Essay on Women in Contemporary Horror Films

1742 Words May 22nd, 2006 7 Pages
FEMINITY IN CONTEMPORARY HORROR FILM

One might say that horror film- genre has been invented by feminists. Horror films seem to be one of the only genres that have women as heroines instead of dominated side characters. In horror genre women are the ones fighting against evil and men are the ones dying trying to help these heroines. Or perhaps the horror genre uses heroines to differ it self from hero dominant action genre. Or maybe horror films were created to represent the ultimate horror of the dominant masculine society: a strong woman who can survive by herself. This essay will analyse genders used in contemporary horror genre and it will delve in to the difference of masculinity and femininity presented in present horror films.
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Also teenage or pop culture, which became mainstream in the 80's so music, art and films were produced to these young adults.
Halloween (1978) and Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) can be mentioned as early films of this new era of horror genre. Halloween represents the social transforming which started in the end of 1970s. In Halloween Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends are being stocked and killed by Michael Myers (Tony Moran), who is suffering a serious mental illness. After killing Laurie's friends Michael goes after her and viewer can witness this battle of masculine evil and feminine good. In the end Laurie stabs Michael and thinks she had killed him. But male monster is not going to give up that easily and it takes another man, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence), to kill the male monster. So even though women can fight for their survival, and seemingly be independent, they are still dependent of the man to come and rescue them.
Few years later female protagonist did not need the help of men anymore. In the Nightmare on Elm Street Nancy Thompson (Heather Lagenkamp) has nightmares about male monster called Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), who works through Nancy's dreams. Nancy does not need any help with destroying the male monster. The finishing of Freddy was surprisingly easy; Nancy just refused to believe in him. In other words, the female protagonist turned her back to

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