On May 23, the “Isla Vista killings” occurred. Wikipedia describes killer Elliott Rodger’s motive as being “a desire to punish women for rejecting him and also a desire to punish sexually active men for living a better life than him.” This opened up what I’ll loosely define as “a conversation” on the subject of misogyny in American culture, with phrases like “#NotAllMen” and “#YesAllWomen” entering the vernacular.
The Isla Vista killings and the subsequent “discussion” (again, a loose definition of the word here) on the subject of rape culture informed my readings of several films this month. All Cheerleaders Die was a no-brainer, because Lucky McKee has a history of addressing feminist themes in his work, but I also saw it in Missing and Alyce Kills, and my write-ups of +1 and Heavy Metal also addressed misogyny.
I don’t think this is all that big of a coincidence, because independent horror films have been addressing feminist themes for quite some time, and mainstream horror movies are almost pathologically obsessed with “final girls.” But watching these films through the filter of current events made me see them a bit differently.