Photo Courtesy of SpectreVision
Fresh off the cult hit Mandy, Nicolas Cages gives another show-stopping performance in Color Out of Space, director Richard Stanley’s take on the cosmic horror story by H.P. Lovecraft. The adaptation not only has arresting visuals that warrant seeing the film in a darkened theater, but its numerous references to poisoned water and ancient forests make it extremely relevant in an era where every scientific report forebodes a grim future if environmental destruction is not reversed. The dread that is so apparent in much of Lovecraft’s work is evident in the film, but when juxtaposed with the feeling that the world is teetering on the edge of catastrophic environmental changes, Color Out of Space takes on a new meaning.
A common complaint about the horror genre is that it sometimes depicts violence towards women or perpetuates negative stereotypes. This criticism was especially lobbed at the slasher genre, most notably through Siskel and Ebert’s 1980 take on I Spit on Your Grave and various slasher films. Dubbed “Women in Danger,” their commentary said that the 1970s wave of horror films gleefully terrorized women on screen, while the audience cheered. Their thoughts are still debated today, but as we begin a new decade, there are plenty of women making brilliant horror films and thus diversifying the genre. Furthermore, February is now Women in Horror Month. In honor of that, here is a list of 10 contemporary horror films directed by women.