The New Women Directors of Horror
These three shocking and unforgettable debut features heralded powerful new voices in filmmaking.
Horror is often seen as a genre where new filmmakers can break into the industry due to comparatively lower budgets. Over the past few years, three notable women directors made triumphant debuts with striking horror films. Since 2014, Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook has become a veritable pop-culture phenomenon, a total surprise for a horror allegory about a mother and young son coping with unimaginable grief. Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night throws several genres into a blender, but the vampiric elements and imaginary Iranian setting helped make it a critical smash for a low-budget foreign language horror film. And Julia Ducournau’s Raw is a mesmerizing and brutal film that merges sexual symbolism with cannabilism horror. All three contain powerful visuals, indelible characters, and surprising stories—making the case for giving as many women filmmakers as possible the chance to direct a feature film.