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Scream Queens Spotlights Women in Horror

Starting tonight, VH1 is searching for the next queen of horror film. In Scream Queens, 10 unknown actresses will put their shrieking, crying, and butt-kicking skills to the test for the chance to win a feature role in the upcoming Saw VI. (Yes, there's going to be a Saw VI.)

The trailer for the show looks kind of hilariously awesome, in that White Rapper Show-esque, self-aware kind of way. But it's also gotten me thinking about women in horror generally and whether this show is a good or a bad thing.

On the one hand, well, the title says a lot: The show's looking for someone who can scream all damsel-in-distress-style, presumably while being attacked by some menacing thing. So often in horror movies, female sexuality and violence go hand-in-hand. You certainly would never see a competition looking for male screamers, right? But on the other hand, the trailer seems to be playing up the ass-kicking aspect of being a horror star, and show judge (and original Saw gal) Shawnee Smith has said there's a lot more to being a "scream queen" than just playing the victim.

In this Halloween month, it's as good a time as any to get talking about women in horror — so I invite you to post your thoughts on that below. You can check out the Scream Queens trailer if you


Photo courtesy of VH1

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