hey I decided to make this post because I’m always looking for more wlw books to read and thought it might help some people out. All books have links to their goodreads pages (some books have adult content etc)
I rated all of these books 4 or 5 stars, I will hopefully be able to update this post regularly
10 Horror Films Directed by Women to Watch This Halloween
American Mary (Jen and Sylvia Soska, 2012)
Broke medical student Mary Mason (Katharine Isabelle) stumbles into the underground world of body modification while looking for a part time job to pay the bills.
American Psycho (Mary Harron, 2000)
Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) a wealthy, vain twenty-something investment banker, indulges in his increasingly violent and erratic fantasies.
Black Rock (Katie Aselton, 2012)
A camping trip turns dark when three friends on vacation (Lake Bell, Kate Bosworth, and Katie Aselton) run into a male trio of campers vacationing on the same isolated island as them.
Carrie (Kimberly Peirce, 2013)
Social outcast Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) learns to harness her telekinesis to avenge herself against her abusers and tormentors.
Jennifer’s Body (Karyn Kusama, 2009)
Best friends Needy (Amanda Seyfried) and Jennifer (Megan Fox) hit a roadblock in their friendship when Jennifer is possessed by a demon and begins eating local boys.
The Moth Diaries (Mary Harron, 2011)
At an all-girls boarding school Rebecca (Sarah Bolger) and Lucy (Sarah Gadon) grow apart after a new girl (Lily Cole), who Rebecca suspects is a vampire, begins to come between them.
Near Dark (Kathryn Bigelow, 1987)
A small town boy, Caleb Colton, falls for a beautiful young woman who, to his surprise, is a vampire.
Ravenous (Antonia Bird, 1999)
Captain John Boyd (Guy Pearce) organizes a search party to save the survivors of a group of travellers who have turned to cannibalism only to find himself unwittingly lured into a trap.
Pet Sematary (Mary Lambert, 1989)
A family learns that the pet cemetery behind their home has the power to raise the dead.
Silent House (Laura Lau and Chris Kentis, 2011)
Filmed to look as though the entire movie were taken in a single shot, Silent House features Elizabeth Olsen as Sarah, a young woman on vacation with her father and uncle, who becomes trapped in a haunted house and loses contact with the outside world.
For 10 more women directed horror films check HERE
The Virgin Suicides (1999)* Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)* Shadow of a Doubt (1943)* Rusalochka (1976) Palo Alto (2013)* La Belle Personne (2008) The Moth Diaries (2013)* Prozac Nation (2001) Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975)* Clueless (1995)* The Craft (1996)* Stealing Beauty (1996)* Barbe Bleue (2009) Heathers (1988) Labyrinth (1986)* Sleeping Beauty (2011) Violet and Daisy (2011)* Hanna (2011) Augustine (2012) Girl, Interrupted (1999)* Ginger Snaps (2000)* Dirty Girl (2010) Perfect Sisters (2014) The Sisterhood of Night (2015) Baby Doll (1956) Girly (1970) Somersault (2004)* Foxfire (1996) Electrick Children (2012) Tanner Hall (2009) But I’m A Cheerleader (1999)
Sweet Angel Mine (1996) Sister, Sister (1987) Wilderness Survival for Girls (2004) Pinprick (2009) We Are What We Are (2013) Spring Breakers (2012) Black Swan (2010)* Ask Me Anything (2014)* Elsewhere (2009)* Triple Dog (2010) Adult World (2014) Stoker (2013)* Ghost World (2001)*
I just read your unreliable narrators + mental illness post and I'm honestly a bit confused?? I thought unreliable narrators were unreliable bc their version of events is contrary to what's really happening, regardless of mental illness. For the Moth Diaries example, we know she's unreliable even if we don't know what the truth is, because we DO know something's up. Could you clarify this maybe?
An unreliable narrator is a character that is misleading the reader.
We’ll use The Moth Diaries as an example here.
The story of The Moth Diaries is about a young girl experiencing a confusing and traumatic incident. The narrative follows her private attempts to understand and deal with what is happening around her. It is framed through the device of the diary being divulged as a part of therapeutic treatment later in the character’s life.
Whether or not the vampire is a real monster, in the sense of it being a supernatural creature, is largely irrelevant to the story. The narrative is concerned with how the protagonist deals with trauma and loss, and with how she deals with (or doesn’t deal with) the issues that arise out of her conflict with her school peers and her dawning mental health problems.
The question of the ‘truth’ of events as they are presented is not important, because the story isn’t about whether or not Ernessa was really a vampire. The story is about the internal struggle of the protagonist.
Think of it this way; this is a personal story from the perspective of an individual who has mental health problems, detailing her personal experiences at the time, and how she perceived events.
If you had the same story told from someone else’s perspective, where this hypothetical person said “No, Ernessa was completely normal, but [unnamed protagonist] was going off the rails when we were in school,” then BOTH of these narratives can be true, so far as the story is concerned. Because they are both differing perspectives on the same events.
Essentially, the story is not about Ernessa, or vampirism, it’s about the protagonist’s perception of the events. As long as the protagonist in this story is attempting honestly to convey her own experiences, in a story that is entirely about those personal experiences, then she’s a completely reliable narrator.
Let’s say that in the world of the story, that is, the ‘reality’ of the story that the protagonist inhabits, there are no vampires. Ernessa is completely normal and there are completely rational explanations for everything that the protagonist experienced or saw.
The story is still about her personal perception of reality.
A flawed analogy would be putting an apple in front of someone who’s red-green colour blind and asking them what colour it is. They could say ‘brown’, which is correct from their perspective. They could guess, and say ‘red’ which might or might not be correct, but would NOT be an accurate account of their perception of reality.
The colour blind protagonist who describes the apple as red is unreliable. They’re willing to guess to fill in details, or outright make them up to try and get as close as possible to a believable story. They are lying about their experience.
The colour blind protagonist who describes the apple as brown is objectively wrong – the apple is red or green, right? The reader will say “Apples aren’t brown! That apple is green!”
But how can a colour blind protagonist know that? Unless someone else tells them what colour the apple ‘really’ is, or they guess?
To tell the truth as they know and perceive it, the colour blind protagonist says the apple is brown.
This is something that is difficult to juggle when using a first person perspective or a very closely focalised third person perspective. Yes, as the author, you may know that the FACTS in your fictional world are XY & Z. But how much information does your focalising character have access to?
What if your character only knows about Y?
What if they’ve never even considered X, and there’s a social taboo in their culture about even mentioning Z?
What if your character instead perceives AB & C? Are AB & C necessarily false? Or are they partial truths? or is B really X from a different perspective?
If your character KNOWS X, but they tell their audience/ the reader that they don’t, or if they mislead the audience/ reader about the nature of X, then they become unreliable.
If the character only knows what they’ve been told about X (and that’s ‘factually’ incorrect), or if they only have knowledge of X through their own (biased, flawed, mentally ill, etc) and they try to convey X to the extent of their own knowledge, then they’re attempting to give an honest account. The information they’ve got is flawed, but the intent is to tell the story as truthfully as they are able to.
And, of course, there are going to be characters who’s mental illness does contribute to them being unreliable. There are going to be characters who are too paranoid to tell the truth, who will invent details, who lie to make themselves look better, who lie to try to convince the reader of something. A character doing these things may or may not be doing it as a part of their mental illness, but mental illness in itself doesn’t make the character unreliable.
Especially when, as with The Moth Diaries, the point of the narrative is to show the subjective experience of that person, including whatever paranoias, delusions, false realities, etc, they experience.
The key is: did the character experience the thing that they’re telling you they experienced, whether or not it was ‘just in their head’?
If yes, they are reliable. Reliable does not mean that what they are saying is absolutely ‘true’, it only means that the character is relating events as they experienced them.