The Male Gaze: The End of This Phase.

Criticizing the Portrayal of Women in Horror Movies.

by Raynee Quillen / Garnet & Black

Styled By Benji Early

Models: Maddie Zediker, Billie Scott, Will Meares, Timothy (Wil) Evans Jr, and Luke Robertson

Photographers: Henry Travis and Raynee Quillen

Since horror was first brought to the silver screen, the male-dominated film industry has portrayed women as hypersexual, ditsy, submissive, or a “damsel in distress.” These rigid, surface-level depictions are emphasized through “the male gaze,” where women are filmed from vulnerable, domineering angles, or have lingering shots of their exposed skin. This phenomenon is damaging to the perception of women as a whole, reducing them to objects. 

The portrayal of women in “Scream,” directed by Wes Craven, stands as a prime example of the male gaze. The opening scene details Casey Becker flirting with an unknown man who later kills her, justifying her “promiscuous behavior” as a reason for her murder. On the other hand, “Carrie” director Brian De Palma depicts Carrie White as an innocent and shy girl abused by relentless school bullying and her mother’s extremist beliefs. Both films illustrate themes of feminine submissiveness and victimization.

To criticize the violence that women face in horror movies, we gender-swapped the lead characters in both “Scream” and “Carrie.” With this shoot, we want to encourage readers to reflect on their own predispositions of who should be an antagonist versus who should be a victim, and why we have these biases in the first place.

Maddie (Scream Shoot):

Scream Mask: Amazon

Cloak: Walmart

Cargo Pants: Thrifted 

Turtleneck: Thrifted

Shoes: Doc Martens 

Wil Look (Scream Shoot): 

Shirt: Thrifted

Over-shirt: Thrifted

Pants: Thrifted

Shoes: New balance

Will Look (Scream shoot): 

Shirt: Thrifted

Flannel: Thrifted

Pants: Thrifted

Shoes: Nike

Maddie (Carrie Shoot):

Red Dress: Thrifted

Billie (Carrie Shoot):

Black Dress: Thrifted

Luke (Carrie shoot): 

Shirt: Thrifted

Pants: Thrifted

Shoes: Thrifted

Crown: Amazon