Women in Horror Month opens a dialogue about the inequality in the horror genre. Understanding the gender gap behind the scenes of our favorite films is important. A 2014 study found that among the top grossing films, only 7% were directed by women.
That means only 1 in 14.28 films is directed by a woman. Although women are better represented as producers at 23%, writers fell in at 11%, and cinematographers at 5%. The divide is huge. However, the horror genre is lucky enough to have many brilliant women actively making films and pushing to close the gender gap. Here is an extensive list of women filmmakers in horror to keep an eye out for in 2015.
Jen and Sylvia Soska are the greatest sister act to hit the horror genre. The Soskas have made incredible, award-winning films like American Mary, Dead Hooker in A Trunk, and See No Evil 2. They were also involved with ABCs of Death 2. The Soskas own a production company called Twisted Twins Productions and are actively involved with Women in Horror Month every year. The Soskas also directed a segment for the all female horror anthology, XX.
Jessica Cameron (interview) is a jack of all trades in the horror world. Cameron has years of scream queen experience under her belt and a handful of films in development, all of which she is producing, directing, or acting in. Her multi-award-winning directorial debut, Truth or Dare, is set for distribution this year. She’s currently finishing her sophomore feature film, Mania, as well as Kill the PA, a documentary about the experience of filming Mania and Desolation.
Jovanka Vuckovic has become a household name in horror. With six years of experience as editor-in-chief at Rue Morgue, she has become an expert on the genre. She’s directed multiple short films, including the critically acclaimed, award-winning The Captured Bird, which was produced by Guillermo del Toro. Currently she is directing a full length adaptation of Clive Barker’s Jacqueline Ess. Vuckovic also directed a segment for XX.
Writer-director Karyn Kusama broke into the horror genre with the 2009 horror-comedy Jennifer’s Body. Kusama is known for writing complex, emotionally and physically strong female characters. Her thriller The Invitation is set for release this year, and she is also involved with XX.
First-time feature film director Jennifer Kent wrote one of our favorite 2014 films, The Babadook. Kent began her career as an actress and has been writing and developing film projects since, including award-winning short films and three other feature films which are still in development.
Director Patricia Chica is known for making bold, edgy, and visually striking independent films. Her segment from the WiHM Massive Blood Drive PSA is being developed into a longer short entitled A Tricky Treat. Chica’s short films Ceramic Tango and Day Before Yesterday have won multiple awards, and she is currently developing her first full length film.
Gigi Saul Guerrero is an active short film director, specializing in the horror genre with grindhouse-inspired films revolving around Latino culture. Guerrero is currently involved with Mexico Barbaro, a horror anthology based on Mexican culture and folklore. She is also the co-owner of LuchaGore productions.
Karen Lam has many award-winning writing, producing, and directing credits within the horror genre. Lam recently released her second full length feature, Evangeline, and is working on the anthology Thomas Tessier’s World of Hurt.
Jill Sixx is a new name in the horror genre. Her directorial debut, Callgirl, was released last year; and her second short film, The Stylist, is being filmed now. Sixx was also an assistant director alongside the Soskas on a segment for ABCs of Death 2.
Writer-director Izzy Lee is another new addition to the horror genre, but she’s entering with a bang. Her resume boasts five short films in the last three years, including Picket and Legitimate with Postpartum to be released this year.
Feminist activist Maude Michaud is an active member of the Women in Horror Movement. In addition to studying gender and horror, Michaud has directed many short films. Her award-winning debut full length feature, Dys-, is traveling festivals now.
Director Chelsey Burdon created a production company, Final Grrrl Productions, as an outlet to produce horror films and empower other women to do the same. Her directorial debut, She, is still touring festivals; and her horror-comedy short Dead Bitch is currently in pre-production.