Any monster movies that star females?

After I posted about the dismal representation of females in a trio of new Halloween movies, I got this comment from MonsterLibrarian.com:

Margot,

What do you recommend as far as monster movies intended for kids, then? As the editor for MonsterLibrarian.com and the mother of a monster-loving boy with a sister willing to go along for the ride I’d be interested in what you DO think are good choices. We held Monster Movie Month in July, which, while mostly at choices for adults, was inspired by my son’s love of the classic movies, and the three of us picked some movie choices parents could share with their kids, but I’d love to know what you think. Halloween is our busiest month of the year and our children’s section is one of the most popular parts of our site and that’s something I would love to share there.

I do think there are a lot of interesting influences on girls that come from both media and unwitting family members. My daughter, after watching Scooby Doo with my enthusiastic son, said she wanted to be a ballerina zombie for his Halloween birthday party, but on her own she wanted to be a princess, for the third year running.

I told MonsterLibrarian that I do not know of many monster movies starring females, and that I would put the question out to the Reel Girl community. When I think of monster movies, I think of screaming girl victims. I do like Scooby Doo and my three daughters ages 3 – 9 also like it. There are often monsters in Scooby Doo and sometimes those are female. The problem is, obviously, the star of the series is male as is his best friend Shaggy. There are two females to three males in the crew, which is not a bad ratio. Though, super annoying is that Velma is the “smart” one with glasses and Daphne is the “pretty” one who always wants to shop and do her hair.

I loved “Coraline,” the book and the movie. I think that would qualify as a monster movie. The Other Mother is a monster. That movie is my only real suggestion so far. Please write in yours! I will add suggestions to this post.

Suggestions for monster movies starring females:

CorpseBride

Synposis from Melissa Wardy of Pigtail Pals:

It takes place in the early 1900′s, so you have to put women’s place in history at that time into perspective. But we love it. It is about being true to yourself and good to the people you love. It is a love story, but nothing like Disney. The music and art is incredible. It is kind of dark and creepy (Tim Burton,hello!) but my kids love it.

Story: Victor is set to marry Victoria, but neither feels ready to wed. During rehearsal Victor gets nervous and messes everything up, and gets booted out of the church. He is out in the woods practicing his vows, and unbeknownst to him he is in the presence of a dead woman who rises from the grave and assumes they are married. There are a a bunch of twists and turns as Victor tries to figure out his fate, and the Corpse Bride tries to figure out where fate led her. Victoria has a smaller role. In the end, the Corpse Bride is the shero of the day, and sets everything the way it should be. In the end, the truth inside everyone’s heart is honored.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Monsters and Aliens I just thought of this one. It stars Reese Witherspoon. I saw it pre-Reel Girl and think I had some issues with it, but I also liked it. I’ll watch it again.

Hocus Pocus stars three witches, and a gang of kids who try to stop them. The kids are two girls and a boy.

Kiki’s Delivery Service About a witch, I’ve seen this and agree, its GREAT

My Neighbor Totoro Also seen, monster is male but stars two sisters, also really great

Fun Size tells the story of a teenage girl who gets saddled with the responsibility of taking her younger brother trick-or-treating before attending a Halloween party. She goes to the party and loses her brother, and (presumably) hilarity ensues as she attempts to find him.

Wizard of Oz

Journey to the Center of the Earth not technically a monster movie, has a great female character who pretty much rolls her eyes and walks away when the hero (Brendan Fraser) states his intention to go back into the crazy falling apart underworld to find his teenage nephew. She coincidentally ends up rescuing them both, but only when they’ve actually made it back to where she left him.

20 thoughts on “Any monster movies that star females?

    • Hi Oren,

      For me, I think the female part is too minor. The two main characters are male monsters and the female monster is a girlfriend or something annoying that I don’t remember exactly but I remember being annoyed.

      MM

  1. The Addams Family has an almost balanced boy-girl ratio.

    Also, for what it is worth, Velma and Daphne are much more multifaceted in the newest version of Scooby Doo, Mystery Incorporated. They are both smart AND pretty. (I honestly don’t know if making Velma pretty is a step forward or backward.) That said, they do spend way too much time defining themselves by chasing boys.

      • The boy chasing is no good. I’m pretty sure eventually they flip the script and have the boys chase the girls, but the first half of the first season involves a lot of teen soap opera involving Velma clinging to Shaggy and Daphne trying to get noticed by Fred. But, really there are good parts of their depictions, too. ;)

        I’d love to read your take on this show.

  2. Coraline was directed and produced by Henry Selick (who also directed NMBC) who co-wrote it with Neil Gaiman. Tim Burton was not attached to Coraline.

    Otherwise, a great list.

  3. Suggestion for topic: Are you ever gonna go after my favorite pet peeve in movies? I suspect you’re not too fond of it either. The big he-man gathers his gear and gets ready to go off and kill the monster / confront the bad guy / defuse the bomb / follow the trail of clues.

    Girl-woman yells “I’m coming with you!” And he replies “no, you’re not!” And she says “Yes I am!” And he says “no you’re not!” Then she lays the smack-down…she’s coming with him because she has the keys to the jeep, or her father is paying for the expedition, or…

    • It’s not technically a monster movie, but Journey to the Center of the Earth has a great female character who pretty much rolls her eyes and walks away when the hero (Brendan Fraser) states his intention to go back into the crazy falling apart underworld to find his teenage nephew. She coincidentally ends up rescuing them both, but only when they’ve actually made it back to where she left him. It was refreshing, really.

  4. I have no idea if it’s going to be any good or not, but I saw a commercial yesterday for a movie on the disney channel called Girl vs Monster. The commercial showed strong looking girls talking about what they thought being brave was. So hopefully they don’t mess it up.

  5. If you go to the cheap “Jaws” ripoffs on Netflix Instant, there are a whole bunch. Name escapes me of the giant-croc-versus-giant-snake movie, there was a tough-as-nails game warden or sheriff or something, a female Martin Brody of sorts. Then there’s Eight Legged Freaks, with an unsexed-down Kari Wuhrer. There are the Alien movies.

    I frankly don’t think there’s much consumer demand for this. The movies end up boring, because a lot of the footage has to be burned through for no purpose whatsoever other than to point out (again) how the female star is capable and tough. Two hours of footage + ten minutes of plot = boring movie.

    Of course, as I’ve mentioned before, if the “monster” is a supernatural phenomenon then there seems to be a rule in place that the star must not only be female, but blonde-haired and blue-eyed. I’m not sure why this is. If I had to guess, my theory is the story demands something different from this main character, less toughness, more of a catalyist through which the audience can receive information, like Rose Tyler in Doctor Who — the character’s primary role becomes one of learning things she didn’t already know, and for some reason we don’t like to see dudes spending much time doing that, we’d rather watch blonde chicks doing it.

    But women showing how tough they are, can be very monotonous. Audiences have some tolerance for it, but not when creativity is going on a mini-vacation for half the movie as a consequence, which I think you’ll have to concede tends to be the case.

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