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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. So, without further ado…

Day 25 – Dan Dillard:

In Her Skin
Leading Lady: Ruth Bradley



The desire for a new life turns a jealous obsession into a disturbing game of identity theft in this terrifying psychological thriller based on a true story. Homely loner Caroline (Ruth Bradley) longs to escape her tormented adolescence and finds a way by living vicariously through popular girl Rachel (Kate Bell), who seemingly has it all. But Caroline s longing to be someone else soon transforms her hope of breaking free of her own life into a twisted need to replace it with Rachel s. Sam Neill, Guy Pearce, and Miranda Otto all give flawless supporting performances as the parents of the two girls whose lives threaten to intertwine in a deadly way.begun.

Dan’s opinion:

“I found this little gem on Netflix, and while I was about to turn it off at the one-quarter mark (because the acting wasn’t so good and it felt a little TV drama), a light came on the screen. The film is 2009’s In Her Skin, an Australian movie directed by Simone North that really deserves a watch. In a film with names like Sam Neill, Miranda Otto and Guy Pearce-all fine actors-it was Ruth Bradley who stole the show. Not only did she steal it, she beat it into submission and kicked it while it was down. When you hear the often tossed around terms “tour de force” or “bravura performance” in 50% of film reviews, the gravity of those terms gets lost. Say what you will about the rest of the movie, but when Ruth Bradley is on the screen, you will watch and you will pay attention and you will feel for her character Caroline, then you will hate her, and then you will feel for her again. She’s really something to watch. For some lighter viewing, you can also catch her in Grabbers (another somewhat obscure gem).”


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!