Graveyard Shift

27 Horror Films You Had No Idea Were Directed By Women 

Lowe Saddler
2.1k votes 356 voters 11.7k views 27 items

List Rules Vote 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.

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Mary Harron

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

American Psycho is a 2000 American neo-noir satirical psychological horror film directed by Mary Harron, based on the 1991 novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Wealthy New York City investment banking ...more

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Mary Lambert
Pet Sematary is a 1989 American horror film adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name. Directed by Mary Lambert and written by King. Andrew Hubatsek was cast for Zelda's role. Author ...more

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Jennifer Kent
The Babadook is a 2014 Australian psychological horror film, written and directed by Jennifer Kent, in which a woman and her son are tormented by a "boogie-man" type monster. The film ...more

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Kathryn Bigelow
Near Dark is a 1987 American vampire Western horror film directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by her and Eric Red. The story follows a young man in a small midwestern town who becomes ...more

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Julia Ducournau
Raw is a 2016 French-Belgian horror film directed by Julia Ducournau. When a young vegetarian named Justine (Garance Marillier) undergoes a carnivorous hazing ritual at vet school, an unbidden ...more

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Karyn Kusama
The Invitation is a 2015 American horror-thriller film directed by Karyn Kusama. While attending a dinner party at his former home, a man (Logan Marshall-Green) thinks his ex-wife (Tammy ...more

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Kimberly Peirce
Carrie is a 2013 American supernatural horror film. It is the third film adaptation of Stephen King's 1974 novel of the same name, though Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Screen Gems, who produced the ...more

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Fran Rubel Kuzui
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a 1992 American action/comedy horror film about a Valley girl cheerleader named Buffy who learns that it is her fate to hunt vampires. The film starred Kristy ...more

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Rachel Talalay
This film is a 1991 American comedy-horror slasher film and the sixth film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. As the title suggests, it was intended to be the last film in the series and it ...more

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Karyn Kusama
Jennifer's Body is a 2009 black comedy horror film written by Diablo Cody and directed by Karyn Kusama. The film stars Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons, and Adam Brody. Fox portrays a ...more

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Ana Lily Amirpour
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a 2014 American vampire western film directed by Ana Lily Amirpour. Arash (Arash Marandi) is caring for his addict father and being harrassed by a drug dealer ...more
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Soska sisters, Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska
American Mary is a 2012 Canadian horror film starring Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, and Tristan Risk and written and directed by the Soska Sisters. Isabelle plays a medical student desperate ...more

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Amy Holden Jones
The Slumber Party Massacre is a 1982 American slasher film directed by Amy Holden Jones and written by Rita Mae Brown. In the film, an 18-year old is left alone by her parents and plans on ...more
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Jovanka Vuckovic, Annie Clark, Roxanne Benjamin
XX is a 2017 American anthology horror film directed by Jovanka Vuckovic, Annie Clark, Roxanne Benjamin and Karyn Kusama. The anthology features four short horror films that are directed and ...more
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Jackie Kong
Blood Diner is a 1987 black comedy horror film, a loose sequel to the 1963 film Blood Feast. The movie was written by Michael Sonye and directed by Jackie Kong.
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Ida Lupino
Two fishermen pick up a psychotic escaped convict who tells them that he intends to murder them when the ride is over.
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A Night To Dismember
Doris Wishman
A Night to Dismember is a 1983 horror film written by Judy J. Kushner and directed by Doris Wishman.
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Ana Lily Amirpour
The Bad Batch is a 2016 American romantic horror-thriller film directed and written by Ana Lily Amirpour. It is a dystopian love story in a Texas wasteland and set in a community of cannibals.

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Cindy Sherman
Office Killer is a comedy-horror film directed by Cindy Sherman. It was released in 1997 and stars Carol Kane, Molly Ringwald and David Thornton.
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Emily Hagins
Pathogen is a 2006 zombie horror independent film written, directed, and produced by Emily Hagins, who was twelve at the time of the film's production. The film was released on March 25, 2006 ...more
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Lesley Manning
Ghostwatch is a British reality–horror/mockumentary television movie, first broadcast on BBC1 on 31 October, 1992. Despite having been recorded weeks in advance, the narrative was presented as ...more

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Holly Dale
Blood and Donuts is a 1995 Canadian horror comedy film directed by Holly Dale, written by Andrew Rai Berzins, and starring Gordon Currie and Helene Clarkson. David Cronenberg plays a cameo role ...more
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Claire Denis
Trouble Every Day is a 2001 French erotic horror film directed by Claire Denis and written by Denis and Jean-Pol Fargeau. It stars Vincent Gallo, Tricia Vessey, Béatrice Dalle and Alex ...more
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Anna Biller
The Love Witch is a 2016 American horror comedy film written and directed by Anna Biller. The film is about a modern-day witch (Samantha Robinson) who uses spells and magic to get men to fall in ...more

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Marina de Van
In My Skin is a 2002 New French Extremity film written by, directed by, and starring Marina de Van. It details the downward mental spiral of Esther, a woman who engages in increasingly ...more