And thankfully, not all of those approaches are as abstract and theoretical as mine.
A while back, I discovered a page on Facebook called Women in Horror Recognition Month. I immidiately followed it and noticed that they were posting a lot of cool links, but I didn't really know anything about the people behind it or if there was anything more than a Facebook page (granted, I could have easily figured that last one out on my own if I hadn't been so lazy). So when the team over at the Norwegian site I write for, Filmamasoner, were putting together a series of articles, reviews and interviews for Halloween about feminist approaches to horror, Women in Horror... was one of the first things to pop into mind.
Below is the full and (practically!) unedited interview with the lovely Hannah Neurotica, the wonderful brain behind the initiative. You can tell by some of the questions (and their answers) that this was meant for an audience who might necessarily not be hugely into horror, and that it was meant to be published pre-Halloween, but everything that Hannah says is still relevant and pretty damn interesting.
First of all, what is WiHM?
How did it all start, how did you get the idea for this project?
I'd been making Ax Wound: Gender & The Horror genre for years at that point and it felt like a natural progression. As they say: if you are not happy with something going on in the world, then do something, don't just complain. You don't have to lead a revolution or part the sea – just start a conversation with someone. That is a huge step. Right now is an amazing time: there are endless platforms for innovative social change. Get creative. Don't be afraid. If you are sick of being marginalized I guarantee you are not alone – you don't have to be. They key is community and supporting each other. Reach out to people. Drop your ego. Focus on the cause with genuine determination and passion – that is something others will want to be part of too.
What are your feelings about the Final Girl concept? Who is your favourite (or least favourite!) Final Girl?
There are genre critics who claim that the horror genre is inherently misogynist. What is your message for them?
|Nancy setting MacGyver style traps for Freddy|
Do you think there is a difference in how women in general and men in general watch and enjoy horror films?Yes, in the sense that human beings view everything in life from subjective experience; that which would be influenced by gender, sexuality, culture, socioeconomic status, life experiences. From my observations the biggest point of disconnect between genders when viewing a horror film involve the usage of graphic rape scenes. This is something one could assume would be a subject that women will have a different reaction to based on the sick statistics of violence against women being such an insidious and rampant reality. Of course this is a very general response.
Who is your favourite Woman in Horror?
Finally, if you could recommend three horror films for our readers, which would they be and why?
|Just another day in the office for American Mary|
American Mary is a great one written and directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska. It's a beautifully shot dark film. Carnival of Souls (1962) – if you haven't seen that then you need to stop what your doing right now and put it on (no, actually, wait until Halloween) that would be perfect for Halloween. It's creepy as fuck. Also, if you want to watch short films, features, and trailers of films written and/or produced by women I have been working on this ongoing collection here: http://womenmakehorrorfilms.tumblr.com/