Gender Studies Essay: Women In Horror Movies

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Women in Horror Movies

Gender Studies Essay: Introduction

Horror movies have always been the most popular genre among other types of movies. Specifically, they became popular in the 70s, and ever since, movie directors have kept shooting horror movies for those who like them across the world. The nature of horror movies includes violence, sexism, and disturbing images because the primary purpose of them is to scare the audience with the unexpected and disturbing events that occur in the movie. Also, the massive popularity of horror movies has created stereotypes of characters that are found in many of them. In this sense, horror movies created a stereotype for women too.

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Commonly, women in horror movies are usually portrayed as fragile, vulnerable, and victims. More specifically, this stereotype was created in the 70s because the majority of horror movies’ target audience were men who wanted to hear women screaming. Also, feminism was not so popular during those times. Therefore, the majority of women did not resist against this stereotype. According to horror movies that were filmed during the 70s and 80s, women were presented as victims to the audience, and the majority of horror movies used victim stereotype in their narratives because it was popular and widely accepted by the masculine society. Also, horror movie directors filmed movies from the villains’ point of view. In other words, horror movie directors reflected villains’ past traumas and their reasons for killing. Therefore, horror movie directors gave massages to their audience that included empathy with the killer, and the idea of women weakness. In this paper, I have analyzed several horror movies that I chose, and the examination of these movies provide examples of their stereotypes. Therefore, I have analyzed common images and events from those movies that I selected. Also, another purpose of this paper is to compare horror movies that were filmed in the 1980s and the movies that were filmed in 2010s, and after.

Firstly, the horror movies that were filmed in the 1980s mostly included victim stereotypes of women, and these women were killed by the villains That is, these women were not trying to fight back; they were shocked by the villain. Friday The 13th movie is a good example for victim women, and it was filmed in 1980. The narrative took place called Crystal Lake. According to the narrative, a boy was drowned in Crystal Lake, and his mother started to take revenge on people who were working in Crystal Lake. The killer assumed that his boy drowned because the counsellors were not paying attention to his boy because they were making love.

One can infer that lovers are the common characters in the horror movies, and usually, they are getting killed after they have sex because they are behaving against society's norms. Therefore, they usually get killed by the villain. Friday The 13th includes this motive, and two couples are getting killed by the villain. Also, the movie includes lots of victim women stereotype, and except one woman, other women are getting killed easily because they become shocked against the killer. More specifically, the only women character that is fighting against the killer is actually a masculine woman and the movie massages that only masculine woman can fight against killers.

Another movie The Evil Dead includes similar victim women stereotype, and it was filmed in 1981. According to the narrative, a group of people goes for a trip to somewhere far away from civilization. Also, the scene concept of somewhere far away from civilization is usually used in horror movies because characters cannot get help when they are far away from civilization. In The Evil Dead, women characters are captured by mysterious demons, and only men can survive until the dawn. The massage in the movie is that only men can fight against evil demons, and women are easy targets, they usually cannot fight against anything. Also, women usually get scared first, and they want to leave. This is the massage in The Evil Dead movie. Eventually, The Evil Dead includes the victim women stereotype.

In the 21st century, victim women stereotype in horror movies has changed, and today society does not accept this concept anymore. Arguably, this victim women stereotype still exists in some movies. Still, it is not widely accepted by society because individuals want to see strong women in movies who can fight back and survive. Today's society changed their perceptions about women, and individuals want to see villains get punished because strong women in the movies have the power to make this happen. In other words, the horror movie basics have changed in the 21st century. However, in the 21st century, horror movies have become more terrifying because women characters started to be exposed to more suffering and torture before they survive from the villains. In this sense, horror movies tend to still unleash subliminal messages to their target audience. For instance, if you are a woman and you want to live somewhere far away from civilization, you may get raped, or you even get killed. Moreover, the horror movies have progressed since the 80s, but they became more horrifying, and women in the horror movies started to suffer and tortured more.

An incident in a Ghostland movie is a good example of women suffering in horror movies, which was filmed in 2018. According to the narrative, a small family decides to move to a town in the United States. Firstly, they get followed by a truck, and after they arrive in their new home, villains attack their home and kill the girls' mother. Girls are getting tortured by these villains, and they suffer from unspeakable pains. They lose their consciousness because of the torture, and nobody helps them. Also, girls are merely teenagers, and this movie is inappropriate, but in the 21st-century horror movie directors film these kinds of contents because the horror movies got gradually worse. Eventually, the girls survive, and police officers kill their kidnappers.

I Spit on Your Grave movie is one of these modern horror movies, and it was filmed in 2010. The primary purpose of the movie was to pay attention to rape and torture, but in the movie, there are horrifying images and scenes. That is, the movie breaks the victim women stereotype, and the main woman character survives from the rape and torture, and she takes her revenge. I Spit on Your Grave is a good example of strong women characters in the horror movies. However, the movie includes disturbing and explicit scenes. After all, the movie includes both strong woman and disturbing scenes, and they become the basics of modern horror movie stereotypes.

Gender Studies Essay: Conclusion

The horror movies have always included victim women since they became famous. More specifically, this stereotype was created during the 70s and 80s, and almost all horror movies during those times included victim women stereotypes. In the horror movies, victim women are described and portrayed as weak, sensitive and fragile. Also, during the 70s and 80s victim women in the horror movies were dying quickly. However, In the 21st century, victim women in horror movies evolved into strong ones. Therefore, women in horror movies become much more assertive and brave. Women have become stronger, but horror movies become more horrifying and more explicit when it comes to torture and suffering. After all, the horror movies have progressed since the 80s, and society's ideas about women have drastically changed as a result of the progress.

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