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Shudder’s Vengeance is Hers Collection Perfect for Women in Horror

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Shudder's Vengeance is Hers Collection Perfect for Women in Horror

Shudder, AMC’s horror streaming service, has curated a collection ideal for the month February, which is, of course — Women in Horror. Vengeance Is Hers is a selection of horror films that display female power at its utmost.

The collection is an international pick of obscure and infamous female-driven films ranging from witches, nunsploitation, women in prison, and the always troubling rape and revenge sub-genre that was way too popular in the ’70’s.

  • Revenge – 2017
  • Cold Hell – 2017
  • Wolf Creek – 2016
  • Prevenge – 2016
  • Alena – 2016
  • The Corpse of Anna Fritz – 2015
  • Mother – 2010
  • Chocolate – 2009
  • Lady Vengeance – 2005
  • Wolves In The Snow – 2002
  • Ms. 45 – 1981
  • The Demons – 1973
  • The Demoniacs – 1974
  • Female Prisoner Scorpion: #701’s Grudge Song – 1972
  • Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable – 1973
  • Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 – 1972
  • Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion – 1973

Vengeance Is Hers is a collection that focuses on what terrifies most women: walking home alone, taking trains or buses late at night, entering a new school, losing one’s mother, losing a best friend, having a baby, and of course, betrayal.

Some of the films were disturbing since they show women being victimized by both male and female attackers. But the women overcome their victimization with patience, skill, treachery, and in some cases, pure homicidal rage — the mute shooter in Ms. 45 is not to be trifled with, no.

Lady Vengeance and Alena have scenes that were difficult to watch, though they were clearly written to tell the character’s story effectively. The attempted assault in Alena was unexpected since it takes place at a Swedish boarding school. Bullying is insidious; the blonde bully, sporting a ponytail wrapped with a red bow (shout out to Heathers), orchestrates a sexual attack in the showers to terrify Alena. But Alena eventually teaches her tormentor a dark, sad lesson.

The Demons and The Demoniacs are 70’s grindhouse exploitation garbage — both films require a vomit bag. The Demons features women being tortured, over and over again. Yes, men are tortured as well, but the camera seems to linger on the two young witches in the nunsploitation film, alternatively titled The Sex Demons

The Spanish film, The Corpse of Anna Fritz, is a creatively terrifying screenplay about three men engaging with a female corpse. It’s a horror story based on what may have happened to corpses in less civilized times. According to Herodotus, ancient Egyptian families wouldn’t give up the deceased bodies of daughters or wives, until a certain time had passed, so that the corpses would go unmolested. That’s human history for you, darker than fiction.

Some films laugh at the horror — Prevenge is a tour-de-force, comedy slasher film written and directed by Alice Lowe in 2016, who also stars in the lead role. The film has super funny moments such as when her clearly pregnant character flirts with an entitled nitwit in an evening that ultimately ends in murder. 

The women in prison horror films selected for the collection are super creepy for the Female Prisoner Scorpion films and Lady Vengeance depict just how cruel prison can be for a woman. And yet, some women can overcome desperate odds by becoming sociopathic, fighting monsters turns one into a monster, pretty quickly, it seems. 

New Horror is creating storylines where women are no longer assaulted in order to have an ‘interesting’ backstory. 2017’s Revenge blew the rape and revenge trope out of its dated chokehold. The action-horror film written and directed by Coralie Fargeat, reinvented the genre overnight, with its bold take on vengeance, perhaps because it’s written and directed by a woman, the story is told from a woman’s perspective — that’s all the difference in the world.

February is a time to celebrate women in a genre that has overlooked both women, POC, and LGBTQ. Shudder’s collection features women in horror as: heroes, antiheroes, villains, hunters, murderers, assaulters, maniacs, butchers, and monsters — instead of just girlfriends, wives and victims. In this lot  — Vengeance is Hers.

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