A Bloodcurdling Bouquet of Nine of the best Female-Directed Horror Films

Aly Rhodes
11 min readJun 27, 2021

by Alyson Faye Rhodes (Aly Rhodes)

According to The Guardian newspaper article (2018) of the 1100 films surveyed in the last 11 years, only 4% were directed by women. So that’s 22 male directors hired for every woman. Of those female directors typically they had shorter careers than those of their male counterparts with over 80% never asked back to direct a second film.

So it’s tough being a woman in the film making business, therefore it’s perhaps surprising how many horror films in the last decade or so have been directed by women, and not obscure ones or arty ones but mainstream hits that millions have watched and streamed, like Netflix’s Bird Box (2018).

I have picked nine of the best and all are ones I’ve watched. Therefore they are accessible via DVD, streaming or wide cinema release.

If asked to name one female director I suspect most film fans could come up with just one name :- Kathryn Bigelow- who won best director Oscar in 2009 for the massive hit The Hurt Locker (2008).

And it is Bigelow (rather the exception to the rule) with her lengthy and hit-filled directing career that I shall begin with. In 1987 (and it’s only her third credit) Bigelow directed and co-wrote the now cult neo-western vampire film, Near Dark, starring a trio of actors straight off her then- husband James Cameron’s Aliens; Lance Henriksen Bill Paxton, who is memorable in this film and Jenette Goldstein (Private Valdez- remember her?)

Unusually Near Dark tells the story from the point of view of the bitten human, a farm hand, Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) and how he changes gradually into a vampire, falls in love and has to fit into a new friendship group of — biker vampire nomads.

Though at the time the film performed poorly at the box office (being overshadowed by The Lost Boys) it has gained traction since and a following.

Bigelow had at first wanted to direct a western, but with the funding not forthcoming she was advised to combine the western idea with a more popular genre- i.e. horror and vampires.

Near Dark is available to buy on DVD from Amazon at very cheap prices. It’s definitely a fun shivery watch. It is also available to be streamed through Prime Video

My rating 7/10

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