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TV's Women-Helmed Horror Series May Help Prove They're the Best Fright Directors

Jennifer's Body

Female directors have made some of the best horror films in recent years, and now TV is catching on with Black Rose Anthology. 

Women directors have long been behind some of the most thoughtful, genre-bending horror films of the oeuvre, and now a team is working on Black Rose Anthology, a one-hour TV horror series for CW that will be written and directed entirely by women. The anthology series arrives at the CW courtesy of Drew Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen's Flower Films and co-showrunner of Scream: The TV Series Jill Blotevogel, who will pen the pilot episode, according to Deadline.

The horror film, replete with final girls, sexually frustrated killers, and sexually transgressive female victims, as laid out by Carol J. Clover in Men, Women, and Chains Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film, is rife with recognizable tropes that have in recent years been manipulated in fascinating feminist ways in female-helmed horror flicks including Jennifer Kent's The Babadook, Lily Ana Amirpour's A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, and Julia Ducournau's Raw.

The television horror landscape has been dominated by male creators and directors for years, with shows like Ryan Murphy's annual campy bloodbath American Horror Story, The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Hannibal, The Walking Dead, and Penny Dreadful, but Black Rose Anthology will allow women free rein to play with the tenets of the genre in ever-fascinating ways.

The series will investigate themes of "guilt, jealousy, repression, paranoia, insanity, survival, and sexual obsession through a distinctly feminine lens," according to Deadline.

Here's hoping Barrymore, Juvonen, and Blotevogel enlist a few of the directors behind these 10 horror film classics.

American Psycho (2000)

I Shot Andy Warhol helmer Mary Harron, with a script from out writer-/actress Guinevere Turner, tackled Brett Easton Ellis's distinctly misogynistic source material to fascinating results. Christian Bale, Reese Witherspoon, Chloe Sevigny, and Turner star.

The Babadook (2014)

The Babadook, from Jennifer Kent, about a mother struggling to raise her son after husband's death with the added pressure of a monster from one of his books now haunting them now has an LGBT bent. Apparently the monster known as the Babadook has emerged as queer and an icon.

Raw (2017)

French director Julia Ducournau's topical film tackles blood lust when a young woman, purported to be a vegetarian, eats raw meat for the first time to terrifying effect.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

A revenge film for the ages, Lily Ana Amirpour's brilliant movie features a skateboarding female vampire who offs men who disrespect women.

Near Dark (1987)

Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow has had a long, storied career. And not many remember that she directed this vampire flick about a young man forced to leave his home and family and hang with a traveling band of vampires after a particularly fetching vampire turns him.

Office Killer (1997)

Acclaimed photographer Cindy Sherman's dark comedy about a mousy copy editor (Carol Kane) who goes on a killing spree following layoffs at her workplace is a masterful cautionary tale for all employers. Molly Ringwald and Jeanne Tripplehorn costar.

Jennifer's Body (2009)

Girlfight director Karyn Kusama and Juno writer Diablo Cody delivered this teen mean girl-vampire movie hybrid that stars Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried. Not everyone was thrilled by the recognizable tropes like girl-on-girl make-out sessions for shock value, but that was the director and writer's point.

Ravenous (1999)

Director Antonia Bird took on vampirism and cannibalism against the backdrop of the Mexican-American War in this period film with a bevy of male stars including Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, Jeremy Davies, and David Arquette.

Carrie (2013)

While a remake of Brian DePalma's classic horror flick based on the Stephen King novel really wasn't necessary, Boys Don't Cry director Kimberly Peirce gave the film a millennial-era spin with Chloe Grace Moretz filling Sissy Spacek's blood-soaked prom dress and Julianne Moore as her Bible-quoting puritanical mother.

Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

Amy Holden Jones directed the ihis fairly straightforward schlock/slasher flick about a girls' high school basketball team's sleepover gone horrifyingly awry from a script by famous lesbian author Rita Mae Brown (Rubyfruit Jungle, Southern Discomfort, Venus Envy).

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Tracy E. Gilchrist