The Monstrous Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis

This is a timely update of a seminal text which re-interprets key films of the horror genre, including Carrie, The Exorcist, The Brood and Psycho.

In the first edition, Creed draws on Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection to challenge the popular view that women in horror are almost always victims, and argues that patriarchal ideology constructs women as monstrous in relation to her sexuality and reproductive body to justify her subjugation. Although a projection of male fears and paranoid fantasies, the monstrous-feminine is nonetheless a terrifying figure. Creed’s argument contests Freudian and Lacanian theories of sexual difference to offer a provocative rereading of classical and contemporary horror.

This updated edition includes a new section examining contemporary feminist horror films in relation to nonhuman theory. Creed proposes a new concept of radical abjection to reinterpret the monstrous-feminine as a figure who embraces abjection by reclaiming her body and re-defining her otherness as nonhuman – while questioning patriarchy, anthropocentrism, misogyny and the meaning of the human. Films discussed include Ginger Snaps, Teeth, Atlantics, The Girl with All the Gifts, Border and Titane.

Barbara Creed’s classic remains as relevant as ever and this edition will be of interest to academics and students of feminist theory, nonhuman theory, critical animal studies, race, and queer theory.