Women In Horror Films

Duration: 120 min

Six Weeks on Wednesdays 8 May–12 June (7-9pm).
The course will take place in the Community Room at The Crouch End Picturehouse
Lecturer: Mary Wild

The horror genre in film follows from the literary tradition established by Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley, eliciting physiological and psychological reactions through suspense, gore, the macabre and the supernatural. The position occupied by female characters in horror cinema is often ambivalent, ranging from victims of violence to perpetrators of dread. In The Question of Lay Analysis (1926), Sigmund Freud wrote, “The sexual life of adult women is a dark continent for psychology.” Even at the end of his life, Freud was preoccupied by a question that never left him: “What do women want?” This perception of ‘the unknown’ frequently drives the depiction of women in dark tales.

To interpret horror films, we will refer to concepts including Julia Kristeva’s abjection, Freud’s uncanny, Jacques Lacan’s mirror stage, and R.D. Laing’s ontological insecurity. It is sometimes claimed that the portrayal of women in horror films is misogynistic, but here the proposition is that the horror genre affords us an indispensable language for approaching the complex dimensions of feminine subjectivity.

Advance viewing is optional, bespoke montages will be shown during weekly sessions. Content warning: graphic imagery will be presented – viewer discretion is advised.

Eyes Without A Face (1960), The Stepford Wives (1975), Martyrs (2008)

Week 2: LOVE
Audition (1999), Trouble Every Day (2001), Hounds of Love (2016)

Inside (2007), Prevenge (2016), mother! (2017)

Week 4: POWERS
Phenomena (1985), American Mary (2012), Excision (2012)

Dark Shadows (1991 USA TV Series), The Addiction (1995), A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

Week 6: DEMONS
Jennifer’s Body (2009), Satanic (2016), Under The Shadow (2016)

Tickets are £70 for the full six week course (£65 concession / £60 Picturehouse Members).

Club and Group screenings

Wed 8th May 19.00 Film Course.

Back to top