WIHM 2022: Themes in Women’s Horror

Themes in Women’s Horror

by: Patricia Stover


Some of the things that make women’s Horror so terrifying are the themes that are being explored. Let’s look at Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic as one example. Garcia creates a strong, female main character named Noemí who challenges the social norms of 1950s Mexico. This was not only a time, but a place set under strict patriarchal ideals. The setting is a gothic mansion that reflects the dread and oppression that this patriarchal society has inflicted upon its women. Then Garcia presents us with this creepy family who reside in the mansion. The family seems to be made up mostly of men, aside of the mother. We watch them keep her cousin trapped inside this dreadful mansion, oppressed, and terrified. And it seems as if she is losing her mind. She reaches out to her beloved cousin and Noemí arrives at the house only to find that she too begins experiencing psychological distress. However, Noemí believes the house itself may be the cause of her hallucinations.