Finals Week: The Rise of Women in Horror Fandom and Film

By James Morgart

“There is no pleasure. There is no pain. There is only skin.” - Pinhead, Hellraiser III

“Women tend to be more tolerant about visceral things because they have more direct personal experience with them. They cope with periods once a month, they go through childbirth and they are usually the ones who look after the bleeding and battered limbs when the kids take a tumble. They can put blood and gore in context and generally cope better than men.” - Bela Lugosi

Most scholarship on the horror film has assumed that males are the primary spectators of horror; however, there have been developments, both in scholarship as well as in mainstream media, to contradict this point. In 2009, journalist Michelle Orange pointed out, in an article written for the New York Times, “Recent box office receipts show that women have an even bigger appetite for these [horror] films than men.
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