Sunday, October 3, 2010

Where Are The Iconic Female Horror Figures?

(Image from the theatrical poster of the 2008 horror film The Strangers)

Two months ago after I watched the horror slasher Hatchet (as if you couldn't tell by the title it's a slasher!) introducing a new horror icon, Victor Crowley, I suddenly thought, 'Where are all the women horror figures?'

So where are they?

 There are tons of male horror figures: 
Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Mike Myers, Leatherface, Chucky, Candyman, Jigsaw, Dracula, The Wolfman, Frankenstein etc.

Yet try to think up of just one female horror figure...

There unfortunately isn't an iconic female horror figure in film.

Bloody Mary

are the top three females that I think of when I think of iconic female horror figures as a whole.
Although mythological Medusa and folklore Bloody Mary don't count in the world of film (Even though two movies one in the 60's, the other in the 70's were made about Medusa. Not horror however. In 2005, a horror film was made about Mary: Urban Legends: Bloody Mary. Of course and unfortunately it was a straight-to-DVD movie.)

So that leaves Carrie.

But can see she really compare to the popularity of Freddy or Jason?

Could her evil and gimmick match against any of the male horror figures?

No to popularity. It's 'Carrie who?' in comparison to Freddy or Jason.
Maybe to her evil. She did kill her own mother after all.
Maybe again, to her gimmick. A girl who can move things with her mind in order to kill you is cool.
But not as cool as a man who kills you in your dreams with a hand made of knife-like claws, or a man with unbeatable strength whose weapon of choice is a chain saw.

Carrie physically doesn't look scary. She's cute and dainty looking.
But all the male horror figures are grotesque and towering (except for Chucky).

I think the horror film genre is way overdue for a female horror figure.

As a woman who loves the horror genre, I'd finally love to see a truly frightening woman character carry a chainsaw, instead of being the scantily clad cliche who trips while being chased by the killer/monster and ends up dead.

Imagine a female horror figure as blood thirsty, ugly and unstoppable as Freddy, Jason, Myers, Leatherface, Chucky, Candyman, Jigsaw, Dracula, The Wolfman, Frankenstein and the recent Victor Crowley!

How cool would that be?!

It's time, Hollywood, wake up!


  1. can't wait, i've never seen this before in moviez, the closest thing was in Urban Legendz

  2. Although female killers are seldom, there still are some around. Some notable films are American Psycho 2, The original Friday the 13th, and Sleepaway Camp with it's amazing plot twist.

  3. harvey: hold tight! the blog is on its way!
    rebecca gayheart as the killer in urban legends was definitely a surprise! i don't think anyone could have guessed she was the killer. even after a re-watch, there's not really any clues giving her away.

    anonymous: thank you! i've never seen sleepaway camp. i will have to check that out.
    yes, mrs. voorhies from jason movies & mila kunis' role in american psycho are notable films with woman killers.
    still, there's not many in total compared to male killers.
    not so much killers, but more, iconic horror figures (i should change my blog title!)
    there's jason, freddy, myers, etc. and NO wide none woman horror equal.
    very interesting.

  4. yeah, i know, nobody saw that comin'!

  5. exactly, i'm surprised nobody thought of this b4!

  6. Okay, so I read this piece and was on the search for female killers in horror movies. It wasn't easy, because like you said, male killers are much more popular. Everyone is familiar w. Freddy and Jason on a 1st name basis, but if you look hard enough, female horror villans w/ a body count do exist.

    Angela from Night of the Demons
    Lilith from Bordello of Blood
    Debbie Salt from Scream 2
    Deep Throat from Hellraiser
    Angelique from Hellraiser: Bloodline
    Nancy Downs from The Craft
    Baby from The Devil's Rejects
    Tiffany from Bride/Seed of Chucky
    Rachel from American Psycho 2
    Angela from Sleepaway Camp
    Carrie White and Rachel Lang, Mary Lou from the Prom Night sequels
    Jennifer Hills from I Spit On Your Grave
    Sil from Species
    Mama Cyinthia from The Skeleton Key
    Brenda Bates in Urban Legends
    Ginger from Ginger Snaps
    Marie from Haute Tension
    Amanda from Saw 3
    Alessa from Silent Hill
    Regine from Fright Night 2
    Tooth Fairy from Darkness Falls

    Wow, that was a mouthful. Hopefully soon, we could have a female horror lead that's a franchise like her male counterparts.

  7. Thank you Michelle!

    And thanks a bunch! for the list you provided of women killers in horror.
    Some of the characters I'm familiar with but some I've never heard of (I will research them in depth soon!).

    Even though female killers/monsters/villains in horror do exist, why aren't they as widely known as any of the male killers/monsters/villains?
    You don't even have to be a horror fan to know who Freddy or Jason is. But with most of the female killers in horror unless you're a big horror fan and have seen most horror, you're not gonna know probably even two of the female killers' names you listed.

    Now why is that?

    It has to be that most audiences don't want to see a woman killer unless she's sexy in some way. Or rather, most movie producers don't want to make a film with an unsexy woman killer. Because most women killers, do turn out to be attractive in some way. Half the ones you listed are.

    I'm just so ready to see as you said, "a female horror lead with a franchise"--- a female horror lead with a name that is as recognizable as Jason, Freddy, etc.

    One day, hopefully soon!

  8. I agree that the reason a woman killer in a horror is as known as a male killer is due to the fact that our society is in some way macho. We are used to seeing a woman in horror films being the damsel in distress or the sex kitten. Anything that strays away from that formula is usually not accepted.
    Recently, Diablo Cody tried to pitch the idea of a woman killer with the popular Megan Fox in "Jennifer's Body". It was expected that with Fox's appeal, she would be able to drag both men and women into the theatre. Unfortunately, the film was a flop. Because of this, this is going to deter any major film company from casting a female antagonist in a horror film.
    I think all it takes is one good film. If someone where to make one good horror film with a female killer that made the big bucks, then we would see everyone jumping on the ban wagon. Every year hollywood is jumping onto what is hot at the moment,whether it be teen sex movies, parody movies, horror films, documenatries, etc.
    All we can hope for it for s/o out there to take the time to write a good horror movie and cast the right female lead and the rest will be history.

  9. Michelle, I agree with everything you've said.

    I'm really hopeful for that one good film as you said.

    Thanks again!

  10. I think the reason no one recognize Carrie as a truly female horror figure is because she just turned evil on the last minutes of the movie, but else she was kinda good-spirited and naive, so it´s kinda difficult to be afraid of such character... ok ok, killing your favorite teacher, your prom date and everybody else was wayy too much, but deep inside Carrie was kind of a hero.

  11. Thank you Anonymous!

    You make a really great point!
    I agree, if Carrie was evil straight from the beginning, she definitely would be seen as an iconic female horror figure who can stand alongside Freddy, Jason or Myers. But then at the same time- her name, story and powers is the most well-known of female characters in the horror genre. One is better than none!

    You seeing her as a hero is interesting.

    Thank you once again!!!