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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Do women and horror movies mix?

"Do women and horror movies mix? Are women excited by being scared to death and watching the bodies pile up? ...

... Psychologists have long believed that our attraction to horror films is that they allow us to explore and experiment with fears and emotions, but there are suggestions that women respond to fear in a way that men don't. "Fear can facilitate sexual responsiveness in women, whereas it inhibits it in men," says Dr Glenn Wilson, a psychologist at King's College London. Isn't that a little close to the myth that women have rape fantasies? "No," he says. "It has to be in a safe, controlled environment, so watching a horror film is a good example. I'm not saying this is the only reason for watching. Horror films, for men and women, are about learning to cope with emotions that would threaten to overwhelm us if they happened in reality." I ask Sarah if The Hills Have Eyes 2 turned her on. She laughs. "No, it was a mixture of boredom and feeling a bit sick. Which isn't sexy." ...

... What I hear again and again is that there just aren't enough female directors in any genre, but especially in horror. One effort to change this has come from the low-budget film studio Warp X, which is running Darklight, an initiative to encourage female horror directors. Ten were chosen and they have been taking part in workshops; at least two of the films to come out of it will be made. "We are focusing on horror because the genre is becoming more popular," says Caroline Cooper Charles, head of creative development. "Horror is a very well-trodden genre with clear tropes and it could do with an injection of something different, something new to make it more exciting. The idea of bringing a female perspective, to see whether those women will come up with anything different, was really interesting." ... "

'Everything but the ghoul', article in Guardian Unlimited Film Features. (via del.icio.us/thgroh)