The Descent Redefined Women in Horror Movies

Hannah Bonner Aug 4, 2019

The Descent remains one of the scariest, most inventive horror movies of the 21st century... all with a cast of kick-ass women.

Neil Marshall’s horror film The Descent stands as something of an anomaly for aficionados of both feminist and horror cinema. In a genre often populated with overtly sexual female protagonists who are, as The Cabin in the Woods ironically points out, either killed off first (but not before we are privy to a little tits and ass) or maternal figures—think The Ring, Mama, The Exorcist, and most recently The Babadook—the women we see in horror films are often polarized opposites. They are either the virgin mother or the whore.

Yet, Marshall’s cult classic rejects these pop culture stereotypes and imbues his heroines with biceps, bravery, and a finely tuned bullshit detector.

The film follows six long-time friends as they reunite a
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