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Teen girls looking for a primer on great horror films that respect and honor the experience of the young female viewer should start here!

This inaugural edition of the “Girls Guide to Horror” looks at teenage terrors: films that chiefly deal with teenage/college-aged protagonists.  

Horror has a bit of a reputation for being a boy’s club, something that girls just aren’t interested in. Obviously, that’s a wholly untrue myth. I stand here as living proof (as my mother did before me) that horror is and should be for everyone: girls, boys, and nonbinary people alike. 

Unfortunately, teen girls get left out of the conversation more than anyone, because films that cater to them often face massive fan backlash. For example, 2019’s Black Christmas remake from director Sophia Taka and writer April Wolfe was intended as a gift for teen girls. Takal and Wolfe had to field all kinds of online nastiness — ranging from death and rape threats to people writing ridiculous think pieces on why horror shouldn’t be political. (This is laughable at best, considering the original 1974 Black Christmas was hardly subtle in its pro-choice stance and political underpinnings.)

In the spirit of those like Takal and Wolfe who champion making horror accessible to young, female fans, I was inspired to create this series on the best starter films for teen girls just discovering the genre. We owe it to the next generation of women in horror to raise up their voices and make the genre more inclusive for everyone.

The films featured in this first edition focus on young adult women who are relatable or in relatable situations. Thus, they should appeal to younger, budding horror fans — without alienating more seasoned viewers. If you don’t see your favorite teen horror in this list, don’t fret! There’s a good chance it will be appear in a later installment.

Part 2 of THE GIRLS GUIDE TO HORROR will center on classics of the genre that continue to speak to the modern girl. Stay tuned! 

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