Let’s be honest, there’s something thrilling about experiencing a good scare. Greek philosopher, Aristotle, believed that the enjoyment of fear was related to a need to purge your negative emotions. Others believe that it comes from humans’ natural curiosity, and horror movie help exploit that curiosity in extreme ways. There’s also the undeniable rush of adrenaline, and that it’s a safe way to experience extreme emotions without actually putting yourself in danger. Whatever the reason, horror film experts have learned just how to push those buttons to keep audiences excited, scared, and glued to their screens.
Horror movies have been around since the early days of silent movies in the 1890s, but it was in the 1970s that the modern style for the horror film genre truly began to emerge. The decade saw the introduction of several infamous films including The Exorcist, The Omen, Carrie, The Hills Have Eyes, and Halloween, setting a new standard for the films that would follow.
Every good horror film typically includes some kind of killer, a hidden motive for why they are killing, and of course, the beautiful girls they are trying to kill. Indeed, where would horror movies be without the girls who delivered those memorable screams of terror, or who escaped the killer’s clutches? The “final girl” has become one of the most time honoured traditions of the horror movie genre, and we all love to see how that girl will survive in the end.
Several big name actresses got their big breaks from horror films, such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, and Sissy Spacek. In fact, it’s fair to say that most of the female characters in horror films are typically the ones we remember long after the film has ended, and the roles they played are forever imprinted into our brains. Whether they played a girl trying to outsmart a villainous killer, or if they played the villian themselves, these were the ladies who made the movies what they were. Of course, for most of these women, a lot of time has passed since their big horror film debuts, and they have certainly come quite a long way since then.