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20+ Must-See Horror Movies with Female-led Casts

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> 20+ Must-See Horror Movies with Female-led Casts

Women have always been a vital force in the horror genre, often breaking free from the traditional damsel-in-distress trope and taking on leading roles. In this post, we're highlighting some of the best horror films in which women play the majority of important characters and take the lead in the story. From scream queens to fierce survivors, these films showcase the range and power of women in horror. Here are 22 movies that we think you will like!

1. The Descent (2005)

1. The Descent (2005)

This is the first movie that comes to mind when people think of all-female horror movies. In the movie about a personal tragedy, Sarah is in a depressive spiral and her friends drag her on an adventure vacation. Six women come face to face with flesh-eating creatures while exploring a network of caves.

Director: Neil Marshall

Cast: Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid

2. Black Christmas (1974)

2. Black Christmas (1974)

One of the most influential slasher movies of all time, the movie was inspired by Halloween. While most of the students leave for the holidays, a group of female students who are still staying in their campus homes begin to receive threatening calls at the dorm. As the searches become more frequent, an unknown person begins to chase and kill the girls.

Director: Bob Clark

Cast: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder

3. Suspiria (2018)

3. Suspiria (2018)

As an interpretation of the original, Suspiria is a candidate to become a cult classic of the future. American ballerina Susie travels to Germany in the 1970s to attend a prestigious dance academy, but soon discovers something sinister is going on with the play as a coven hunts young women.

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Tilda Swinton, Doris Hick

4. Relic (2020)

4. Relic (2020)

Relic, a movie about the horrors of aging, It is about three generations of women in a family. Edna suffers from dementia and has disappeared from her home. This causes her daughter Kay and grandson Sam to come looking for her. However, they discover an unsettling atmosphere in the house and in Edna herself.

Director: Natalie Erika James

Cast: Robyn Nevin, Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote

5. Run (2020)

5. Run (2020)

Every mother can be a little pushy sometimes, but they usually do it because they want the best for their children. Young Chloe believes it too, but when her controlling mother Diane starts acting suspiciously, wheelchair-bound Chloe begins to suspect something is wrong.

Director: Aneesh Chaganty

Cast: Sarah Paulson, Kiera Allen, Sara Sohn

6. The Furies (2019)

6. The Furies (2019)

The Furies, a slasher movie from Down Under, follows Kayla who is kidnapped and wakes up inside a box. On her way out, Kayla discovers that she's been placed in a remote countryside with several other women. It doesn't take long before a group of masked men arrive and begin killing them mercilessly.

Director: Tony D'Aquino

Cast: Airlie Dodds, Linda Ngo, Taylor Ferguson

7. The House on Sorority Row (1982)

7. The House on Sorority Row (1982)

The cult classic from the 80s, The House on Sorority Row is about a group of sorority girls dealing with the consequences of a prank that killed their house mother. Seven young women decide to hide the body and throw a graduation party as a way to cover up that something is wrong. But someone knows what they're doing and during the party the girls start falling victim to an unknown killer.

Director: Mark Rosman

Cast: Kate McNeil, Eileen Davidson, Janis War

8. Host (2020)

8. Host (2020)

One of the most creative movies to come out during the pandemic restrictions, Host is one of the best horror movies of the last few years. Proceeding entirely through a Zoom search, Host follows a group of friends as they perform an online session, which of course unleashes a demon that haunts them all.

Director: Rob Savage

Cast: Haley Bishop, Jemma Moore, Emma Louise Webb

9. Annihilation (2018)

9. Annihilation (2018)

When a strange anomaly is discovered slowly plaguing the American countryside, a small team of scientists is dispatched to the region to discover what's going on. The new discovery has a dangerous effect on everything, and while the five explorers are there, they encounter strange environments and creatures.

Director: Alex Garland

Cast: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson

10. Carrie (1976)

10. Carrie (1976)

Adapted from Stephen King's classic novel, Carrie follows shy teenager Carrie White, who is bullied by her classmates and her deeply religious mother. As Carrie matures, she discovers she has strange powers, and these dangerous abilities come to light when bullies take things too far.

Director: Brian De Palma

Cast: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie , Amy Irving

11. Scream 4 (2011)

11. Scream 4 (2011)

Sidney Prescott, who recovered ten years after the events and partially thanks to his writing, is visited again by the ghost face killer.

Director: Wes Craven

Cast: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette

12. Master (2022)

12. Master (2022)

Master focuses on racism at Ancaster College and deals with two different stories: These are the story of Jasmine Moore, a freshman on campus haunted by a ghost, and Gail Bishop, the first black teacher.

Director: Mariama Diallo

Cast: Regina Hall, Zoe Renee, Julia Nightingale

13. The Night House (2020)

13. The Night House (2020)

The movie has five main characters, four of which are women. Beth mourns the death of her husband Owen and is very good friends with Claire and her neighbor Mel. When Beth learns why her husband died and what secrets she's keeping, she meets Madelyne, who knows Owen.

Director: David Bruckner

Cast: Rebecca Hall, Sarah Goldberg, Vondie Curtis-Hall

14. The Craft (1996)

14. The Craft (1996)

The Craft has a strong female cast consisting of four main characters and a minor character who plays an important role in the creepy story. Rochelle Zimmeran, Bonnie Harper, Nancy Downs and Sarah Bailey form a coven of witches while studying in high school, using spells to get what they want out of life. 

Director: Andrew Fleming

Cast: Robin Tunney, Fairuz To Balk, Neve Campbell

15. Fear Street: Part One - 1994 (2021)

15. Fear Street: Part One - 1994 (2021)

Fear Street: Part One: 1994's female cast is impressive. Maya Hawke is featured in the opening scene as Heather, the first person to be killed in the movie. There's also Kate, an intelligent and caring teenager, along with beloved couples Sam Fraser and Deena Johnson. In the film, a group of young friends stumble upon an ancient evil responsible for a series of brutal murders that have plagued their town for more than 300 years.

Director: Leigh Janiak

Cast: Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr.

16. Halloween Kills (2021)

16. Halloween Kills (2021)

Halloween Kills continues as the third installment of the 2018 movie: Laurie Strode and her equally fierce daughter Karen Nelson and granddaughter Allyson. The movie reunites horror fans with Laurie and Michael Myers, who at the same time is Laurie's doctor. It features several female cast members, including Samuel Loomis' assistant Marion Chambers and Lindsey Wallace.

Director: David Gordon Green

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak

17. It Follows (2014)

17. It Follows (2014)

A supernatural force follows a young woman who encounters a sexual coincidence. The movie also deals with the metaphor of being a modern woman.

Director: David Robert Mitchell

Cast: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi

18. Hereditary (2018)

18. Hereditary (2018)

The film is about the tragic and disturbing events that haunt a family grieving for their grandmother.

Director: Ari Aster

Cast: Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, Gabriel Byrne

19. Us (2019)

19. Us (2019)

A family's quiet beach vacation turns into chaos when the exact same people show up and start to scare them.

Director: Jordan Peele

Cast: Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss

20. The Perfection (2018)

20. The Perfection (2018)

When troubled music prodigy Charlotte calls Elizabeth, her old school's new star student, the encounter puts both musicians on a sinister path with shocking consequences.

Director: Richard Shepard

Cast: Marie Maskell, Allison Williams, Christina Jastrzembska

21. Pearl (2022)

21. Pearl (2022)

In 1918, a young woman on the verge of insanity, In a desperate attempt to escape the drudgery on her family's farm and escape loneliness and lovelessness, she pursues her dreams of stardom.

Director: Ti West

Cast: Mia Goth, David Corenswet, Tandi Wright

22. X (2022)

22. X (2022)

In 1979, a group of young filmmakers set out to shoot an adult movie in rural Texas, but the actors find themselves fighting for their lives when their reclusive, elderly host catches them at work.

Director: Ti West

Cast: Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Brittany Snow Mia Goth, David Corenswet, Tandi Wright

What is your favorite horror movie led by female characters? Tell us in the comments!

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