A Woman who Created a Monster, a Legend and a Path for Women in Hollywood

The ghastly creatures — Dracula, Frankenstein, the Werewolf and others — in the old-school monster movies from Universal Pictures scared audiences in the 1930s and 1940s.

So, too, did the Gill-man from 1954’s “Creature From the Black Lagoon,” said to be inspired by stories of a half-human, half-fish monster living in jungle rivers. But the Gill-man was all make believe, right?

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Matriarchy Rising: Evolution of a Final Girl

I love Final Girls. This term, coined by Carol J. Clover in her book Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film, describes the last character, usually female, left alive in a Slasher Film. Ever since watching Sidney Prescott in Scream, I’ve been enamored with these strong women and the many shapes they’ve taken through the years. The female empowerment that they embody is what drew me to horror in the first place, and many strong women have won my heart over the years. While Sidney is my favorite, a close second is Laurie Strode from the Halloween franchise. Played by the stellar Jamie Lee Curtis, Laurie has become a touchstone for female empowerment in the horror genre. This year’s Halloween sequel offers us an interesting look at a Final Girl evolving through the years. By looking at Laurie in the original Halloween in 1978, Halloween: H20 in 1998, and New Halloween in 2018, (yes, I know they’re different timelines) we can see how the concept of the Final Girl has changed over time.

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Movie monster maker Milicent Patrick finally gets her due in ‘The Lady From the Black Lagoon’

In 1818, Mary Shelley created popular culture’s first and most enduring monster in “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.” Since then, “women have always been the most important part of monster movies,” as Mallory O’Meara states in “The Lady From the Black Lagoon,” her engaging and compelling, if uneven, book about artist Milicent Patrick, the unsung designer of another iconic monster.

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When Our Bodies Are Not Our Homes: Annihilation & The Haunting of Hill House

A few years ago, a group of scientists published a study on screaming: the effects it has on those who hear it, and the type of screams that sound most fearful. “Scream science,” they called it. “A new kind of science.” The scientists had subjects listen to various screams and then judge them based on how afraid the screamer sounded. The rougher the scream, they found, the quicker that scream went straight to the listener’s amygdala, the brain’s fear center, and triggered fear responses––a boost in adrenaline and endorphins, sweaty palms, rapid heartbeat, tense muscles. A primal and ancient reaction. In this way, a scream serves as both a release and a warning: I’m afraid and you should be too.

Which is to say: this past year has felt like one long scream.

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Jason Blum Looking at Rebooting Scream, So Please Get a Female Director

Following a smash success in rebooting (sort of) the Halloween franchise, it makes sense that Blumhouse would look to some other popular horror properties for possible remakes and reboots. One of the most iconic slasher sagas is the Scream franchise, which ended with Scream 4 in 2011. The franchise features one of horror’s best final girls, Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell), and some decently sharp commentary on both the commodification of female trauma and, in an unfairly maligned third film, the Hollywood machine.

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‘American Mary’ Redefines Body Horror Through a Feminist Lens

To me, Jen and Sylvia Soska are a huge pioneering force for women in horror, particularly when it comes to body horror. I first discovered this brilliant Canadian duo when I stumbled across American Mary, and they completely blew me away.

American Mary tells the story of Mary Mason, a medical student working hard to become a surgeon. She is struggling to make ends meet, trying to make sure that her family doesn’t worry, and dealing with a huge prick of an instructor in her classes. Desperate for cash, she takes a job at a strip club to make ends meet. What follows is a story that delivers something for absolutely every type of horror fan, as Mary is drawn into the underground world of body modification that needs her particular set of skills.

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The Significance of Female Identity Within Gothic Literature

The presentation of female identity is essential to Gothic literature. Presenting women in a particular light can often have a profound effect upon a text, completely altering a reader’s interpretation. In the narrative poetry of John Keats, Angela Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories’ and Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’, women are presented as objects of desire, maternal figures, supernatural beings and are often defined by their biological roles. But it is the transition between these typecasts that is particularly interesting. By allowing female characters to break free of stereotypical constraints the writer is able to create obscurity and suspense within a plot.

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