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Why Do Many Women Like Horror Films?

An interesting New York Times article over the weekend tries to figure out why recent box office returns are showing that more women have been going to see horror films than men.

Film professor Carol Clover had one interesting theory why women like horror films in her book Men, Women and Chainsaws. In many slasher films, she argues, including Halloween and Friday the 13th, there may be many female victims, but there's always one girl left standing (the "final girl") who gets to off the villain in the end.

Diablo Cody, director of the upcoming film Jennifer's Body, a horror-comedy about a female sexpot boy-killer, agrees that's why she loved horror films as a teen. "When I watched movies like ‘The Goonies’ and ‘E.T.,’ " she explained, "it was boys having adventures. When I watched ‘Nightmare on Elm Street,’ it was Nancy beating up Freddy. It was that simple."

Today's hard-core torture porn films may show men and women equally as victims, but folks like Rob Zombie are still baffled as to why women would want to see them. Do you like horror movies? If so, why?

Join The Conversation
staple-salad staple-salad 7 years
I like horror movies that have a moral or make you think, like Saw and Final Destination (they make me think at least), and Silence of the Lambs. I'm not that into straight up slasher films like Halloween (at least Rob Zombie's remake), and movies based on Asian horror films creep me out to no end (I watched The Ring for the first time a few months ago, and I'm still afraid whenever my TV flikers...
Pistil Pistil 7 years
Of course the female character lives. That was my reasoning as to why I would survive the zombie apocalypse. Horror is my favourite genre, with a special fondness for all things zombie and terrible, low budget movies.
Ac2366 Ac2366 7 years
I love horror films. I love monsters, suspense, pyscho killers and blood and guts. The grosser the better. I like when it looks real. I never thought about the fact that there is usually a female character left alive. It never really stuck out to me.
rafaela-losardo rafaela-losardo 7 years
Diablo couldn't choose better words: Girls kick ass!!
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
I watched too many horror films as a teen and now the genre just doesn't really thrill me anymore. I suppose you have to call it quits when you find the SAW series absolutely hilarious, instead of getting nauseous and shakey like some of the people in the theater with me.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 7 years
I love horror films. It's my favorite film genre. I love it as a means to lash out at the world without actually being violent. Wow, I should bring this up to my therapist.
PinkNC PinkNC 7 years
I've always loved my horror films. I think the media wants to present women as scared of horror movies, when a high percentage of women just aren't. They love a good movie horror or not.
efsarbaby efsarbaby 7 years
i used to be totally traumatized by horror films when i was a kid (i had an older brother and he always wanted to watch them), but now it's one of my favorite genres. i think overcoming my childhood fears made me feel stronger and in control.
juicebox07 juicebox07 7 years
I'm a huge horror fan. I've been watching them since I was a little kid, and they've always been my favorite. I just like the suspense and watching people get killed.
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