We have all seen the horror movies where the guy saves the day, kills the demon, slays the vampire, ad nauseam. Yet, we see so few where the women finally decide to not be zombie food and fight back. These types of movies are near and dear to my heart because they fly in the face of movies that make women look like weak, quivering fools. The following is a list of horror movies that make women the aggressors rather than the cannon fodder.
1) The Descent (2005) – The plot is simple. Six beautiful, young women go for a spelunking expedition as a way to reunite. The problems begin when they start to make simple mistakes like exploring uncharted tunnels, failing to follow commonly known spelunking rules, and starting emotional drama in a dark, wet, dangerous cave. Then, the ice weasels come. Well, not ice weasels, but you will see soon enough.
The movie is an incredible tale of how easily friendships can break apart in a crisis. The movie’s strong themes of the drive for survival and loyalty in friendship make this one a winner. Keep in mind that there are two versions of the movie’s ending. Watch the U.K. version for the full effect, as it is significantly darker than the American version.
2) The Alien series – Anyone who has the courage to shoot at, cuss out, and yell at a massive alien creature the size of an office building deserves some kind of medal (or a serious psychological evaluation). Sigourney Weaver’s performance in this series is stellar. In the first movie, she portrays a Warrant Officer on a mining ship that is thrown into turmoil after investigating an abandoned ship. It appears that the ship was not abandoned at all. In fact, the ship’s “owners” come to like the crew of the mining ship so much that they want to return to the mining ship in the crewmember’s bodies.
This series is not for the easily grossed-out or claustrophobic. If you are neither of these, you will quickly fall in love with Ripley and this series. Just try to have a spaghetti dinner before, during, or after this movie. You will thank me later.
3) The Ring (2002) – This movie was mentioned in a previous article of mine as a movie that will not make your wife sick. I still hold to that claim, even though the corpses are not a pretty sight to look at. It also does not help that nearly every time the corpses appear, they come as a boo scare accompanied with a deafening, high-pitched squeal from your speakers. Because of this, you may find yourself having a Pavlovian reaction to teakettles blowing off steam. Do not worry. The effect wears off after eight days.
The great thing about this movie is how a single mom investigates a virus-like curse that kills her niece. She, then, becomes “infected” herself and fights to save herself and everyone she loves from the curse. The character of Rachel is the polar opposite of Wendy in Kubrick’s “The Shining.” She is not a quivering, frail woman unable to cope with what she has been given. Instead, she takes control of the situation all the way to the end. If you are all about women saving the day, this movie is for you.
While there are many horror movies that have women as the heroes, these tend to be my favorites. So, if you’re a horror fan or just need a good scare, grab a bowl of popcorn and pop these on your favorite digital media player (you do know why you should have one, right?) or DVD player. You will be sure to have a fun time.