Some of the fondest memories of my misspent youth were the hours I wasted watching bad '80s horror with my girlfriends. Sure, as we aged they became drinking games, but I digress. In spite of growing up as a proud little feminist (think Lisa Simpson with a lower grade point average), I learned to accept the sad truth that a girl's role in horror is usually as cannon fodder -- unless you look very closely. Listed below are some horror flicks that not only give us gals something to do other than scream and occasionally take a shower, but have given me that much-needed boost of 'bad-ass' that all girls could use from time to time.

1) High Tension / Haute Tension
Alexandre Aja's High Tension usually goes to the top of the list for a feminist horror critique. Some critics have been insulted by the film's seeming judgements on sexuality and gender, while others have praised it for attempting to breathe new life into the 'Chainsaw Massacre' formula. It all starts with college friends Marie (Cécile de France) and Alex (Maïwenn Le Besco) heading out for a weekend in the country. But, when a serial killer comes knocking it becomes a fight to the death for Marie to not only keep herself alive, but save her friend. Regardless of what you might think of Tension's twist ending (and I won't spoil it here), you can't deny that this flick has a lot to say about love, sex, and violence. But even if gender wars aren't your thing, there is still plenty to recommend in this story of two women being stalked by a vicious killer -- there is just something about a gal wielding a concrete saw, isn't there?

categories Cinematical