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‘Black Rock’ And Feminism As Horror Movie

By Alyssa Rosenberg on December 4, 2012 at 12:02 pm

"‘Black Rock’ And Feminism As Horror Movie"

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I skipped Black Rock at Sundance, even though I love The League‘s Kate Aselton, because it takes a lot to get me to watch a horror movie. The last one I watched was Drag Me To Hell, which I watched because it was about the mortgage crisis, and from which I learned that you should never foreclose on a powerful gypsy. But Black Rock looks like the rare horror movie that could lure me out from my general moratorium:

There’s something really powerful about the promise of a piece of popular culture that insists that a woman has the right to say no at any point in a sexual encounter, no matter how flirtatious she’s been or how willing she’s seemed up until that point, and that she has the right to say no without being judged or attacked. And it’s even more powerful to make that point, and then emphasize how terrifying it is to live in a world where people feel like they’re entitled to sexual access to you, and if not to that access, to enforce the way they think you should behave. In fact, watching this trailer felt like a metaphor for doing feminist work, particularly on the internet: it can be frightening, and it can be hard, and sometimes people appear out of the blue to turn on you. But when you fight back, and when you see the people who are fighting back with you, sometimes you end up recognizing capacities you didn’t realize you had, and support you didn’t realize was there the whole time.

Update

One reader pointed out this makes it sound like I didn’t see Cabin In The Woods, which, of course, I did. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it as a horror movie, but for some reason, it resides in another category of my brain.

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