Ten recommended feature length horror flicks directed by women that you can stream right now. For more horrifying feature films by women, many of which are also streaming, check out our 10 Great Horror Films Directed By Women post from last year. This list is by me (Nicole).
The Love Witch
Assisted by spells, Elaine looks for love with deadly results in this sumptuous stylistic throwback with more modern feminist analysis on its mind.
(Dir. Heidi Moore)
Some bullies just get what’s coming to them, here in the form avenging Benji, a creative kid with a flair for performance and some creepy-ass dolls. Enjoyed the heck out of this when it screened at Ax Wound in 2016 and am thrilled it’s available to stream. Keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming sequel, which is gonna be a rock musical!
(Dir. Ida Lupino)
Ida Lupino was a boss. She made the transition from actor to director back in the 1950s Hollywood studio system, where she had zero female peers who’d done the same. In addition to this classic scary movie, she helmed a few other features and a boat load of TV episodes, including The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
Probably streaming a bunch of places — it’s in the public domain! Legally streaming at YouTube, embedded above.
Blood of the Tribades
(Dir. Sophia Cacciola and Michael Epstein)
70s Euro-style lesbian vampire flick with feminism and religious fundamentalism on its mind. Stunning design and cinematography. Would make a fun throwback double feature with The Love Witch! For more of Cacciola’s work with filmmaking partner Epstein, check out the similarly offbeat identity exploration/slasher Ten and scifi mindbender Magnetic.
(Dir. Karyn Kusama)
Enjoyable teen flick with a killer ending from one of my favorite directors, working off of a Diablo Cody script. I wasn’t nuts this when it first came out–the CG effects weren’t my fave and I wasn’t loving Cody’s writing at the time, but my feelings towards the latter have softened post-Young Adult (LSS: loved it, hated Juno) and the story centering a three dimensional teen girl friendship has aged well. Worth a revisit.
(Dir. Christina Raia)
A buncha teen friends plus a friendly stranger make their way to ye olde isolated cabin in the woods, so you know things are gonna go smoothly. Christina Raia’s feature film debut puts her specific print on the subgenre leading to a fantastically stressful climax.
Slumber Party Massacre
(Dir. Amy Holden Jones)
Rubyfruit Jungle author Rita Mae Brown wrote this gleeful commentary on the slasher genre. A feminist horror classic, now’s a great time to see if if you haven’t yet, or revisit if it’s been awhile.
I’m having trouble finding a high quality stream, but here’s the full movie on YouTube (also embedded above).
Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
(Dir. Rachel Talalay)
Longtime ANOES producer Talalay took the reigns on this under-appreciated entry in the series. Yes, it takes a hard left into comedy, but most of the bits, cameos, and ahead-of-it’s-time meta-commentary are pretty damn fun. The premise is is a welcome switch up, as is much of the production design, and while I wouldn’t say this is one of my top 3 ANOES entries, it’s well worth watching.
(Dir. Anna Rose Holmer)
Some may quibble about whether or not this is “really horror”. I take a big umbrella approach myself, and there are horror elements throughout this tale of an 11 year old struggling to hold her own in a dance troupe whose members suddenly begin suffering from mysterious, violent fits. I don’t want to say much more as the less you know, the better. Great, unique little film that’s both tight and dreamy, with room to breathe. I took notice of Holmer’s feature debut back in 2016 and highly recommend it to the uninitiated.