One of the opening scenes in Claire Denis’ High Life shows the main character, Monte (Robert Pattinson), baby-talking the word “taboo” to his baby daughter, Willow (Scarlett Lindsey). They are alone on a spaceship, and the scene is initiated by Monte’s discussion of how people do not eat their own body waste.
“Women & Horror” is a four-part series of features on horror films directed by women. Content warning: This article discusses plot details, which include disturbing behavior and school-related violence. “What mama did was very, very wrong, and she’s so, so…
Female sexuality seems to have always been closely linked to monstrosity. For example, tracing back to classic mythology, sirens were known to lure men using their inherent sexuality in order to devour them. This notion of women using their sexuality from lesser to larger monstrous and aggressive degrees is still prevalent in stories and media today. As horror critic Barbara Creed argues in her book, The Monstrous-Feminine, the connection between females and monstrosity is “almost always in relation to her mothering and reproductive functions.” Essentially, the perceived source of a female’s monstrosity is in what makes her different than a male.
Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts is at first glance a convergence of cinematic influences. Set in a rural Indonesian town, the story follows the recently widowed Marlina’s (Marsha Timothy) journey after she murders a band of thieves and rapists in self-defense when they invade her home. The film, with its simplistic narrative divided neatly into four acts, is less about the moral gaze and more about visual and aural rhetoric, recalling the works of Sergio Leone and others that make up the “spaghetti western” genre.