasn’t been a feminist horror film for decades upon decades. If true, why is that?

We’ve been batting around these questions today in the chat room. And this would make a great topic for an upcoming Splattercast episode. What is your definition of a “feminist horror film”? Can you name some movies you think might qualify under a feminist film theory definition? And ultimately, why is it important or necessary or even note-worthy for there to be feminist horror films?

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2 Responses

  1. I Spit on Your Grave, is pretty feminist. Not mainstream, though. Anyway, it’s hard to concentrate when all I can think about is Courtney Cox’s lip injections.

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