Horror movies have typically been a male-dominated genre (just like basically every other genre), but female directors are definitely not new to the club. There are a ton of really great female-directed horror flicks, with more and more coming out each year. For example, one of the biggest hits at this year's Cannes (pronounced Cuh-ness) Film Festival was Raw, a film about cannibalism that marks the directorial debut of Julia Ducournau. So, in that vein (blood pun intended, and you're welcome), here are seven cool horror movies directed by women.
1. The Midnight Swim (2014)
First time director Sarah Adina Smith's The Midnight Swim is the eerie story of three half-sisters who come together to honor their late mother at her lake cabin after she's presumed to have drowned (presumed, because her body was never found). But unsettling things start happening around the cabin and the women begin to wonder what really happened to their mother.
2. The Babadook (2014)
At the center of this Australian psychological horror by first-time director Jennifer Kent is a children's pop-up book of mysterious origin that defies destruction and eventually possesses a single mother to try to kill her 6-year-old son.
3. American Psycho (2000)
Directed by Mary Harron and based on the book by the same name (written by prominent misogynist Bret Easton Ellis), American Psycho features an all-star cast and the truly inspired (and amazingly creepy) performance of Christian Bale as an investment banker who may or may not be a serial killer.
4. The Invitation (2016)
Directed by Karyn Kusama (who also directed the Diablo Cody penned Jennifer's Body), The Invitation is the story of a group of old friends who think they're attending a dinner party but come to find out they're actually being recruited by a bizarre cult.
5. In My Skin (2002)
Written, directed by, and starring Marina de Van, In My Skin is a French movie about a woman who sustains a leg injury that quickly leads to an all-consuming obsession with cutting and flesh. It co-stars dashingly handsome Laurent Lucas, who was in Calvaire (The Ordeal), as well as the aforementioned not-yet-released Raw.
6. American Mary (2012)
Directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska, American Mary stars Katharine Isabelle (of Ginger Snaps fame) as a medical student hard up for cash who starts performing body modification surgeries in order to make some money. It also involves a rape revenge scenario that's as horrific as it is emotionally satisfying. So yeah, this one's gory as hell. It's Canadian, but you probably won't need subtitles.
7. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2104)
Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour, this Persian-language, American-made movie has been dubbed "the first Iranian vampire Western." It's the story of a man saddled with a junkie father, who owes money for his father's drugs to a pimp who gets killed by a cloaked woman who turns out to be a vampire. And don't worry, the cat ends up fine.