Sunday, February 12, 2012

THE ABC's OF WOMEN IN HORROR: H IS FOR...


To celebrate Women In Horror Recognition month, Day of the Woman is celebrating by compiling the ABC's of women in horror.  
TODAY'S PROGRAM IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE LETTER: H
Heidi Honeycutt (The artist formally known as Martinuzzi) is quite possibly the go-to woman in horror.  An actress, film journalist, new media journalist/consultant, web designer, editor, screenwriter, director, film festival director, webmaster, and staunch feminist, Heidi Honeycutt is one of the most pivotal women dealing with the horror genre today. In 2004 she created the website Pretty/Scary, the first horror website devoted to women, now known as PlanetFury.com and continues to write about women directors of genre films. Her news website PlanetEtheria.com is all about women directors of horror, science fiction, and fantasy films. Heidi  is the co-director of the Viscera Film Festival  the first women’s-only genre film festival in the world, and she’s also the director of the Etheria Film Festival, which shows only science fiction and fantasy directed by women.  To put it simply, Heidi Honeycutt is an inspiration, and a beacon of hope for women in horror everywhere.

Alexandre Aje's Haute Tension is a film that has many horror fans and feminists alike in a state of peril trying to determine just how to classify this film.  Although I personally do not believe it to be a feminist film, there are those that believe it is, and for that, I will give it notice.  The two major characters this story are female (with some major lesbian undertones) and seem to be struggling to escape the terror of an unknown man.  While the twist ending seems to be what prevents this from being a feminist film, it is still about and driven by strong women struggling to overcome turmoil both mentally and physically without the help of a male.  

She has evolved from a running scared little girl, to debonaire Scream Queen. It takes some mad skills, a wicked scream, and of course a sexy look to transcend in the film industry, and this one has done it with flying colors. She's of course, the one and only Danielle Harris.  The undisputed sweetheart of the horror genre, Danielle Harris has been acting within the genre for a majority of her existence.  Her character "Jamie Lloyd" in Halloween 4 & 5 was able to win over the hearts of fans everywhere and was adorable enough to get ol' Uncle Mike to even remove his mask for her.  She took some time doing other films which most have become cult-hits and even got to be in a Disney Channel flick with a very very young Katherine Heigel. She made her return to the genre that made her famous by playing a seemingly bit part but a very memorable part in Urban Legend. She had some reoccurring roles on the show Charmed but she recently got back into her horror roots...literally. Rob Zombie cast Danielle to play Annie Brackett in his Halloween remake as well as the sequel H2. Quickly following, Adam Green scooped her up for his Hatchet films just to add to her impressive resume of horror credits.


Ti West's smash-hit House of the Devil is in no way a feminist film, but I feel that the main character is crucial in the way women should be represented in horror films.  Samantha Hughes is your everyday girl just trying to scrap up some extra dough in order to achieve her independence and live on her own.  She looks like the girl next door and behaves like a normal college student.  This BLOWS MY MIND considering horror films of the new millennium fail to believe that female roles cannot be played by anyone that doesn't resemble a super model or act like the girl every guy wished he could get in high school. A majority of the film showcases Samantha alone without any other interaction, and she behaved the way any actual young 20 something would. Samantha Hughes is one of the most authentic female characters in a horror film of the last ten years and I commend Ti West for creating a film with a front woman that can actually be liked.  She is strong, quirky, intelligent, independent, has a strong sense of sisterhood, but more importantly...she's real. 

Heather Langenkamp was just a bit player in The Outsiders until Wes Craven made her Nancy Thompson, the teen heroine of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Nancy Thompson isn't just a character, she's an icon; and Heather Langenkamp gave us a performance (whether it was Oscar worthy has nothing to do with it) that we won't ever be able to forget.  Not only was Nancy (in my opinion) the strongest of the final girls, but Heather Langenkamp is an actress that never forgot where she came from.  Years after putting away her shield against the razored gloves, she returned to her roots by serving as not only the executive producer and an actress, but also the narrator of the incredible documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy.  Langenkamp and her husband, David Leroy Anderson, own and operate AFX Studio, a Special F/X Make-Up firm that is credited with the special make-up for such films as Dawn of the Dead, Dragonfly, Frost/Nixon, and Angels & Demons.  As of right now, Heather Langenkamp  directed an autobiographical documentary about her career as Freddy's favorite teenager titled I Am Nancy.



Obviously, there are PLENTY of women and films that have yet to be uncovered, but who knows...maybe they'll make an appearance under another letter.  Stay tuned to Day of the Woman for a continuation of this series and
for plenty of Women in Horror Recognition Month updates. 

1 comment(s):

a famous historian said...

Wow, sterling installment. This is an amazing series anyway, but as a fan of The House of the Devil, A Nightmare on Elm Street and the Halloween series I appreciated this entry.

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