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

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Silent Hill

Silent Hill, Image via Davis Films/TriStar Pictures

Sub-Genre: Supernatural

What it’s about: Rose lives with her husband Christopher and her adopted daughter Sharon. When Sharon begins to sleepwalk and repeatedly say the words “silent hill,” Rose becomes desperate for answers. She takes Sharon to the town of Silent Hill to try to figure out what’s going on. But then, after several mysterious incidents, the two are involved in a car accident that knocks out Rose. When she wakes up, Sharon is gone. As she searches for her daughter, the town begins to change and morph in dark and disturbing ways. Rose has to navigate the off-and-on surrealism of the town to find her daughter before a very real villain does.

What makes it feminist: First of all, Silent Hill’s main cast is made up almost entirely of women. Men do exist in the movie, but they have little to no real significance to the plot. The real story is carried almost completely by Rose, Cybil, Sharon, and Christabella. Such a strong lead cast of women is a big first step in making a horror movie feminist, but the varied characterizations of each woman go even further here.

Mainly, Silent Hill focuses on the idea of good and evil. Naturally, in most horror movies, there are two archetypes for women. First, the “good” girl is usually sweet and uncomplicated and finds strength at the end to be the final girl. And then there’s the “bad” girl, the one who is selfish and sexual, using temptation to trap, murder, or manipulate others. But Silent Hill proposes that each of these women have varying degrees of good and evil, which change throughout the movie. And at the end, there’s even a physical representation of the good and evil sides of a person reintegrating into one flawed but realistic human. These aspects of Silent Hill work to adamantly refute the stereotypes of women in horror

Trigger Warning:  No actual sexual violence, but it is heavily implied that one of the characters raped a child.