Wednesday, 27 February 2019

WIHMX | Women Horror Icons

Horror is chock-full of iconic women, as diverse as women are off-screen. There are heroes and villains, the brave, compassionate, the logical, the terrified, the violent, and the vengeful. In celebration of Women in Horror Month 10, I've been asking women who love horror which women in horror mean the most to them!


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Women are total badasses, mostly in horror movies so I love that. Of course I love Jamie Lee Curtis and one of our newest 'badass bitches' is scream queen Emma Roberts. I just love how they are strong. It shows us that we can look after ourselves. Women aren’t to be messed with! - Bubba of Bubba's Meltys

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My first introduction to horror the 1996 teen slasher hit Scream. I watched it when I was around thirteen years old, late one night on Film4 (god bless you, Film4) and I was instantly hooked. I had watched scary films before but nothing like Scream. Opening with the intense terror of Drew Barrymore answering a wrong number, quickly spiralling into sheer horror when she flips on the porch light to see her big, football playing boyfriend mutilated in front of her parent’s pool. 

Despite Drew’s brief starring role there was one standout female character that I instantly looked up to: Sidney Prescott. Sidney was quiet but not afraid to stand up for herself, smart but not in a nerdy way, had brown hair like me, and a year earlier her mother Maureen Prescott had been raped and murdered in the idyllic town centre of Woodsboro. 

Sidney had a super bulky 90s computer in her room (that at one point she tries to contact 911 on), a beautiful yet pushy boyfriend, and a sassy blonde best friend called Tatum. Sidney wasn’t like other girls in slasher films. She answered back to threatening phone calls, punched nosey reports in the face, didn’t follow any of her own advice, and completely takes control of the situations she finds herself in. 

Sidney Prescott was probably one of the coolest women I’d ever seen in a film and still is. I could not get enough and loved seeing how Sid’s character developed as she went off to college (Scream 2), completely isolated herself with fear (Scream 3) and then refused to live her life as a victim and fought back (Scream 4). 

She is the perfect protagonist or Final Girl in a film that was so self-aware, wore its influences on it’s sleeve, and was written by the same guy who wrote Dawson’s Creek. Sidney, stayed sexy and didn’t get murdered but my god, she caused murder when she had to. I love you, Sidney! 

Danielle White of Ya Gals on Film

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My horror icon is bride of Frankenstein, purely because she was one of the original horror women to be seen. I also like Nancy from Nightmare on Elm Street as that is a classic horror series to me. Plus Baby from Rob Zombie's Devils Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses. She’s such a fun psychopathic character!

Emma of spookyemmaxo

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My name is Lizi, I’m a 22 year old tattooist. Horror has been a huge part of my life for many years. I’ve been obsessed with the creepy and macabre for as long as I remember (I guess it makes sense considering I stab people for a living) and the studio that I work in is horror themed. 

Of all the women horror I’ve managed to narrow down my three favourites; Laurie Strode in Halloween, Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs, and Carrie in Carrie. 

Laurie and Clarice are two of the most unrelenting and strong characters in the face of danger, which as someone with terrible anxiety is something to look up to. Also Laurie and Clarice’s ingenuity and intelligence makes for a remarkable role model for anybody let alone women. 

I may be slightly biased as Silence of the Lambs is my favourite movie; I have a portrait of Hannibal Lecter on my leg that took 10 hours in one sitting

Carrie is the baddest bitch in horror in my opinion, she came from a background of abuse and unspeakable terrors and she showed everyone who’s boss, after being bullied horrifically at school. 

Horror gives you the opportunity to be scared, to cheer people on, to feel nervous, to feel like you’re alive. It’s so important to me as an individual and to so many women to see strong female characters kicking ass and not backing down. 


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I personally adore Buffy the Vampire Slayer. At the time of BtVS being made and on our screens there was nothing like it. Buffy was a strong, independent girl who had to learn to grow up fast and life hit her so quickly - which I think a lot of the time it happens for everyone. At the time, the show broke so many stereotypes of women just being this delicate, feminine, petite blonde girl who didn't know how to do anything. Not only did Buffy show the "fighting bad guys" side of things but it also dealt with real-life situations: relationships, friendships, school life, not fitting in, feeling lonely, money struggles, losing people, sexuality struggles - basically everything that we all deal with everyday basis. We, as viewers, watched the characters in the show grow from teenagers to adults and everything they got through taught us that we can get through anything too.

Alisha Valerie of Alisha Valerie

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There are many examples of strong, smart women in horror but one of the first to spring into my mind is Clarice Starling. Putting aside the debate and conceding that ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ is a horror film, from the opening shot where we see the trainee FBI agent tackling an assault course alone this reflect how Starling will make her journey without depending on others. This also evidences her endurance; Clarice is not just intellectually adept, she also has physical prowess. The film’s heroine has many admirable qualities including her conviction towards saving the kidnapped Catherine, courage to enter into some of the most extreme and dangerous situations and determination to keep going no matter what. While tenacious and focused, Clarice is importantly not shut off to vulnerability and is shown to have human reactions to events that occur, such as the incident with Miggs and the autopsy scene.

As a woman in a horror film it’s critical for me that Starling never compromises herself and is an able match for any of the vast number of men that surround her. Sent to coax knowledge from Lecter precisely because she is a woman, she successfully navigates the grotesqueness of Chilton, confidently receives and returns during verbal exchanges with Lecter and challenges her male superior, Jack Crawford’s attitude towards women, reminding him of the example he is responsible for setting. Furthermore, Clarice eschews the advice of her counterparts by engaging with Lecter on a level they are not prepared to and as a result she achieves what they cannot by earning his respect. Often the only woman in the room, Clarice is never sexualised nor does she assume the role of victim and what she accomplishes she does so through her own merit which is grounded firmly in reality. It’s for these reasons and more that I feel Clarice should be celebrated as an icon of the horror genre and I’m sure she will continue to speak to many more women into the future.

Rebecca of Horror Ponderer

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Hey everyone! I'm Sarah and I blog over at Raiin Monkey. Thankyou Kiah for bringing this wonderful month of horror celebration to my attention! I think it's fabulous that there's an occasion dedicated to all our spooky and badass women from horror! So who's my favourite female horror icon? It's actually someone who is less well known, and very under appreciated; to be honest, whenever I mention her, no one seems to have heard of her/remembers who she is! The female characters that I love most are the ones who come from the side of the 'bad guys' initially, but show great strength and surprise us all in the end! My favourite woman of horror is Alice, from Wes Craven's The People Under the Stairs (1991), which has been one of my all-time favourite horror movies since I was a teenager. Alice, despite coming from the family of the 'villains' overcomes her fears of the unknown and powers through all of the obstacles in her way to help her friend, the protagonist of the movie. I could say more but no spoilers, go watch this movie and discover this unsung hero for yourselves! As well as Alice, a more popular female horror icon that I love is Wendy Torrance, from The Shining (1980). I really like that she's not your typical female horror character, who usually end up turning into an extreme survivalist, unleashing their hidden physical strength and super advanced skills to be the 'last girl standing'! She has an anxious disposition and I feel I can relate to her more than some other women in horror. She shows amazing courage when it comes to protecting the people she loves, and I'm just a big fan of her! I could go on talking about more awesome women, but I better stop now or I'll write an essay!

Sarah of Raiin Monkey

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Sidney from Scream was really my first inspiration... Scream was what got me into horror in the first place... I was going through a lot of really rough things and decided to start watching the horror genre. When I saw how strong Sidney was and how badass she was I really gravitated towards her character. I admired her and started shifting myself to be more like her and use the strength I had to get out of my situation and turn it into something good. Nancy from A Nightmare On Elm Street was also a huge inspiration to me. She went so far as to taunt the enemy to get him to come to her so she could beat him. Horror has saved my life in so many ways and women in horror have helped me become who I am today.

Kristen of Freddy's Muse

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A woman of horror I love is Vera Farmiga. She has such a wonderful style of acting and is perfect for a lot of the roles she has played. The Conjuring movies are some of my favourite horror movies. 

Amy of Asphodel Moon

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Who are your women icons of horror? It's time to celebrate them! 

  

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3 comments:

  1. This was a great post, it’s great to see different people come together to talk about women in horrors they admire! I would have to say the women I admire are the ones who’ve already been mentioned in this post. Nancy from Nightmare on Elm Street and Laurie Strode. Both showed incredible strength during a horrific situation.

    Jess xxx || http://littlepinkduckblog.blogspot.co.uk/

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  2. Thank you so much for including me in this blog post darling. It was really interesting reading everyone else's views too, great post! 💜

    With love, Alisha Valerie x | www.alishavalerie.com

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  3. This post gave me serious nostalgia for some films I haven't watched in far too long.

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