Halloween will no doubt feel different this year, but you don’t need trick-or-treating to get in the spooky spirit. Instead, why not escape into the world of Halloween with a good feminist movie? Here are our top 5 picks for female-centric films to fit the Halloween season.
1. Hocus Pocus
Starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy, Hocus Pocus (1993) is a classic cult favorite that passes the Bechdel test with flying colors. The trio play the Sanderson sisters, three witches who are resurrected by a boy and his little sister. Though technically the antagonists, the witches supply the movie with funny jokes and one-liners, fun musical numbers, and a whole lot of girl power.
The 2016 remake of Ghostbusters inspired a whole new wave of strong female ghostbusters. Starring Melissa McCarthy and a top-tier list of SNL cast members – Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon – Ghostbusters is a light-hearted, funny, and empowering watch. Even if you are loyal to the original film, this movie is no doubt enjoyable.
3. It Follows
It Follows is a 2014 horror movie that critics applaud for invoking 80s horror films all while critiquing the patriarchy. After having sex for the first time, one teenage girl is cursed by a supernatural entity. Whereas in a 80s horror film the girl would likely be slut-shamed by this point, It Follows doesn’t blame the main character, but instead makes a larger point that women have power of their own and cannot be blamed for the actions of others.
A family-friendly option, Disney Channel’s Twitches follows a pair of twins (Tia and Tamera Mowry) who are born on Halloween with magic powers, only to be separated at birth. 21 years later, the two are reunited and must work together to defeat dark magic and save their birth mother. Twitches shows us the literal power of sisterhood.
5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
When Buffy the Vampire Slayer comes to mind, many people may think of the 1997 TV series. However, the show is actually inspired by the 1992 film of the same name. Buffy the Vampire Slayer challenges your typical horror clichés — the blonde cheerleader is the fighter of vampires (not the first to be slain), and the male love interest serves as a supportive sidekick rather than a protective protagonist. Buffy is the feminist hero we need this Halloween.
Take Action! Ditch the scream queen tropes this year and check out some of these spooky feminist flicks!