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A Damned Take on Women in Horror Films
The Guy’s Point of View!

In honor of Women in Horror Month 2017, I asked six male horror writers for their top-five favorite horror films staring strong leading ladies and why they loved them so much. Over the next 28 days, I’ll be sharing one film and one opinion per day. So, without further ado…

Day 01 – Dan Dillard:

The Babadook
Leading Lady: Essie Davis



A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.

Dan’s opinion:

“Essie Davis owned The Babadook. She showed such range in that film it’s impossible to catch it all in one viewing. Putting the film aside, and even if you are one of those people who finds young Samuel annoying (I loved him), it is still tough to deny the character of Amelia. She is tough, but coming unhinged and throughout the course of the movie, we watch this through a microscope because Davis allows us to get that close. She is exhausted, she is in love with a difficult child, she is doing it on her own because no one else understands. Then as things unfold, she becomes the monster and she is terrifying. Although the key to getting this movie, I think, is to put yourself in the child’s place and watch it from his point of view-the movie belongs to Essie Davis. There aren’t enough awards for her and I hope someone, someday bottles that lightning again. Bonus points to Jennifer Kent for putting this one together.”


An additional note from Dan: 

I’d like to say these are my favorites films with strong leading ladies, and they are definitely standouts, but there are so many more. Mostly gone are the days of the virgin final girl, the damsel in distress, the doting and clueless wife, the naked eye candy. As is often the case with these things, the horror genre may be leading the way. So in no real order, my five choices presented throughout the month of February are my absolute favorites. I’m sure most of you will agree, and maybe even say, “Pfft. Those were too easy.” For those people, I threw a fairly obscure film into the mix that I think everyone should watch.

Honorable mentions go out to:  Charlize Theron as Aileen Wournos in Monster, Christina Ricci as Wednesday in The Addams Family films, Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie in Halloween, Leslie Easterbrook as Mother Firefly in The Devil’s Rejects, Gretchen Lodge as Molly in Lovely Molly, Jill Larson as Deborah in The Taking of Deborah Logan, and I could go on and on and on.


About Dan Dillard:

dandillardDan lives in Bloomington, Indiana where it is currently cold and wintry. He is the author of Demons and Other Inconveniences, How to Eat a Human Being, Dig, Light as a Feather and others, Dan has been writing his whole life, but there was always an end goal:  Movies. After the short stories, came novels, then screenplays and finally, at forty-two years old, he went back to school to get his Bachelor of Science in Digital Cinematography and start putting some of those stories on the screen. His first non-student film is a short drama with elements of horror entitled “Anderson Wake” based on the short story from his collection, Down the Psycho Path. Look for the short film, produced by DeadLight Films in early 2017.

Dan is an alumni member of the horror writer’s group Pen of the Damned.

Film contact info:

Author contact info: 



Stop by my other blogs for more Women in Horror Month content!
Sotet Angyal, The Dark Angel – Dark emotive flash fiction written by me.
Spreading the Writer’s Word – A new Horror Flash-Fiction from a different female author daily in February!

And don’t forget to visit the Women in Horror Month official web site
for more great 
WiHM8 events and posts!