30 Woman-Friendly Horror Movies for the Thrill-Seeking Feminist

1 of 29

The Descent, Screencap via Lionsgate/Celador Films/Northmen Productions

So you’re a scary movie junkie, but you’d rather not have a side of misogyny with your terror? Here are 30 movies that prove that feminism and the horror genre are not mutually exclusive!

Let’s face it.  Horror movies have never been the safest place for women.  Well, to be fair, they’ve never been the safest place for anyone.  But still.

Most horror movies are made by and for men.  Generally, if they don’t have all-male casts, their female characters are pretty much totally incompetent.  If not, then there’s one single badass who is “different rom the other girls” – AKA, the most insidious and arguably most harmful trope for women.  And even when these movies have women who have personalities, often they are sexualized and objectified to the point that it’s their main function in the film.  As a woman and a horror fan, you might imagine how frustrating this gets.

But it doesn’t have to be this way!  Thanks to up-and-coming female horror filmmakers, some woke dude filmmakers, and just the general progression of society to its logical feminist conclusion, female-friendly horror movies are getting more and more prominent.  And thanks to streaming services like Netflix and Shudder, lower-budget movies made by or for women are getting wider audiences.

To celebrate this brilliant development, and to do our best to extend the spooky season as much as possible, we are giving you 30 horror movies that feature feminist elements.  To be clear, no movie is going to be perfect in terms of its representation of women, of course – though some of these get close.  But each of these movies has something about it that made me say a happy farewell to the patriarchy.  Whether it’s complex representation of female characters, allegorical explorations of women’s issues, or subversions of harmful stereotypes, we hope these movies will make your feminist heart palpitate with both fear and happiness.

To further clarify:  I’ve included trigger warnings for any sexual violence or any sexual images or implications that may make people uncomfortable.  Because no one should have to watch something they don’t want to.  But I didn’t include warnings for violence against women because…well…all of these movies have that.  Given that violence is a major part of horror movies, I figured if you’re reading this, you’re probably cool with that.

Now, without further ado – your spoiler-free Culturess guide to feminist horror movies!  Get prepared for some truly scary, progressive fun!