February is upon us and that means it’s Women in Horror Month!
If the 5pm darkness brings you an eerie atmosphere since you can’t even go out for a pint (or three), and if there’s no more DIY at home for you to do, and all of the banana bread in the world has already been baked… well, then, there’s only one thing to do (and, honestly, I’m slightly judging you if you haven’t spent the whole first and second lockdown doing this anyway) – watch horror films!
Below I’ve gathered a list of films directed by women to ease your choosing process. So, bring on Netflix, Amazon, Shudder and all of the other streaming platforms because here you have 28 horror films to watch, one for each day of the month. Yes, I do realise this list is coming to you a bit late, but the weekend is coming and you can catch up on some films then.
This list will skip over some of the better known and more talked about female-directed films to give space to others. In case you don’t remember them, they are: Raw, The Babadook, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Prevenge, Pet Sematary, The Love Witch, The Invitation, Jennifer’s Body, American Psycho, and Near Dark.
Now, to the list (in order of release):
synopses via google/iMDB
1. Relic (2020)
Directed by Natalie Erika James. Co-written by Natalie Erika James and Christian White. Australia and USA – Rent on Amazon
When family matriarch Edna goes missing, her daughter and granddaughter return home to find her. They discover a haunting presence hanging over the home, which is taking over Edna’s mind.
2. Saint Maud (2020)
Written and directed by Rose Glass. UK – Rent on Amazon
Maud is a reclusive young nurse whose impressionable demeanour causes her to pursue a pious path of Christian devotion after an obscure trauma. Now charged with the hospice care of Amanda, a retired dancer ravaged by cancer, Maud’s fervent faith quickly inspires an obsessive conviction that she must save her ward’s soul from eternal damnation, whatever the cost.
3. Little Joe (2019)
Alice, a single mother, is a dedicated senior plant breeder at a corporation engaged in developing new species. Against company policy, she takes one home as a gift for her teenage son, Joe.
4. Lake of Death (2019)
Written and directed by Nini Bull Robsahm. Norway – Shudder
Together with a group of friends, Liljan returns to the family cabin where his twin brother Bjørn died the year before. They will finally say goodbye and make the cabin ready for sale. But soon strange things begin to happen.
5. Sea Fever (2019)
Written and directed by Neasa Hardiman. Ireland, UK, Sweden and Belgium – Buy on Amazon
Solitary marine-biology student Siobhán endures a week on a ragged fishing trawler, miserably at odds with the close-knit crew. But out in the deep Atlantic, an unfathomable life-form soon ensnares the boat. As members of the crew now succumb to a strange infection, Siobhán must overcome her alienation and win their trust — before everyone is lost.
6. The Devil’s Doorway (2018)
Directed by Aislinn Clarke. Co-written by Martin Brennan, Aislinn Clarke and Michael B. Jackson. Ireland and UK – Rent on Amazon
In 1960s Northern Ireland, Father Thomas Riley and Father John Thornton are dispatched by the Vatican to investigate reports of a miracle, a statue of the Virgin Mary weeping blood, at a remote Catholic asylum for immoral women. Armed with 16mm film cameras to record their findings, the priests instead discover a depraved horror show of sadistic nuns, satanism and demonic possession. Supernatural forces are at work here, but they are not the doing of God.
7. The Nightingale (2018)
Written and directed by Jennifer Kent. Australia – Netflix
Clare, a young Irish convict, chases a British officer through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness and is bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence the man committed against her family. On the way, she enlists the services of Aboriginal tracker Billy, who is marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past.
8. The Ranger (2018)
Directed by Jenn Wexler. Co-written by Giaco Furino and Jenn Wexler. USA – Shudder
After a heist goes wrong in a post-apocalyptic land, four men hide out in a cabin to tend to their injuries. They try to keep their sanity knowing that the legendary Ranger is breathing down their necks.
9. 30 Miles from Nowhere (2018)
Directed by Caitlin Koller. Co-written by Caitlin Koller and Seana Kofoed. USA – Amazon Prime
When five college pals return home for their estranged friend’s funeral, what begins as an uneasy reunion becomes a terrifying fight for survival.
10. The Wind (2018)
Directed by Emma Tammi. Co-written by Emma Tammi and Teresa Sutherland. USA – Shudder
Lizzy is a tough, resourceful frontierswoman settling a remote stretch of land on the 19th-century American frontier. Isolated from civilization in a desolate wilderness where the wind never stops howling, she begins to sense a sinister presence that seems to be borne of the land itself, an overwhelming dread that her husband dismisses as superstition. When a newlywed couple arrive at a nearby homestead, their presence amplifies Lizzy’s fears, setting into motion a shocking chain of events.
11. M.F.A. (2017)
Directed by Natalia Leite. Co-written by Natalia Leite and Leah McKendrick. USA – Amazon Prime
The accidental death of her rapist sets an art student on a course for justice, fuelling the inspiration for her thesis exhibition.
12. Berlin Syndrome (2017)
Directed by Cate Shortland. Co-written Cate Shortland and Shaun Grant. Austria – Rent on Amazon
A disturbed teacher holds a young photographer captive in his Berlin apartment after bringing her home for a night of romance.
13. Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017)
Written and directed by Issa Lopez. Mexico – Shudder
When a girl’s mother disappears leaving her on her own, she joins a gang of street children, leading to a tragic chain of events.
14. Blue My Mind (2017)
Directed by Lisa Brühlmann. Co-written by Lisa Brühlmann and Dominik Locher. Switzerland – Shudder
Mia, a 15-year-old, is facing an overwhelming transformation. Her body is changing radically, and despite desperate attempts to halt the process, she is soon forced to accept that nature is far more powerful than her.
15. Always Shine (2016)
Directed by Sophia Takal. Co-written by Sophia Takal and Lawrence Michael Levine. USA – Rent on Amazon
Anna and Beth, two old friends who are now actresses, decide to go on a weekend trip to Big Sur. As they spend time in the isolated forest, they realise that their relationship has deteriorated.
16. Dearest Sister (2016)
Directed by Mattie Do. Co-written by Mattie Do and Christopher Larsen. Laos, Estonia and France – Shudder
A village girl travels to the Lao capital, Vientiane, to care for her rich cousin who has lost her sight and gained the ability to communicate with the dead.
17. Blood Punch (2015)
Directed by Madellaine Paxon. Written by Eddie Guzelian. USA – Amazon Prime
A young man is lured into a dangerous love triangle that begins to take a series of shocking and grisly supernatural turns.
18. Honeymoon (2014)
Directed by Leigh Janiak. Co-written by Phil Graziadei and Leigh Janiak. USA – Rent on Amazon
A honeymooning bride goes sleepwalking into the woods surrounding a secluded cabin. When she returns she looks the same, but something about her is frighteningly different.
19. The Voices (2014)
Directed by Marjane Satrapi. Co-written by Marjane Satrapi and Michael R. Perry. USA – Rent on Amazon
Jerry, a young man working at the Milton Bathtub Factory, pursues his crush with the help of his talking dog and cat. However, things change when she stands him up on a date.
20. Soulmate (2013)
Written and directed by Axelle Carolyn. UK – Rent on Amazon
Recently widowed, Audrey moves into an isolated Welsh cabin after a failed suicide attempt. As she copes with her husband’s death and her psychosis, she beings hearing strange noises.
21. Truth or Dare (2013)
Directed by Jessica Cameron. Co-written by Jonathan Scott Higgins and Jessica Cameron. USA – Rent on Amazon
Six college kids find internet stardom when they make “Truth or Dare” videos with a violent twist. It is all fun and games until their number one fan decides he wants to play by his own rules.
22. Black Rock (2012)
Three childhood friends set aside their personal issues and reunite for a girls’ weekend on a remote island off the coast of Maine. One wrong move turns their weekend getaway into a deadly fight for survival.
23. Chained (2012)
Written and directed by Jennifer Chambers Lynch. Canada – Buy on Amazon
Held captive by a serial killer since the age of 8, a teen must choose between escape or following in his captor’s bloody footprints.
24. Lurkers (1988)
Directed by Roberta Findlay. Co-written by Ed Kelleher and Harriette Vidal. USA – YouTube
A woman is haunted by flashbacks of her dead mother and visions of dead people floating.
25. Stripped to Kill (1987)
Directed by Katt Shea. Co-written by Katt Shea and Andy Ruben. USA – Amazon Prime
When Detective Cody Sheehan discovers the body of a stripper from the Rock Bottom dance club, she wants the case. Her partner, Detective Heineman, is equally anxious to make the jump to the prestigious homicide division, but the only way Cody can get the assignment is to go undercover – uncovered – at the club.
26. The Ladies Club (1986)
Directed by Janet Greek. Co-written by Fran Lewis Ebeling and Paul Mason. USA – YouTube
A raped policewoman forms a vigilante group of various rape victims. They abduct and castrate men whom have committed repeated violations of women, and got away with it through legal technicalities.
27. The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)
Directed by Amy Holden Jones. Written by Rita Mae Brown. USA – Amazon Prime
A female high school student’s slumber party turns into a bloodbath, as a newly escaped psychotic serial killer wielding a power drill prowls her neighborhood.
28. The Hitch-Hiker (1953)
Directed by Ida Lupino. Co-written by Collier Young and Ida Lupino. USA – Amazon Prime
Two fishermen pick up a psychotic escaped convict who tells them that he intends to murder them when the ride is over.
Here’s a bonus list of some films for us to keep an eye on, as they are soon to be released:
- Candyman – directed by Nia DaCosta
- Promising Young Woman – directed by Emerald Fennell
- Mother Nature – directed by Jamie Lee Curtis
- Our Lady of Tears and Werewolf Western – both directed by Issa Lopez
- Censor – directed by Prano Bailey-Bond
- The Manor – directed by Axelle Carolyn
- Titane – directed by Julia Ducournau
- The Stylist – directed by Jill Gevargizian
Want to join one of the fastest-growing horror communities in the UK for FREE? Now you can. Click here to become a member of The London Horror Society.
Also, if you’re looking for some free entertainment in these testing times, then check out our list of free-to-watch horror films on our YouTube channel, London Horror Society TV.