Essay about Role of Women in Horror Films

1100 Words Sep 10th, 2013 5 Pages
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
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This is an example of a woman in a male hero role.

The masculinity is usually a sign of competence or strength, rather than anything related to gender or sexual preference. The female characters in these films can often be prone to many different social stereotypes throughout the film. These stereotypes often work to lead her towards her demise, but she ultimately resorts to masculine behaviors in order to survive in the end.

Associating a particular gender with certain attributes in Slasher films is also worth taking note of. According to Adam Rockoff, “With a few exceptions, the killer in slasher films is overtly asexual, aside from the brief bouts of voyeurism which tend to precede the murders, and his/her gender is left ambiguous”
On the other hand, from the viewer‟s perspective, it is imperative that the killer be male, even though his identity is often unknown until the end of the film; therefore, throughout the film, it is up to the viewers to subjectively decide that the killer is male based on assumption of social norms and the perspective through which filmmakers tell the story.

Films associated with the horror genre have also been noted to objectify and sexualize women through the camera. As pointed out by Jackson Katz in Tough Guise, the violence inflicted upon girls in Slasher films is often sexualized. According to him, violent scenes are deliberately choreographed at points

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