The Cursed Interior: Women in Horror

“Emotional.” The word refers not to the experience of having emotions, but to being overwhelmed by them, to becoming a vector for their messy, difficult expression. It conjures up images of puffy red eyes, snot oozing over trembling lips, voices twisted by grief into unintelligible squeaking.

It’s also a word used almost exclusively to refer to women. Our culture has a deep aversion to the uglier aspects of women’s inner lives—not just tears and anger, but the things that fester inside us from our girlhoods to our deathbeds. Our deepest resentments, our smothered dreams, our cruelly cultivated hatred for our own bodies.

The outlets through which women can release these impulses are few and far between, and virtually none of them escape the stifling censure of our taboos around feminine transgression. Think of the somber, moralistic “how did this happen?” disgust with which news anchors report on women who drown their toddlers in the bath or poison themselves and their families at the dinner table. There’s no attempt to understand what awful pressures might deform a mind to such a great extent, or how the bedrock institutions of our culture—marriage, parenthood, sex—can be torture for the women expected to participate in them.

The answers lie not in sad-eyed condemnation, but in horror. By plumbing the inner lives of women in horror films and analyzing the ways in which their repressed emotions emerge from their unconscious minds into reality, we can start to understand the shape of their suffering.

Read More – The Cursed Interior: Women in Horror – VRV

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