Ladies of Horror: Coraline

Coraline.jpg

Written by Cat Wilson, of catthewilson.com
Today’s pick, Coraline, is a bit out shined by the young adult novel that inspired it. The themes in Coraline are on what is home, appreciating what you have and courage. It passes the Bechdel Test no problem.

However, the individuality and agency of Neil Gaiman’s plucky heroine Coraline was changed in the movie. They added a male friend named Wybie, if they didn’t Coraline would be talking to herself aloud when she made discoveries. However, this takes away not only from Coraline’s bravery in facing her parents disappearance alone, but also turns her into a damsel at the climax. The movie is beautiful and enjoyable, but we recommend the book first.

Ladies of Horror: Jennifer's Body

Jennifers_body_ver2.jpg

Written by Cat Wilson of catthewilson.com
Today’s pick is another highly divisive film. Jennifer’s Body written by Diablo Cody and directed by Karyn Kusama. This film can be seen as an example of the harmful seductress trope mentioned by Anita Sarkeesian in her series Feminist Frequency.

The harmful myth this reinforces is that women use their so called “sexual power” as a way to manipulate, trick and control men. […] Some men claim that women hold more power is society based on this this absurd myth. -Anita Sarkeesian

Your humble author believes there is more going on in this film. Jennifer is possessed by a demon against her will; sacrificed by power hungry men and because of them becomes a monster. Jennifer’s best friend, Needy is definitely sexually active (a refreshing change compared to the virgin worship in some slasher films), but Needy does not use sex to manipulate. Jennifer’s Body could be seen as a cautionary tale again weaponized sexuality because of the destroyed friendships and damage it causes. As director Karyn Kusama said:

What we need to be seeing isn't just women in movies... we need to be seeing women who challenge us and disturb us and make us uncomfortable and make us think.

Ladies of Horror: Teeth

1497979658570-unnamed.jpeg

Written by Cat Wilson of catthewilson.com

…there is a motif occurring in certain primitive mythologies, as well as in modern surrealist painting and neurotic dream, which is known to folklore as ‘the toothed vagina’ – the vagina that castrates. -Joseph Campbell

Barbara Creed coined the term “monstrous-feminine” as a meme created by the phallocentric patriarchy, in which monsters represent the sexual difference of the feminine and terror of castration. Many horror stories deal with male fears: Frankenstein is associated with womb envy and Alien the fear of male rape and impregnation. It’s important to remember while reading our suggestions that feminism is not a monolith, and many feminists are divided on the merit of horror movies. Although, we find it interesting the films with women receive double the scrutiny of the male dominated film.

With that said, today’s pick is Teeth.

Yes, this film was written and directed by a man although it was co-produced with a woman. There was enormous push back against this film by male movie industry executives and even location scouts some of which describe it as porn. But it is not porn. Teeth critiques the purity culture, male entitlement and consent. Trigger warning there are four scenes of rape, although in a twist our heroine Dawn’s body defends her when she is unable. To be fair the film is not perfect as Dawn is drugged for her “consensual” moment, a mistake the director acknowledges. In Teeth Dawn does not start as a monster but is made one through the abuse of men.

Ladies of Horror: Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's_Labyrinth.jpg

Written by Cat Wilson of catthewilson.com

It was extremely difficult to decide which Guillermo del Toro films to include in our list. Both Mimic and The Orphanage are excellent, however for our first pick we choose the dark fairytale Pan’s Labyrinth. This film has not one but three very different depictions of women, Ofelia the young heroine of the film, her beautiful but tragic mother Carmen, and last Mercedes the maid turned fierce guerrilla soldier.

“the availability of strong and enterprising women. Would counterbalance stereotypically passive princesses and offer a new paradigm for female consciousnesses” - Guillermo Del Toro

One of the of the reoccurring themes in del Toro’s films such as Pan’s and the Academy Award winning The Shape of Water is how the supernatural creatures are not as dangerous as a violent male in power. TRIGGER WARNING: There is violence in this film.

Ladies of Horror: The Ring and Ringu

Ringu_(1998)_Japanese_theatrical_poster.jpg

Written by Cat Wilson, catthewilson.com
What makes a horror movie feminist? There is the Bechdel test, which is passed if two named female characters talk about something other than a man… but that is just one diagnostic tool. While many protagonists in slasher films are female there is the argument that by using violence to defeat their tormentors female characters masculinize themselves. Fair point. So today’s pick is Ringu the Japanese horror film and its english remake The Ring. In each movie the lead is a investigative journalist and mother. In the end our heroine's survival depends not upon violence or destruction of the antagonist, through luck and critical thinking she finds a solution.

This film also contains themes on the hidden stories of women. Warning: There are jump scares in The Ring as well as animal violence and suicide.

Ladies of Horror: Ginger Snaps

Thegingersnapsfilmposter.jpg

Written by Cat Wilson, catthewilson.com
If The Craft is like Mean Girls, then Ginger Snaps is like Heathers and Daria had a baby that was bitten by a werewolf. Screen play written by Karen Walton, this is a fantastical coming of age story about two sisters Brigitte and Ginger, with lycanthropy as an allegory for menarche (the first menstrual cycle) and puberty. In Ginger Snaps, however there is no sanitized “blue liquid” there is blood, lots and lots of blood. Trigger warning: If the sight of blood, suicide, dead dogs or body horror upsets you, then this film is not for you. The story dark and tragic but artfully to dodges the “monstrous woman” trope, while dealing with themes of sexism, establishing identity and even the distressing trend of doctors patronizing women and girls. The sisters try to explain to a school nurse something is very wrong but are dismissed because this is the first period they experienced.

Ladies of Horror: The Craft

The_craft_movie_poster.jpg

Written by Cat Wilson of catthewilson.com
Before Mean Girls there was The Craft. A teen girl movie turned cult classic, this film deals with sexism, racism, bullying, beauty politics and abuse of power. It deals in magic while at the same time striving to be respectful of the Wiccan religion. It’s a far from perfect film, there is jealousy over a guy, a love spell and eventually the girls all turn on our heroine. However, the beauty of The Craft is its focus on the female outsiders, a role in film that is usually is reserved for nerdy boys and one lone romanticized female such as Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter, Beverly Marsh in IT or Eleven in Stranger Things (ugh! Why did that show kill off Barb?) In The Craft, we have four girls that embrace their otherness and find that they are not alone.

Bus Driver: You girls watch out for those weirdos.
Nancy: We are the weirdos, mister.

In this era of anger and violence from towards women from the self labeled incels, it important for boys to see that the majority of girls don’t live on pedestals, that girls struggle too.

Ladies of Horror: Alien

Aliens_poster.jpg

Written by Cat Wilson catthewilson.com

Ellen Ripley, the Warrant Officer in Alien, is the best female characters in horror or science fiction seen to date. Her role in the movie Alien was originally written for a man, but Ridley Scott made the decision to cast Sigourney Weaver and not change the script. The term “everyman” is defined as ordinary individual with whom the audience identifies with and who is often placed in extraordinary circumstances. This term is in inherently bigoted because it implies the baseline character of any story is a white cisgender man. Ellen is one of the exceptions to this. She is not defined or constrained by her gender. She is not a “Smurfette” because she is not an object of desire or stereotype of femininity. Ripley is equal to the men around her. However, her character is also not a man stuffed into a woman’s skin. She shows great compassion and bravery when she risks her life to save a cat. Does it pass the Bechdel Test? Well what does Alison Bechdel say…

Dykes_to_Watch_Out_For_(Bechdel_test_origin).jpg


Ladies of Horror: Halloween & H20

Written by Cat Wilson catthewilson.com

What was the first slasher film? Slasher, the frightening sub-genre of horror where a human fiend stalks and murders people with sharp tools. Alfred Hitchcocks Psycho 1960 or Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1971? Either one could win. But why should women care about such violent films? Because of the final girl; the capable girl or woman that survives the movie. In her 1992 book, Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film Carol J. Clover, explores gender in slasher, occult, and rape-revenge films. Slashers films seem to offer sadistic pleasure to their viewers, Clover’s argument is these films are designed to align spectators not with the male monster, but with the "final girl" who finally defeats her assailant.

HalloweenH20poster.jpg

We chose for our first slasher Lady pick, Laurie Stodie played by Jamie Lee Curtis in the Halloween franchise. Laurie is the quiet high schooler in the first movie, who not only protects the children she is babysitting, but resourcefully defends herself. In Halloween H20 a old and wiser Laurie protects her son and makes sure the monster can never come back. Warning these movies are violent and bloody, hence the name slasher.

Ladies of Horror: Carrie

Carrie.jpg

Written by Cat Wilson catthewilson.com

The criteria for the movies we suggest are movies that have strong female perspective. It would be a mistake not include Carrie. However, I’m recommending Carrie from 2013 directed by Kimberly Peirce (yay lady directors!). This version I feel is a little more sympathetic to Carrie and makes her character a tiny bit more well rounded than Brian De Palma classic version. Also unlike the first film Carrie makes the conscious decision to spare characters. She not stuffed into the roll of a monster in a nightmare as a final twist.

Ladies of Horror: Rosemary's Baby

Rosemarys_baby_poster.jpg

Post Written by Cat Wilson catthewilson.com

I think it’s highly ironic Roman Polanski directed Rosemary’s Baby, maybe he didn’t understand the commentary on women rights and reproductive freedom running under everything in the film. The story was originally written by Ira Levin, author of The Stepford Wives. Don’t let the title fool you this is a story about Rosemary. Her husband is so unimportant to the story his name is “Guy.” Rosemary is the naive girl we all were once long ago and every aspect of her life is controlled for her reproductive abilities. The film is not “scary”, things don’t jump out at you, however trigger warning because it deals with drugging, rape and control. Rosemary could be a poster child for the #metoo movement.

Ladies of Horror for October: The Uninvited 1944

The_Uninvited_(1944_film).jpg

Post Written by Cat Wilson catthewilson.com

For all the ladies attempting the horror movie challenge or if you want one classy spooky movie to watch, Lady has you covered. We are going to list scary movies with amazing ladies in them for Halloween. Our first suggestion is 1944’s The Uninvited. The story is based on Dorothy Macardle’s novel Uneasy Freehold. The film, even though Rick the main character is a typical 40’s male lead, is dominated by women; quirky female side characters, the ingenue and a memorable villainess. It’s a classic ghost story that is also full of complicated human relationships. The Uninvited passes the Bechdel test many times over.

Minor spoiler. My favorite lady character is actually the hero’s sister Pam. It’s rare in film to see siblings that aren’t the same gender, which is refreshing. Early in the film Pam is left for weeks to fix up the old manor house by herself. When Rick returns he wakes up in the middle of the night to the sound of a woman crying. Rick is obviously spooked by this while Pam is simply relieved that he hears it too. His reaction is hilarious because he tries so hard to put up a brave front. You can watch this scene at the Turner Classic Movies website.

As we begin our journey of #SelfRealization we can discredit old beliefs that no longer serve us. 

What is Friday the 13th and how does it effect me? 


Historically if the 13th day Falls on a Friday it has been believed to be unlucky - black cats (associated with women & witches) a time where patriarchy and fear of women was is full bloom. Also many of these references are European belief structure all the way up to the present moment.

In the not so distant past, Friday the 13 have been associates with cats especially black cats, yet cats were worshiped in Pre Judeo-Christian times such as in Ancient Egypt where cats are believed to originate from.

"The cat was still worshiped, but in Confusing ways. Sometimes it was a Virgin deity, comparable to the Virgin Mary during the conception of Christ: B.C. A.D. Cats had spread from Egypt throughout Europe, Asia, the Roman Empire, down the Silk Road and throughout other religions such as Christianity and Buddhism. - 200 B.C to A.D 1400. A.D. By 390, The Egyptian cat cult was banned by the decree of the imperial Roman emperor, thus cats Dark Ages fell across Europe," explains Georgie Anne Geyer.

The Root word for Friday the 13th is sourced from the Greek word (Paraskevi), a day falling on the Gregorian Calendar. The fear surrounding the special day may have been a direct reference to the 13 people to were present at the last supper on the Thursday before #GoodFriday which was the day that Jesus was crucified.

Many times in history one dogma, faith or tradition had been replaced by another. Such as when the Pagan celebration of the Sumerian goddess Inanna or Ishtar was Replaced by the Holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ aka Easter. 


13 in Numerology is a powerful number as 1 symbolizes exploration and self-sufficiency, and  3: references Diplomacy and team work. One and three together computes to Four which represents Pragmatism and Focus. 


As we Exit the negative states of the #AgeofPisces we leave false fears and fantasies, deception, drugs, prisons, jails, sheep who need to be lead. 

Friday the thirteenth brings up the suppression of the devine feminine, negativity surrounding women, cats and just unlucky. What an under-statement. There is so much magic we have yet to uncover, discover and learn.


Meditation Contemplation: "I Trust Myself, I no longer look to Authority to decipher my Truth." 

written by Marlena Elise


Images/ Copywrite source unknown #punioland (cat illustrations) #Lastsupperby #leonardodevenci