PROJECTIONS: Women In Horror Films [Livestream]

Online course with Mary Wild on 30th and 31st October 2021, 2:00-5:00PM each day.

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30 October, 2:00 pm - 31 October, 5:00 pm

£35 – £40

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All attendees will be sent a unique link to join the live event and the recording 24 hours after the event, available for 1 month. It will take place over 2 days: Saturday 30th October and Sunday 31st October 2021, 2pm-5pm BST on each day. Please check the time difference if you are not in the same time zone as UK.


The horror genre in film follows from the literary tradition established by Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley, eliciting fearful responses through suspense, gore, the macabre and the supernatural, consistently transfixing audiences via suspension of disbelief.

The status of female characters in horror cinema is often ambivalent, ranging from victims of violence to perpetrators of dread. In The Question of Lay Analysis (1926), Sigmund Freud claimed that “the sexual life of adult women is a dark continent for psychology.” Even at the end of his life, Freud maintained his long-standing preoccupation, asking: “What do women want?” The mystery of female desire has persisted with the advancement of psychoanalytic thought; a dimension of ‘the unknown’ frequently drives the depiction of women in dark tales.

In this course, we will rely on psychoanalytic theory to investigate the feminine discursive position in horror cinema. We shall begin with classic titles from the 20th century, then move on to more recent releases, including lesser-known features. It is sometimes claimed that the portrayal of women in horror films is misogynistic, but here the proposition is that the horror genre affords us an indispensable language for approaching the more complex elements of female subjectivity.


Please note: this topic has been taught at Freud Museum London in previous years but the current course presents an entirely new film selection (all titles listed below).

Content warning: graphic imagery will be presented, viewer discretion is advised. Advanced viewing is optional, brief film scenes will be shown during the webinar.


Session 1

  • Peeping Tom (1960) dir. Michael Powell
  • Rosemary’s Baby (1968) dir. Roman Polanski
  • Demon Seed (1977) dir. Donald Cammell
  • Tenebrae (1982) dir. Dario Argento
  • Misery (1990) dir. Rob Reiner

Session 2

  • Stoker (2013) dir. Park Chan-wook
  • Contracted (2013) dir. Eric England
  • Eat (2014) dir. Jimmy Weber
  • Greta (2018) dir. Neil Jordan
  • Relic (2020) dir. Natalie Erika James

PROJECTIONS is psychoanalysis for film interpretation. PROJECTIONS empowers film spectators to express subjective associations they consider to be meaningful. Expertise in psychoanalytic theory is not necessary – the only prerequisite is the desire to enter and inhabit the imaginary world of film, which is itself a psychoanalytic act. MARY WILD (@psycstar), a Freudian cinephile from Montreal, is the creator of PROJECTIONS.


BURSARY – There are a limited number of bursary places available for £15. Priority will be given to UK unemployed and PIP/ESA claimants. Click here to apply and we will be in touch as soon as we can. 


30 October, 2:00 pm
31 October, 5:00 pm
£35 – £40
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