11 Feminist Slasher Films On Netflix

For the most part, the term "feminist slasher film" seems like an oxymoron. Slasher films (and, let's face it, horror films in general, aren't known for being particularly feminist, or good for women in general. Slasher films, typically horror films involving a murderer picking off a group one by one (traditionally with a knife, hence the "slasher" name), rarely feature female antagonists, but that's not why feminist slasher films are rare. Feminist slasher films are rare because these kinds of films are best known for having the "final girl" element. That said, there are some pretty female-positive horror movies out there, and these 11 feminist slasher films on Netflix are just a handful.

Feminist slasher films buck traditions of the slasher film in many ways, but the easiest way to detect a feminist-leaning slasher film is if the evil villain is a woman, or if the final girl stereotype is challenged. The final girl is traditionally the last girl alive at the end of a slasher flick. She's typically the most innocent member of the group being preyed upon, surviving on the sacrifices of men around her and the sheer volume of her screams. She's also traditionally a virgin, perpetuating the idea being that only a virginal female is worthy of surviving. These 11 feminist slasher films play with the idea of the final girl, turning it on its head and creating some strong female characters in the horror genre.

1. Hush

OK, arguably, this movie does feature the final girl, but in fairness, this claustrophobic horror movie is a cat and mouse game featuring only one aggressor and one (female) victim, so.

2. Final Girl

The most obvious deconstruction of the final girl myth, Final Girl takes advantage of the stereotype and turns the final girl into the biggest threat of all.

3. The Lazarus Effect

Part slasher film, part supernatural horror, The Lazarus Effect is feminist in that it actually presents well-rounded female characters, not just women prancing around in their underwear.

4. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

This Iranian film from director Ana Lily Amirpour is probably one of the most feminist horror movie made in recent history. It's also terrifying.

5. Bound to Vengeance

Another movie that puts a twist on the final girl, making her the hero of the whole film.

6. We Are What We Are

We Are What We Are is more of a psychological horror/thriller than slasher flick, but the story of sisters forced to confront their family's cannibalistic tendencies is disturbing enough without any real slashing.

7. Lizzie Borden Took An Ax

For when you want to watch a woman do the slashing for once.

8. The Keeping Room

The Keeping Room is another movie on the list that isn't exactly a slasher film. It's a bit more of a cat and mouse thriller, though the confined threat (men attack three women living alone in an old house), and the nature of the scares echoes those of slasher films.

9. Big Sky

Big Sky takes over the other slasher film tradition: a girl being hunted down in the middle of a deserted area. Still, said girl is pretty badass, so, it's OK.

10. American Mary

American Mary imagines what creates a slasher with a deeply disturbing tale about a woman who gives up her dreams of being a surgeon and finds a career in the underground world of body modification, soon finding herself addicted to the practice.

11. Kristy

In Kristy, the final girl isn't going down without a fight, and, based on the trailer, it looks like she does more than her fair share of taking down the bad guys without any help from men.

Slasher films or not, the horror genre is certainly moving towards more feminist productions, something our Netflix accounts are more than happy to see.

Images: Cinedigm