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

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A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, Screencap via Logan Pictures/SpectreVision/VICE Films

Sub-Genre: Vampires

What it’s about: Arash is a young Iranian man trying to support his drug-addicted father. After a series of strange events, he encounters a person credited only as The Girl; a chador-wearing, skateboard-riding woman who insists that he shouldn’t be around her, because she has done terrible things. Arash makes it clear that that doesn’t matter to him, but little does he know that a few nights before, the woman grew fangs and bit the neck of an acquaintance of his. The more they interact with each other, the more complicated their relationship becomes. When Arash starts to suspect that she is involved in a murder, he must decide how to proceed without getting killed himself.

What makes it feminist: A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night features the directing and writing talents of Ana Lily Amirpour, an up-and-coming, Iranian-American, female horror maestro. What makes her work so exciting and different is how she sets elements of horror within the context of real life tragedy and joy. This film is just as much a love story as it is a horror story. But the slow tension building and the empathy the film has for all it’s characters, “good” and “bad,” make Amirpour’s creation stand out. And everyone seems to agree – Netflix just bought the distribution rights to her latest film, The Bad Batch, starring the likes of Jason Momoa, Jim Carrey, and Keanu Reeves.

And then there’s the Girl. It’s no accident that the first shot of the Girl riding her skateboard in her chador is reminiscent of superhero movies. Amirpour herself has said how chadors remind her of capes. We don’t know much about the Girl’s backstory, but she is simultaneously very enigmatic and sympathetic. She only seems to kill those she believes are bad people, and she has the strength to resist when they pass muster. But her defining characteristic is her hope. After what we can assume is an eternity of her dark, lonely life, she still has hope that she can be happy. That, in itself, is a feminist act.