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The Final Girls UK: Celebrating Women & Horror.

March 16, 2019

Mari Collingwood, Laurie Strode, Sidney Prescott.  The Final Girl has become a well-distinguished trope in Film, customary within the context of horror texts and literature. Alongside the archetype of the more orthodox, Scream Queens, the Final Girl has become an accepted convention which lends itself more notably in the specific vain of the Slasher movie.  The ‘Final Girl Theory’ was originally coined by American film professor Carol J. Clover in her highly-regarded, academic journal ‘Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film’ (1992). From a feminist perspective, Clover explored the complex relationship between genders and challenged traditional assumptions about the culture of movements within the horror genre.

 

Sidney Prescott, Scream (1996) An example of a Final Girl. 

 

The Final Girl convention has since become a celebrated archetype which charts some level of progression in mainstream film. The Final Girls UK are a London-based film collective, who explore the intersections of horror and feminism. Founded by Anna Bogutskaya and Olivia Howe, The Final Girls UK intends on celebrating the work of women in horror and highlighting the achievements of female filmmakers. Back in February, I celebrated the exciting initiative of ‘Women in Horror Month’ with a trip to Stockport Plaza, to find out a little more about the hard-work & dedication of The Final Girls UK.

 

Women in Horror Month started as a grassroots movement, with the aim to raise awareness of the underrepresented work of women in horror. The initiative has since gone international and with the support of organisations like, The Final Girls UK, continues to showcase the best in female driven horror to Global audiences.

 

Back in October, The Final Girls UK introduced a dynamic programme of film shorts, produced by strong, female talent in horror cinema – as part of their ‘WE ARE THE WEIRDOS’ touring, screening. ‘WE ARE THE WEIRDOS’ premiered at the 50th Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival, showcasing ten films from female filmmakers and creative. With a positive response, the event was re-introduced this February with ten more shorts that delve into the ‘the darkest corners of the human experience’ for 'WE ARE THE WEIRDOS 2'. 

 

The Final Girls UK - female film collective, celebrating the intersection between feminism & horror. 

 

The event succeeded in its aim to represent emerging talent. Themes of lust, desire, equality, social pressure, heartache and solitude were expressed through some intelligent and quite disconcerting examples of filmmaking from the UK, USA, Finland, Mexico and South Korea. Rebecca Culverhouse’s, experimental ‘#EATPRETTY’ presented a distorted depiction of consumerism and vanity with the use of expertly crafted cinemagraphs, which, I have to say, have really stayed with me! Mariamo Diallo’s sundance-winning, short ‘Hair Wolf’ parodied the zombie b-movie, sub-genre with testimony to rising concerns surrounding cultural appropriation in the social hemisphere.

 

Mariamo Diallo’s sundance-winning, short ‘Hair Wolf’  (2018)

 

The level of satire in ‘Hair Wolf’ is so attentively and comically prescribed that it had the audience sat up, howling at the cinema screen. Kate Dolan’s ‘Catcalls’ flawlessly bridges the subject of female sexual objectification with sharp execution of horror convention. Arresting visual effects and excellent performances, ensure that the short, flips the familiar fear onto the tormentor in an interesting take on the ‘hunter and hunted’ dialogue. It’s also worth noting, Sofia Carillo’s beautifully macabre, animation ‘Cerulio’ – so haunting.

 

You can find the complete programme of films screened as part of the February ‘WE ARE THE WEIRDOS 2’ event. Take a look at these incredible shorts, which tackle fundamental social and cultural issues with the inclusion of some dark, frightful and downright disturbing cinematography. 

 

Kate Dolan’s ‘Catcalls’ (2017)

 

The 'WE ARE THE WEIRDOS 2' February 2019 programme presented by The Final Girls UK. You can find out more about The Final Girls UK and watch the official trailer for the 'WE ARE THE WEIRDOS 2' TOUR here

 

Full Programme:

 

CATCALLS (Dir. Kate Dolan)

UK

A man cruises around late at night looking for something. He pulls in to ask two young girls for directions - only to flash them to get a cheap thrill. Unfortunately, he has picked the wrong girls. They are also out hunting tonight and they will stop at nothing to get their kill.

 

Hair Wolf (Dir. Mariama Diallo)

USA

 

The staff of a black hair salon fend off a strange new monster: white women intent on sucking the lifeblood from black culture.

 

Puppet Master (Dir. Hanna Bergholm)

Finland

A lonely woman allows a man to transform her into a puppet.

 

Inseyed (Dir. Jessica Hudak)

USA

A girl hears mysterious noises and investigates, but the source isn't an easy answer.

 

The Lady from 406 (Dir. Lee Kyoung)

South Korea

The woman in the upper floor is getting crazy because of the cigarette smoke coming up from the under floor. She finally visits the house below, but the man there says something unexpected.

 

#EATPRETTY (Dir. Rebecca Culverhouse )

UK

Anna is a successful product photographer, striving for a life filled with perfect moments, inspired by a constant stream of social media feeds, sponsored blogs and fairytales playing on her computer.

 

Blood Runs Down (Dir. Zandashé Brown)

USA

When a woman undergoes a frightening transition, her vigilant five year old daughter must decide between saving her or protecting herself in this haunting tale of inheritance, daughterhood, and demons. 

 

Cerulia (Dir. Sofia Carillo)

Mexico

Cerulia returns to her childhood home to find that it is haunted by her memories. 

 

Goodnight (Dir. Diane Michelle)

USA

BILLY is the MAN who LIVES UNDER MY BED.... 

 

 

 

 

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