Role of Women in Horror Films

1103 WordsSep 19, 20135 Pages
Good Evening, I’m here to talk about the Stereotypical portrayal of Women in horror films. Since the horror genre is quite a broad category, I’ve decided to focus mainly on Slasher films, a subgenre of horror film. Traditionally women are represented in horror films are blonde hypersexual damsels in distress with a seductive body language and strong make up being attacked by the killer because they have committed a sinful act. You may have noticed that the young girls that do get killed, in these films are those that have scenes showing them indulge in sex, drugs and alcohol, activities deemed inappropriate by society. The lone survivor is the dark haired Good girl with little or no make up that has been clean and a virgin…show more content…
The use of camera angels is an important factor because it has been considered by scholars to have a male gaze. The image of the passive woman as raw material for the active gaze of man is something that is demanded by the ideology of the patriarchal order of society. Laura Mulvey has pointed out that the cinematic gaze is not gender free but is structured by male or masculine perceptions. According to Mulvey, the camera has two way of looking at a woman, both of which organized around defending against her “castration” and both of which assume the gazer is a male: a sadistic-voyeuristic-look, where seeing the woman being punished is in focus and a fetishistic-scopophilic-look, where the focus is on fetishizing the female body. Needless to say, horror movies spend a lot of time looking at women, and in-first person ways, a point, which is well described by Mulvey’s “sadistic-voyeuristic-gaze. However now with the influence of feminism and modern ideologies women in reality are more successful therefore the representation of women has changed in horror films to intelligent women who try to figure out who the killer is and stop them such as Gail and Sidney rather then be overwhelmed with fear and get killed as they stereotypically were before. Feminism has also influenced the change in ideology of the representation of women. This is supported by the book “Image and Representation” by Nick Lacey
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