As I mentioned in my previous post, Overgrown Genesis is my first attempt at tackling adult content video games. And as I also mentioned, I’ve never written about adult-themed content here at IndieGala. But I suppose there’s a first time for everything, and to tell you the truth I relish on the fact that I will spice up my usual routine. But I must warn you, adult content games and the accompanying topics are fairly new to me. Sure, I’ve written about survival horror games before. And yes, I’ve written about niche topics as well. But this is a totally different story, so bear with me. I’m going to do my best to do it justice and to stay objective as I can.
Overgrown Genesis: The Inspiration For This Post
But what’s the motive for this post you might ask? The inspiration if you will? Well, it’s the Overgrown Genesis. Not to mention the plenty of similar games that are currently on sale here at IndieGala. That’s right. The sale from the Tinyhat-Studios is nearing its end, so make sure to to to stock up.
But let’s get back to the topic at hand. The sexualization in horror movies. More specifically the sexualization of women in horror movies. Now, hear me out. I’m not going to bash it or attack it. We all know it existed and as you can see from the content of this very game, it exists even now. Movies are no exception I’m afraid. But instead of going the predictable route (a feminist writes about the sexualization trope), I’m just going to do a look back at the trope. Make a trow-back at it. Because what’s the point of going over something that you’ve probably heard of 1000 times before? We all know this. It’s OK.
Overgrown Genesis: The Trope Changes As Well
Not that tropes or recurring themes don’t occur in the male section of the roles. Far for it. There’s the repressive patriarch trope of instance. And of course, the masochistic monster, as evident in plenty of horror classics. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Hellraiser series, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare- just to name a few. To be fair, hardly any of these tropes are sexualized in nature, but hey, they do exist. And although the female sexualization in horror movies is still a thing, things have changed with time.
But the good thing is those female roles in horror movies have evolved over time. For example, Nancy Archer from Attack of the 50 Foot Woman was the victim and the monster in that movie. And the sad thing is that she was all of that the same time. But she did spent almost the entire movie wearing a bikini top and a very short skirt (even for 50’s standards). Likewise even the great Hitchcock was killing his gorgeous blondes in a very realistic fashion.
Take Psycho for instance. The psycho kills the female victim (blonde young woman) while she is in the most vulnerable state possible. Naked and in the bathtub. I must admit. Roman Polanski brought a little bit of class to the sexualization in the 60’s with Rosemary’s Baby. With the Mia Farrow’s cute pixie cut and upscale New York setting, and the new depiction of the female (very pregnant) victim role, but yeah… I agree. Rosemary did not die. She wasn’t the classic victim. But a couple of decades later, a change in mainstream horror movies followed.
The ’70s and ’80s Are A Fantastic Mix Bag For Any Horror Fan
The ’70s brought plenty of great female leads in now acclaimed cult classics. First of all, the narrative changed again and instead of making the female leads just victims, filmmakers were making them heroes. Or they were transforming into the villains. First and foremost there’s Carrie. A movie that made Sissy Spacek into a bonafide star and a true horror queen. That’s also the era in which Laurie Strode’s character was introduced. But Laurie gave us the final girl trope in classic slasher films as well.
Along with Ellen Ripley in Alien, Alice Hardy in Friday the 13th, and so many others. Hey, even Jess Bradford is Black Christmas. But it’s noted that the final girl’s power in this era comes from her turning away from femininity. And of course by contrasting her to other female characters, often by pitting them against each other. Not just the predator at the very end of the movie, that’s for sure. Let’s mention Sidney Prescott from the Scream franchise. She had to deal with a lot of annoying people (namely Gale Weathers) before tackling the killer at the end. A nice diversion of the classic damsel in distress don’t you think? And she survived even though she wasn’t a virgin. So it’s a nice challenge of the stereotype as well.
Sex Will Always Sell A Product
And when it comes to sex in the horror genre, I fell that there’s also a shift in the narrative. Make no mistakes. Sex will always sell a product. Regardless of what that product is. But you look past the female lead, in movies like Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre you’ll notice something else. Sexually active women in horror movies tend to die first. But if you take a closer look at the Scary Movie franchise, for instance, you’ll notice that particular trope was mocked mercilessly. You gotta admit, it was a nice touch.
However, one recent movie upends this narrative. The 2014’s It Follows. A predator is following the main character after her sexual encounter. But she’s not the usual victim that you see in most horror movies. She fights back at the creature and eventually wins, which is awesome. But here’s the kicker. Back in 1990 the noted researcher Gloria Cowan even conducted a study on 57 different slasher films. After the study was published, it showed that the non-surviving females were more frequently sexual than the surviving females and the non-surviving males. Furthermore, surviving as a female slasher victim was strongly associated with the absence of sexual behavior. So, it took a lot to get to change the narrative indeed.
Overgrown Genesis: Sexualization In Horror Movies Has A Different Approach Now
Some clever movies have found a way to subverting our expectations on the sexuality of the female characters. And on their fate at the end of the movie. Midsomer showed us a very different type of the last girl, while Ex Machina showed us a different type of killer. The one that’s not from flesh and blood.
What are some of your thoughts on this? The sexualization trope in horror movies? Tell us in the comment section. We’d love to know.