Recalling Carol Clover's Her body, himself: Gender in the Slasher Film, there is typically an androgynous final girl in horror films - such as Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween - who survives the movie. The girls who are more sexual on the other hand, are brutally killed. So on some level, it's as if the women are punished for being sexual. Furthermore, the POV is male, and the weapons (i.e. knives and chainsaws) are phallic.

I assume there are some feminist horror films out there that actively defy this theme, but I haven't found them. Do all horror films follow this style?

  • I hope you don't mind - I've edited the last paragraph of your question, as previously it was asking for a list, which would be off-topic on this site. Jul 31, 2014 at 6:29
  • Excellent question! But, just to clarify - are you asking about the horror genre in general, or specificaly the horror-sub-genre: "slasher" films?
    – Ben Plont
    Aug 12, 2014 at 20:10
  • 1
    The Cabin in the Woods actively engages as a meta-content essay in response to the cliches Clover mentions, the ending bucks the standard theme, but I wouldn't call it feminist. But I would say that it is critical of the standard style. bechdeltest.com/view/3181/the_cabin_in_the_woods
    – Ben Plont
    Aug 12, 2014 at 20:20
  • One last question, are you looking for only English language films? Or Foreign language as well...
    – Ben Plont
    Aug 12, 2014 at 20:36
  • Horror genre in general, and open to foreign languages (although I am highly unlikely to have heard of the movie, but happy to have the most thorough answer as possible).
    – sassie
    Aug 14, 2014 at 15:27

2 Answers 2


Buffy was conceptualized by Joss Whedon specifically as a twist to this trope albeit in a simpler way.

There are two ways to view this trope. The first is that in a group one of the first to die is the most attractive girl and one of the last to die is the least attractive girl*. The second perspective is that one of the first to die is the first girl to get separated by the group.

Buffy is a counter to the second interpertation: the girl who winds up walking alone in the dark ends up killing the monsters and actually turns out to be the main "hero".

Additional answer:

Now that I think about it, it would also be accurate to consider Buffy as a counter to this trope in general. In the series, Buffy is depicted as the most sexual member of her group. At least initially.

*note: I used the description "attractive" rather than "sexual" because not all horror films that follow this trope portray the girl as more sexually active that the others in the group. However, she tends to be one of the more attractive member of the group.

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    Great answer. Buffy also defies this trope in the first scene of the show, in which a pretty girl and suspicious looking guy are breaking into a building to make out, before the girl turns out to be the vampire and kills the guy. Aug 23, 2014 at 22:23

There have been plenty of horror movies where a man survives (both versions of Dawn Of The Dead and the Riddick trilogy instantly come to mind), but the only 2 "slasher" movies I can think of are Halloween: Resurection and A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.

  • Could the downvoter please explain the downvote? Aug 17, 2014 at 17:23
  • Not the downvoter, but I'd assume its because this answer is incredibly brief and doesn't directly address the question at all. The question was oriented around perceived chauvinism, not the Final Girl trope which you seem to have focused on a little more. Aug 18, 2014 at 9:00
  • I think I answered this sometime before or just after the question was edited, although I did confirm that there are, in fact, exceptions to the rule as the edited question became "Do all horror films follow this style". I pointed out a few that don't, which implicitly answers the question. Aug 18, 2014 at 12:32

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