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

11 of 29

You’re Next

You’re Next, Screencap via Lionsgate/HanWay Films/Snoot Entertainment

Sub- Genre: Slasher

What it’s about: A wealthy couple are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary. They gather their adult children and their significant others to celebrate in a house they recently bought to fix up. As the family sits down to dinner, an arrow flies through the window. They quickly learn they are being hunted down, by a group of murderers wearing creepy animal masks. However, Erin, a girlfriend of one of the brothers, proves to be extremely competent in this situation. Eventually, Erin discovers that this seemingly random attack goes deeper than it seems.

What makes it feminist: The movie begins as a standard home invasion plot, complete with incompetent women and men who take over the planning. In many movies like this, even when a woman survives at the end, it’s almost like it’s by chance, rather than by being smart and strong enough to make it through. Here, this is so not the case.

Up until the attack begins, Erin is portrayed simply as a loving girlfriend to Crispian. Their interactions show that Crispian has issues with his family, and she is going to the event to support him. She seems perky and optimistic, offering to help whenever she can. There is no reason to believe at first, that she would become the central character, let alone that she would have skills in this situation.

But when the first arrow flies through the window, she immediately jumps to work. She starts strategizing how to get them away from the windows, securing the house, setting traps for the killers. Turns out, Erin was raised on a survivalist compound. The murderers underestimate her based on her seemingly “normal” appearance. And so do we, as the audience. But You’re Next shows that it’s a really bad idea to have preconceived ideas about what a woman is capable of.