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The Science of Women in Horror: The Special Effects, Stunts, and True Stories Behind Your Favorite Fright Films

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From scream queens to femmes fatale, horror isn’t just for the boys.   Gothic media moguls Meg Hafdahl and Kelly Florence, authors of The Science of Monsters, and co-hosts of the Horror Rewind podcast called “the best horror film podcast out there” by Film Daddy, present a guide to the feminist horror movies, TV shows, and characters we all know and love.   Through intervi From scream queens to femmes fatale, horror isn’t just for the boys.   Gothic media moguls Meg Hafdahl and Kelly Florence, authors of The Science of Monsters, and co-hosts of the Horror Rewind podcast called “the best horror film podcast out there” by Film Daddy, present a guide to the feminist horror movies, TV shows, and characters we all know and love.   Through interviews, film analysis, and bone-chilling discoveries, The Science of Women in Horror uncovers the theories behind women’s most iconic roles of the genre. Explore age-old tropes such as “The Innocent” like Lydia in Beetlejuice, “The Gorgon” like Pamela Voorhees in Friday the 13th, and “The Mother” like Norma Bates in Pyscho and Bates Motel, and delve deeper into female-forward film and TV including: The Haunting of Hill House Teeth Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Buffy the Vampire Slayer And so much more! Join Kelly and Meg in The Science of Women in Horror as they flip the script and prove that every girl is a “final girl.”


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From scream queens to femmes fatale, horror isn’t just for the boys.   Gothic media moguls Meg Hafdahl and Kelly Florence, authors of The Science of Monsters, and co-hosts of the Horror Rewind podcast called “the best horror film podcast out there” by Film Daddy, present a guide to the feminist horror movies, TV shows, and characters we all know and love.   Through intervi From scream queens to femmes fatale, horror isn’t just for the boys.   Gothic media moguls Meg Hafdahl and Kelly Florence, authors of The Science of Monsters, and co-hosts of the Horror Rewind podcast called “the best horror film podcast out there” by Film Daddy, present a guide to the feminist horror movies, TV shows, and characters we all know and love.   Through interviews, film analysis, and bone-chilling discoveries, The Science of Women in Horror uncovers the theories behind women’s most iconic roles of the genre. Explore age-old tropes such as “The Innocent” like Lydia in Beetlejuice, “The Gorgon” like Pamela Voorhees in Friday the 13th, and “The Mother” like Norma Bates in Pyscho and Bates Motel, and delve deeper into female-forward film and TV including: The Haunting of Hill House Teeth Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Buffy the Vampire Slayer And so much more! Join Kelly and Meg in The Science of Women in Horror as they flip the script and prove that every girl is a “final girl.”

30 review for The Science of Women in Horror: The Special Effects, Stunts, and True Stories Behind Your Favorite Fright Films

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sadie Hartmann

    Check out my review coming to Tor Nightfire soon!! Don't forget, "Ghoul's Rule!" Check out my review coming to Tor Nightfire soon!! Don't forget, "Ghoul's Rule!"

  2. 5 out of 5

    Berna Labourdette

    Un libro muy entretenido que intercala datos curiosos, análisis de la figura de la mujer en distintos films como asesina, víctima, madre, virgen, niña, anciana (entre otras), además de incluir entrevistas a actrices, directoras y productoras de películas del género del terror (como Ginger Snaps, Martes 13 y otras). Hay muchísima información, ya que el libro es un resumen de Horror rewind: podcast de las autoras (de ahí la variedad y los datos intercalados). https://horrorrewind.libsyn.com/ Un libro muy entretenido que intercala datos curiosos, análisis de la figura de la mujer en distintos films como asesina, víctima, madre, virgen, niña, anciana (entre otras), además de incluir entrevistas a actrices, directoras y productoras de películas del género del terror (como Ginger Snaps, Martes 13 y otras). Hay muchísima información, ya que el libro es un resumen de Horror rewind: podcast de las autoras (de ahí la variedad y los datos intercalados). https://horrorrewind.libsyn.com/

  3. 4 out of 5

    J. Else

    I always enjoy Meg Hafdahl's and Kelly Florence's "Science of..." books. They write from the fan perspective along with being analytical. While not a horror fanatic, I do love reading about women and their roles in film and media. Hafdahl and Florence visit all the tropes within horror and also bring light to exciting changes happening in the industry. There were interesting sidebars throughout the chapters. Of course, I was thrilled to find some films and shows I actually watched like What Lies I always enjoy Meg Hafdahl's and Kelly Florence's "Science of..." books. They write from the fan perspective along with being analytical. While not a horror fanatic, I do love reading about women and their roles in film and media. Hafdahl and Florence visit all the tropes within horror and also bring light to exciting changes happening in the industry. There were interesting sidebars throughout the chapters. Of course, I was thrilled to find some films and shows I actually watched like What Lies Beneath, The Others, Stranger Things, and of course The X-Files. If you love horror films, you'll enjoy trekking back through familiar and beloved films and TV shows while analyzing their merits (or mishaps). If you love reading about women in leading roles, this is quite a satisfying treat. Written with a love of the genre and a hearty breadth of knowledge, Kelly and Meg have penned another 5-star pop science book. Because guess what, "Horror isn't just for the boys."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gwen

    I wish I had gotten a chance to speak to the authors at the Women in Horror Film Festival, which was an awesome event, and one of my highlights of 2020. I really enjoyed this overview, and while I disagree on some points that some of the interviewees made, I definitely liked the authors interpretation of women in horror. I love that the Bride of Frankenstein is on the cover. I also love the layout of this book. Really great read and I recommend to anyone who loves horror and especially to those I wish I had gotten a chance to speak to the authors at the Women in Horror Film Festival, which was an awesome event, and one of my highlights of 2020. I really enjoyed this overview, and while I disagree on some points that some of the interviewees made, I definitely liked the authors interpretation of women in horror. I love that the Bride of Frankenstein is on the cover. I also love the layout of this book. Really great read and I recommend to anyone who loves horror and especially to those who identify as a woman.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Lee

    4.5 ⭐ rounded up This book was fantastic. Very easy to read big chunks in one go and it had a really nice flow to it. Found extremely interesting things out about films I loved such as Beetlejuice, Rocky Horror and The Quiet Place and then also found new films to add to my ever growing watch list. Loved reading about genre tropes such as final girls and motherly figures in horror films. I liked the mix of media, featuring TV Shows as well as films and those being influenced by gothic literature an 4.5 ⭐ rounded up This book was fantastic. Very easy to read big chunks in one go and it had a really nice flow to it. Found extremely interesting things out about films I loved such as Beetlejuice, Rocky Horror and The Quiet Place and then also found new films to add to my ever growing watch list. Loved reading about genre tropes such as final girls and motherly figures in horror films. I liked the mix of media, featuring TV Shows as well as films and those being influenced by gothic literature and various other books like Shirley Jackson and Stephen King. I did a little squeal of joy when Milicent Patrick was mentioned briefly, who I'm obsessed with after reading The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick last year. The addition of interviews with varying people in the industry was a very nice added extra that was a perfect touch. Loved that it was a diverse group of people interview such as people in the LGBT+ community and POC. My only issue (which isn't really an issue) is that it wasn't long enough ha!

  6. 5 out of 5

    K. Lincoln

    If you like horror and you are a woman, or if you like horror and are in any way shape or form connected with reviewing, critiquing, writing, or producing horror– read this book. No, really. I mean it. The breadth of knowledge and passion for horror writing and the exposing of the common tropes Horror uses when portraying women, as well as identifying and celebrating the female authors, producers, writers, and directors who bring those delicious thrills to us in this book are not only extremely i If you like horror and you are a woman, or if you like horror and are in any way shape or form connected with reviewing, critiquing, writing, or producing horror– read this book. No, really. I mean it. The breadth of knowledge and passion for horror writing and the exposing of the common tropes Horror uses when portraying women, as well as identifying and celebrating the female authors, producers, writers, and directors who bring those delicious thrills to us in this book are not only extremely informative and presented in lovely, chapter bite-sized digestible chunks, but also important for all of us to acknowledge and be culturally competent with. Each chapter takes a move or TV series (author Meg Hafdahl is a huge X Files fan so no surprise that’s included) and unpacks tropes like the virgin survivor, or the healer etc. present in famous media horror entertainment, and peppers the chapters throughout with interesting interviews with women horror entertainment folks about their own motivations and perceptions of women. It’s quite readable and interesting. And now I have about four horror movies on my to-be-seen queue to watch with this new information about historical representation and tropes in the forefront of my brain. The science in this book is mostly, heavily, social science such as psychology and lit crit. There are a few drips and drabs of hard science, and I wished for a bit more of that, as well as (I read the Kindle version so possibly formatting contributed to this) was sometimes confused about the random hard science or history facts that appeared in call out boxes sometimes. The factoids didn’t always immediately connect to the chapter or theme being discussed. Definitely a cool and informative book in terms of pop culture and feminist theory. As I said above, a must-read for female horror fans!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    An excellent and eye opening read. The author's have done a spectacular job making the horror genre all the more fascinating and alive. Personally, as more a monster and kaiju fan, my interest in horror was there on the periphery, but less center stage. The authors have made the horror genre more interesting in this work. A well-paced, informative and entertaining look at the horror film genre, with plenty of great factoids sprinkled thoughout, the book is film studies, history, and sociology. I An excellent and eye opening read. The author's have done a spectacular job making the horror genre all the more fascinating and alive. Personally, as more a monster and kaiju fan, my interest in horror was there on the periphery, but less center stage. The authors have made the horror genre more interesting in this work. A well-paced, informative and entertaining look at the horror film genre, with plenty of great factoids sprinkled thoughout, the book is film studies, history, and sociology. Important insights on the evolution of the genre and the film industry, and just how much representation matters, and how shamefully far there is to go in that area. The interviews are an excellent bonus, and my copy is now riddled with highlighting and has many dog-eared pages. A wealth of resources are contained as well, with references to documentaries, other books, films, articles, personalities, podcasts and film fests (the Women in Horror Film Fest sounds like an incredible event). A great read!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    A lot of research, a lot of interviews, and good sense of overall organization. I'm not much of a horror fan but it was easy to appreciate the authors' love of the genre as well as their knowledge. To be honest, some of their sections had me thinking about giving certain movies a try - the risk of nightmares be damned! On the other hand, some of the sections felt like they were missing the same detail as other sections, seeming more like a vague overview than the in-depth analysis that other mov A lot of research, a lot of interviews, and good sense of overall organization. I'm not much of a horror fan but it was easy to appreciate the authors' love of the genre as well as their knowledge. To be honest, some of their sections had me thinking about giving certain movies a try - the risk of nightmares be damned! On the other hand, some of the sections felt like they were missing the same detail as other sections, seeming more like a vague overview than the in-depth analysis that other movies or topics were given. I would also argue with the title as the book had more to do with analysis, social commentary, and the history of women in horror than in anything about special effects or stunts or, frankly, science. That's not to say it was at all a bad book - just not what I was expecting based on the title. Based on what it actually was, it was very interesting and well done.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rayah

    Quite an enjoyable read. The "Science" in the title is a little misleading, since I thought it would be more technical. It's really more social science, which is fine and I loved reading the interviews and getting some behind-the-scenes stories. I think there's room for a deeper look into a lot of the topics they discuss, certain horror tropes related to women, for example, but also a look into ways the horror genre leads (or can lead) the way in representation of women. I have seen most of the Quite an enjoyable read. The "Science" in the title is a little misleading, since I thought it would be more technical. It's really more social science, which is fine and I loved reading the interviews and getting some behind-the-scenes stories. I think there's room for a deeper look into a lot of the topics they discuss, certain horror tropes related to women, for example, but also a look into ways the horror genre leads (or can lead) the way in representation of women. I have seen most of the films mentioned in the book, and have added many of the others to my "to watch" list. I definitely recommend this book to horror movie fans.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Really cool topics and things we should absolutely be talking about. I think I’m mostly let down by the quality of the writing and the arguments. The authors make many claims that are too vague to be powerful or that seem to be worded misleadingly, upon second glance. I’m definitely going to go back and pull the names of many of the movies they discussed which I haven’t seen yet, but when looking to critically analyze media, I’m looking for something more structured and scientific.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Laferney

    The Science of Women in Horror offers a much need exploration of women in horror movies. This book discusses different perspectives on female representation in horror movies through interviews and film analysis and social science. It is composed of a series of short essays that are grouped together thematically (such as exploring "The Final Girl" trope). The authors co-host a really awesome podcast too called Horror Rewind that explores the history of horror film. The Science of Women in Horror offers a much need exploration of women in horror movies. This book discusses different perspectives on female representation in horror movies through interviews and film analysis and social science. It is composed of a series of short essays that are grouped together thematically (such as exploring "The Final Girl" trope). The authors co-host a really awesome podcast too called Horror Rewind that explores the history of horror film.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Justin Isla

    An interesting look at women in horror. This book was a really interesting take on female characters in horror, and how they deal with feminism in society. Having seen several of the films/series that there book covered, it was fun to get a more in depth look at other facets of them that I had not considered/been aware of. I would definitely recommend this book to those that are horror fans, and those that are interested in feminism depicted in media.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jennette Reid

    This was surprising and enraging in a good way. I was interested in reading a bit more about some of my favourite horror films and this struck a chord with me, it was an eye opening read. Things you've observed in films but have maybe never connected before. Highly recommend reading this if you are a fan of the genre, or just curious about how society is influencing what we see and perceive as 'normal' in films. This was surprising and enraging in a good way. I was interested in reading a bit more about some of my favourite horror films and this struck a chord with me, it was an eye opening read. Things you've observed in films but have maybe never connected before. Highly recommend reading this if you are a fan of the genre, or just curious about how society is influencing what we see and perceive as 'normal' in films.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Ardrey

    The Science of Women in Horror is a highly informative and entertaining read. I learned a great deal about how women are portrayed through the horror lens in film and television. I also found a very large cache of movie titles I need to watch ASAP!

  15. 5 out of 5

    R.L. Bailey

    I support the message and I wanted to like this, but as a book it's flawed. There will be a chapter on a movie, but there will be one paragraph on said movie before it goes off on a different direction. It's all over the place and I left wondering if I really gained any new perspective from it. I support the message and I wanted to like this, but as a book it's flawed. There will be a chapter on a movie, but there will be one paragraph on said movie before it goes off on a different direction. It's all over the place and I left wondering if I really gained any new perspective from it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Full review: https://monsterbookclub.com/2020/12/1... Full review: https://monsterbookclub.com/2020/12/1...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Anne

    Absolutely loved it. The research and interviews were incredibly informative and compelling.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Allie Marini

    Like reading a very interesting podcast about horror movies & the women making/starring in/writing them.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    I really loved their previous book The Science of Monsters as it went into different aspects of truth behind horror movies and their second book exceeded my expectations. The Science of Women in Horror focused on the women in horror movies. This book discusses different perspectives on female representation in horror movies through interviews and film analysis. It is composed of a series of short essays that are grouped together thematically. This made it easy for me to pick up the book and jump I really loved their previous book The Science of Monsters as it went into different aspects of truth behind horror movies and their second book exceeded my expectations. The Science of Women in Horror focused on the women in horror movies. This book discusses different perspectives on female representation in horror movies through interviews and film analysis. It is composed of a series of short essays that are grouped together thematically. This made it easy for me to pick up the book and jump to the essays on some of my personal favorite shows/movies such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ghostbusters and Haunting of Hill House. I also learned a lot of interesting tidbits of information as I read this book. I discovered that Scully on the television show the X-Files influenced women to go into STEM fields. The movie Midsommer is used to discuss the concept of voluntary death in Siberia and is used as a depiction of how this is is utilized. The movie Us was utilized to dive into the social psychology of revenge. These are only a few examples of how Hafdahl and Florence demonstrate how smart that the horror genre can really be. I would highly recommend this book to horror movie enthusiasts because it provides new insights on old shows. While the surface is often just scratched on the variety of subjects that are brought out by the horror movies it fits the scope of the book. It will likely leave you hungry to continue to learn more about the topics that are of interest to you...or make you eager to go back and watch some of your favorite female horror heroes! I am also publishing this review on my blog at https://glamorousbookgal.blogspot.com...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Brandi Guarino

    As a fan of horror movies, I have always studied the role women play in them. The authors did their research, including numerous examples of female representation from film and television history. Each section of the book is centered around a trope or a theme involving women in horror: The Mother,The Virgin, The Gorgon, The Final Girl, sex, revenge, hysteria, The Healer and much more. The sections of the book are broken up into essays and interviews with women in the horror industry, as well as e As a fan of horror movies, I have always studied the role women play in them. The authors did their research, including numerous examples of female representation from film and television history. Each section of the book is centered around a trope or a theme involving women in horror: The Mother,The Virgin, The Gorgon, The Final Girl, sex, revenge, hysteria, The Healer and much more. The sections of the book are broken up into essays and interviews with women in the horror industry, as well as examples of tropes being depicted in movies and television like The Babadook, Psycho, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Haunting of Hill House. I appreciated not only the opinions of the interviewees in the book, but also the authors also allowing for a different view, so that true discussions can be had about the subjects. I also enjoyed the diversity of the interviewees involved in this book. I particularly agreed with authors and interviewees in the need of an increase of POC and LGBTQIA+ representation in the horror industry. The book was thoroughly enjoyable and I feel I learned a lot from the authors. I probably would have finished reading it sooner had I not stopped to watch a few of the movies they mentioned in it. Review cross posted on my my blog: brandithebibliophile.blogspot.com

  21. 5 out of 5

    Meagan

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elle

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy Walker

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shiori

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sherri

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ewreck82

  29. 5 out of 5

    Keith

  30. 5 out of 5

    Janelle Janson

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