20 Socially Conscious Horror Movies

10 of 21

Teeth (2007)

The Issue: Feminism, rape culture

The Movie:
Dawn (Jess Weixler) is a Christian teen who runs as abstinence group. She meets a young man named Tobey and is attracted to him but resists because of her devotion to abstinence. They go swimming together and Tobey starts kissing Dawn. She is uncomfortable and tries to push him off, when he gets forceful and rapes her. Dawn fights back and somehow bites off his penis with her vagina. Dazed, Dawn leaves him there.

She does some research and thinks she might have a case of ‘vagina dentata,’ which is a set of teeth in her vagina. She goes to the gynecologist and he assaults her during the exam, and she bites off his fingers. At home, Dawn’s ill mother collapses and her stepbrother ignores her.

Dawn goes to the home of Ryan, a friend, and explains her situation. They end up having sex and realize her teeth only activate when the act is nonconsensual. They have sex again the next day, and Ryan boasts that he had made a bet on whether or not she’d sleep with him. Not a smart move, Ryan! Dawn bites off his penis and leaves.

She learns her mother has died, and her stepbrother (who has a crush on Dawn, ew) hadn’t tried to help. Dawn decides to get revenge by seducing her stepbrother and biting his penis off. Dawn seems to understand and even enjoy her vagina dentata now — she hitchhikes with a trucker and when he insists on sexual favours, Dawn smiles.

What It’s Saying:

Teeth is about a young woman fighting back against sexual assault in the most satisfying way ever, making it a uniquely feminist film.