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

16 of 29

Starry Eyes

Starry Eyes, Image via Snowfort Pictures/Parallactic Pictures/Dark Sky Films

Sub-Genre: Satanism/Body Horror 

What it’s about: Sarah is an aspiring actress in LA, working as a waitress as she goes on as many auditions as she can get. One day, a major production company calls her in to audition for the lead in a movie called The Silver Scream. After a lukewarm reception by the casting director, Sarah privately engages in a self-destructive habit she’s developed to help her cope. But the casting director overhears her and it piques her interest.

They ask Sarah to come back on a series of callbacks that becomes increasingly more bizarre. But she goes along with it; that is, until the producer asks her to do something she has to refuse. But going back to her day job and her amateur indie film friends makes her second-guess that decision. The return to her mundane life reinforces her desires. She calls the casting director to ask for another chance, but when she get it, strange things start to happen to her.

What makes it feminist: As an actress myself, this movie brought up a lot of interesting points for me. Sarah initially appears to be meek and unassuming, but her strong ambition is telegraphed early in the movie. She begins as a somewhat normal struggling actress. Outside of a disturbing habit that she displays, her life looks a little like mine as an actress: go to your day job, go to a rehearsal, hang out with creative friends, and submit for auditions. But her reactions to the auditions for The Silver Scream betray a single-minded focus on stardom.

A movie like this could easily imply that Sarah is a pawn being manipulated by stronger, evil forces. But there are tiny moments that prove that she never does anything that she doesn’t really want to do. This emphasis on Sarah’s agency makes this movie stand out. She’s not possessed – she’s making a choice.

Trigger Warning: There are coerced sexual acts in this one.