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27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women

Updated October 8, 2019 2.5k votes 370 voters 12.2k views27 items

List RulesVote up the best women-directed horror films.

Women have directed more than a few genre-defining horror films. And while the Me Too movement has shown how Hollywood marginalizes female-identifying individuals, they contribute greatly to the industry. Indeed, many women directors have created psychological thrillers and gory horror films that win awards and scare viewers senseless.

Some people suggest slasher movies and horror flicks tend to be misogynistic, painting women as passive victims. In truth, the genre can be approached in unique ways, and female directors bring fresh perspectives. Female characters in the horror genre are sometimes more nuanced and interesting. Occasionally, they're even more horrifying. These horror films with female directors explore every type of terror, from body horror to extreme paranoia.

  • 1
    Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    191
    43

    Pet Sematary

    Mary Lambert

    ActorsStephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby, Susan Blommaert, Miko Hughes

    Released1989

    Pet Sematary is a 1989 American horror film adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 2
    American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    189
    46

    American Psycho

    Mary Harron

    ActorsChristian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Josh Lucas, Chloë Sevigny

    Released2000

    Is this one of the best films directed by a woman?

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  • 3
    The Babadook is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    180
    82

    The Babadook

    Jennifer Kent

    ActorsEssie Davis, Daniel Henshall, Adam Morgan, Hayley McElhinney, Craig Behenna

    Released2014

    The Babadook is a 2014 Australian psychological horror film, written and directed by Jennifer... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 4
    Carrie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    126
    74

    Carrie

    Kimberly Peirce

    ActorsJulianne Moore, Chloë Grace Moretz, Judy Greer, Gabriella Wilde, Ansel Elgort

    Released2013

    Carrie is a 2013 American supernatural horror film. It is the third film adaptation of Stephen... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 5
    Near Dark is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    81
    35

    Near Dark

    Kathryn Bigelow

    ActorsBill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Adrian Pasdar, Tim Thomerson, Jenette Goldstein

    Released1987

    Near Dark is a 1987 American vampire Western horror film directed by Kathryn Bigelow and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 6
    Raw is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    83
    42

    Raw

    Julia Ducournau

    ActorsGarance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Laurent Lucas

    Released2016

    Raw is a 2016 French-Belgian horror film directed by Julia Ducournau. When a young vegetarian... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 7
    The Invitation is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    78
    40

    The Invitation

    Karyn Kusama

    ActorsLogan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman, Emayatzy Corinealdi

    The Invitation is a 2015 American horror-thriller film directed by Karyn Kusama. While... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 8
    Buffy The Vampire Slayer is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    84
    55

    Buffy The Vampire Slayer

    Fran Rubel Kuzui

    ActorsBen Affleck, Hilary Swank, Donald Sutherland, Paul Reubens, David Arquette

    Released1992

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a 1992 American action/comedy horror film about a Valley girl... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 9
    Jennifer's Body is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    90
    64

    Jennifer's Body

    Karyn Kusama

    ActorsMegan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Chris Pratt, J.K. Simmons, Amy Sedaris

    Released2009

    Jennifer's Body is a 2009 black comedy horror film written by Diablo Cody and directed by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 10
    Freddy's Dead: The Final Night is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women

    ActorsJohnny Depp, Alice Cooper, Roseanne Barr, Tom Arnold, Robert Englund

    Released1991

    This film is a 1991 American comedy-horror slasher film and the sixth film in the Nightmare on... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 11
    A Girl Walks Home Alone At Nig is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women

    ActorsMarshall Manesh, Mozhan Marnò, Dominic Rains, Rome Shadanloo, Reza Sixo Safai

    Released2014

    A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a 2014 American vampire western film directed by Ana Lily... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 12
    American Mary is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    50
    41

    American Mary

    Soska sisters, Jen Soska

    ActorsKatharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Paul Anthony, David Lovgren, Jen Soska

    Released2012

    American Mary is a 2012 Canadian horror film starring Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 13
    The Slumber Party Massacre is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    39
    37

    ActorsRobin Stille, Michael Villella, Debra Deliso, Michele Michaels, Andree Honore

    Released1982

    The Slumber Party Massacre is a 1982 American slasher film directed by Amy Holden Jones and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 14
    XX is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    32
    32

    XX

    Jovanka Vuckovic, Annie Clark

    ActorsNatalie Brown, Melanie Lynskey, Breeda Wool, Christina Kirk

    Released2017

    XX is a 2017 American anthology horror film directed by Jovanka Vuckovic, Annie Clark, Roxanne... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 15
    The Hitch-Hiker is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    18
    24

    The Hitch-Hiker

    Ida Lupino

    ActorsEdmond O'Brien, Frank Lovejoy, José Torvay, Sam Hayes, Wendell Niles

    Released1953

    Two fishermen pick up a psychotic escaped convict who tells them that he intends to murder... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 16
    Blood Diner is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    18
    24

    Blood Diner

    Jackie Kong

    ActorsCarl Crew

    Released1987

    Blood Diner is a 1987 black comedy horror film, a loose sequel to the 1963 film Blood Feast.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 17
    The Bad Batch is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    19
    29

    The Bad Batch

    Ana Lily Amirpour

    ActorsSuki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Giovanni Ribisi, Keanu Reeves

    Released2016

    The Bad Batch is a 2016 American romantic horror-thriller film directed and written by Ana... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 18
    A Night To Dismember is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    16
    27

    A Night To Dismember

    Doris Wishman

    ActorsSamantha Fox, Miriam Meth, William Szarka, Saul Meth, Chris Smith

    Released1983

    A Night to Dismember is a 1983 horror film written by Judy J. Kushner and directed by Doris... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 19
    Office Killer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    13
    24

    Office Killer

    Cindy Sherman

    ActorsBen Affleck, Molly Ringwald, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Carol Kane, Michael Imperioli

    Released1997

    Office Killer is a comedy-horror film directed by Cindy Sherman. It was released in 1997 and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 20
    Pathogen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    13
    24

    Pathogen

    Emily Hagins

    ActorsTiger Darrow

    Released2006

    Pathogen is a 2006 zombie horror independent film written, directed, and produced by Emily... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 21
    The Love Witch is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    14
    29

    The Love Witch

    Anna Biller

    ActorsElle Evans, Jeffrey Vincent Parise, Kaye L. Morris, Dani Lennon

    Released2016

    The Love Witch is a 2016 American horror comedy film written and directed by Anna Biller. The... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 22
    Ghostwatch is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    10
    24

    Ghostwatch

    Lesley Manning

    ActorsCraig Charles, Michael Parkinson, Sarah Greene

    Released1992

    Ghostwatch is a British reality–horror/mockumentary television movie, first broadcast on BBC1... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 23
    Blood And Donuts is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    10
    24

    ActorsDavid Cronenberg, Louis Ferreira, Fiona Reid, Hadley Kay, Gordon Currie

    Released1995

    Blood and Donuts is a 1995 Canadian horror comedy film directed by Holly Dale, written by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 24
    Trouble Every Day is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    11
    28

    Trouble Every Day

    Claire Denis

    ActorsVincent Gallo, Béatrice Dalle, Tricia Vessey, Aurore Clément, Alex Descas

    Released2001

    Trouble Every Day is a 2001 French erotic horror film directed by Claire Denis and written by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 25
    In My Skin is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women
    9
    25

    In My Skin

    Marina de Van

    ActorsMarina de Van, Laurent Lucas, Dominique Reymond, Léa Drucker, Thibault de Montalembert

    Released2002

    In My Skin is a 2002 New French Extremity film written by, directed by, and starring Marina de... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
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