The Feminine Grotesque

From women’s pictures to horror flicks, The Feminine Grotesque is a genre and ethos of sorts that explores the darker side of womanhood, complicating notions of beauty, desire and power. 


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Recommendations always appreciated!


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The emotional, social and psychological problems that are specifically connected to the character’s sense of womanhood provide the meat and gristle of this genre. The questions of women’s pictures turn on their pretty heads in The Feminine Grotesque. The tools of beauty — physicality, dress, makeup — become weapons that wound as much as they empower.

Like women’s pictures, The Feminine Grotesque offers visual liberation from the confining strictures of the patriarchy. No matter how temporary, women are able to see themselves as bold, defiant,…

  • Possession
  • Alice, Sweet Alice
  • The Babadook
  • Black Swan
  • Black Widow
  • Bug
  • A Dark Song
  • The Duke of Burgundy
  • Eve's Bayou
  • Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion
  • Ginger Snaps
  • The Handmaiden
  • Her Smell
  • mother!
  • Now, Voyager
  • Queen of Earth
  • Return to Oz
  • Snow White: A Tale of Terror
  • Suddenly, Last Summer
  • Suspiria
  • Suspiria
  • Through a Glass Darkly
  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
  • Volver
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
  • The Witch
  • The Witches
  • Christine
  • Raw
  • Rachel Getting Married
  • Laura
  • Diabolique
  • Jennifer's Body
  • The Fits
  • I Want to Live!
  • Home Before Dark
  • A Woman Under the Influence
  • A Place in the Sun
  • Johnny Guitar
  • Persona
  • Always Shine
  • Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
  • The Eyes of My Mother
  • Mulholland Drive
  • 3 Women
  • Thelma
  • May
  • The Villainess
  • Swallow
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
  • Frances
  • Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles
  • Cat People
  • Madeline's Madeline
  • Alias Grace
  • The Bigamist
  • Lola Montès
  • Children of Paradise
  • Baby Face
  • Wanda
  • Black Narcissus
  • Klute
  • Emma Mae
  • Lady Snowblood
  • Daisies
  • Monster
  • Morvern Callar
  • The Company of Wolves
  • Hellraiser
  • Hellbound: Hellraiser II
  • Detour
  • Melancholia
  • Clash by Night
  • The Stepford Wives
  • Promising Young Woman
  • Prevenge
  • In Fabric
  • Perfect Blue
  • Repulsion