Whenever someone tells you they’d like to talk about women making horror movies, but there just aren’t any of them out there, prepare yourself with some ammunition then kindly tell them how full of shit they are (again, tell them in a kind, gentle and supportive way). In the past we’ve sung the praises of Jen & Sylvia Soska (Dead Hooker in a Trunk), Maude Michaud (Bloody Breasts, Red), Lis Fies (The Commune), Barbara Stepansky (Fugue) and Devi Snively (Death in Charge) among others. Well in celebration of my twenty month old learning to count to four, here’s another round of talented women to add to your list:
Julie Ufema Ms. Ufema’s directorial debut Caveat is a nifty little thriller about a five sisters reunited for their father’s funeral. The film’s strength lies in the cast’s ability to go at one another’s jugular and its clear Ufema encouraged her talent to hold nothing back when it came to spilling out year’s worth of back story and hurts onto the screen. While Caveat falls more into thriller rather than horror territory, the mean spirited, anti-sisterhood inspired exchanges between the women makes for some uncomfortable, squirm inducing moments. Her follow up, Pointless , reunites much of the same cast, and looks to blend hard-boiled noir with science fiction. The film is currently in post-production. Boston area folks can check out Caveat at the Stiletto Film Fest Saturday February 25th.
Ashleigh Nicols After serving a variety of roles on various film and television crews Ms. Nicols stepped behind the camera for her hilarious short Summer of the Zombies. The film managed to skewer hipster culture and tweak the expectations of your typical zom-com fare while providing a little romance all in fewer than fifteen minutes. Nicols is one of the first people in a long while to not take at face value that all zombies subsist on a diet of brains and the film gets high marks for originality-something lacking in most zombie flicks.
Karen Lam While I’ve yet to see Ms. Lam’s feature film Stained, the strength of her short Doll Parts warrants inclusion on this list. While there’s been a number of good short films centered on women turning the table on a stalker/serial killer; most play for laughs rather than scares. Doll Parts ratchets up the supernatural factor and Ms. Lam does terrific work handling the special effects involved with bringing a doll woman back to unlife as it were. It’s one that will get under your skin and stay there long after the credits roll.
Elise Robertson As Chris pointed out in his review; the skilled hand of Robertson gave Donner Pass a boost above otherwise standard slasher fare. When the script called for a second carload of victims that could have been labeled “Douche Bag Victims Nos. four through eight” it could have been high time to click the “off” button. However, Robertson showed she understands the genre she had not worked in prior, kicking things off with a gangbusters flashback sequence depicting the gruesome events of the Donner Party and a fantastic hot tub sequence where our killer comes rushing into frame from far off in the background. Touches like this lifted the film above standard direct to video fare and makes me wonder what she can do with an A level script.
As talented as these ladies are, they represent a small number of the many kick ass ladies working to bring horror into your local theater and home. do yourself a favor and check out their work pronto.