February is Women in Horror month and on this episode, to celebrate, we re-visit two of our favourites, Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook and Alice Lowe’s Prevenge. We examine how both of these films address anxieties around motherhood through the genre elements of horror.
This episode features Editor-in-Chief Alex Heeney, Executive Editor Orla Smith, and special guest Andrea Subissati
The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, 2014)
A single mother (Essie Davies) becomes increasingly paranoid after being unable to get rid of a mysterious pop-up book featuring the sinister Mr. Babadook.
The Babadook is available on DVD, VOD, and is streaming on Crave in Canada, Prime in the UK, and Netflix and Prime in Australia.
Prevenge (Alice Lowe, 2017)
“Only in Prevenge, Alice Lowe’s wickedly funny directorial debut, would it seem perfectly natural to castrate your date and then tuck his mum into bed and offer to do her washing. But the film, which Lowe wrote, directed, and starred in while seven months pregnant, is hardly ordinary. It’s a revenge movie in which a foul-mouthed fetus sends its mother, Ruth (Alice Lowe), on a killing spree.
“I wanted to reflect pregnancy and the kind of emotional rollercoaster that you go on hormonally and how vivid those experiences are,” Lowe explained. “As soon as you think, ‘Oh, this is a comedy,’ I pull the rug out from under your feet, and you see something that’s really shocking, like a horror film. Then, suddenly, you’re feeling quite sad for her, and that she’s quite sweet, and then I’m changing it again.”” Read the rest of Alex’s interview with Prevenge writer-director-star Alice Lowe.
Prevenge is available on DVD, VOD, and is streaming on Shudder in Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia. It is also streaming on Prime in the UK
- Andrea Subissati is the Executive Editor of Rue Morgue magazine and co-host of the Faculty of Horror podcast. She is on Twitter @necromandrea
- Listen to last year’s Women in Horror month podcast, also featuring Andrea as well as Valeria Villegas Lindvall, Jessica Parant, and Kelly Gredner
- Preview or purchase our ebook Beyond Empowertainment: Feminist Horror and the Struggle for Female Agency, featuring 28 chapters of interviews and essays.
- Read our 2019 Critics Survey of what does ‘feminist horror’ mean to you?
- Listen to our podcast on Jennifer Kent’s follow up film to The Babadook, The Nightingale