Is there a double standard on horror film monsters?

Think about it:

With male monsters, the emphasis is on how depraved / brutal / predatory they became, regardless the level of tragedy in their origin.

With female monsters, the emphasis is on how tragic their pasts were before they became killing machines. To the point that simply reversing minor details of the tragedy can weaken the monster's resolve!

Has anyone else noticed this?

Male monsters:

- Chucky - Always evil
- Freddy - Always evil
- Jason - Tragedy, but has transcended it
- Michael - Always evil
- Pinhead - Always evil (?)
- Jigsaw - Twisted by tragedy, but has transcended it

Female monsters:

- Matilda (Darkness Falls) - Twisted and cursed by tragedy / injustice
- Jeannine (Fear Dot Com) - Twisted and cursed by tragedy / injustice
- Samara (The Ring) - Twisted and cursed by tragedy / injustice
- Natasha (Dark Water) - Twisted and cursed by tragedy / injustice
- Kayako (The Grudge) - Twisted and cursed by tragedy / injustice
- Carrie - Twisted and cursed by tragedy / injustice

If you have any monsters to add for this discussion, by all means.


Most Helpful Girl

  • There isn't a double standard really. Im a horror fan and will break this down for you. Its not that the male horror characters were always just evil. Chucky before he was a doll was a serial killer who practiced in voodoo rituals. Freddy Krueger was "evil" but there was a reason. His mother who was a nun was accidentally locked up with a bunch of mentally ill men over holiday break. She was raped, became pregnant by one of them and Freddy was the product of that. Jason was born with a psychical deformity and was bullied and drowned supposedly. wouldn't anyone after awhile of so much abuse finally snap? Thats what happened with him. Pinhead was once a soldier and came across the box and his fate was becoming the cenobite Pinhead. Not all horror villains who were male are just "evil" something made them that way. In my opinion one of the best female villains is Sharon Stone's Catherine Tramell from Basic Instinct. It isn't a horror film but does show a Woman killer. Is she evil? Maybe but she is wicked.

    • An educated and enlightening answer.

    • Thank you. I love horror movies and also find real life serial killers fascinating. I could do a presentation on both from years and years of research and watching horror films.

Most Helpful Guy

  • Actually in the Witcher 3 all the wraiths (dead brides) had tragic ends. All the guys it's their own shit.


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What Girls & Guys Said

  • That's always the way ALL "strong" female characters are. A woman has to be raped or somehow brutalized to play anything other than a supporting role as a general rule eg. Catwoman and Elizabeth Scander

    I also agree that portraying male characters as one dimensional killing machines is boring as fuck and needs to stop. It's so LAZY and reductive. Like there is more to people than inherent evil and unresolved trauma.

    • Nah ripley from alien is a born badass
      she just didn't realize until she had to fight the alien 😎

  • I don't know. I like to see research before I draw conclusions from anecdotes.

    But ah I love Carrie ♥.♥

  • What about species
    She just wanted to fuck and kill men

  • Men want to be oppressed so badly. Cut it out. This isn't a societal problem. It's a problem you should take up with writers. Better yet write a horror movie thats different.

    • Oh jesus
      If women can complain about dumb shit like having the option to go topless men can complain about dumb shit like poorly designed horror characters

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