By Amy Stewart, LMFT, CST
Halloween is nigh and if you’ve already hung up your sexy poop emoji or clever dick in a box costume, you may be looking for a way to spend the holiday itself. Question: Have you seen “The Witch?”
If not, you might give it a go with for several reasons.
1) Watching scary movies together can push you out of your comfort zone.
Whether with a slow build up of tension or repeated jump scares, watching something scary can provide a shot of adrenalin and bathe the brain in dopamine, feel-good chemicals that function to biologically bond us with others. We also have the opportunity for emotional connection through shared vulnerability. Add to that some inching closer and you open the door to the cuddle-chemical oxytocin from snuggling through the scares.
2) You might absorb a thing or two about the cultural context of women.
While many horror movies function as a canvas to frame female characters solely as objects for eroticization and elimination (in and of itself a reflection of cultural context), horror is also the one genre with lady protagonists most likely to be sought out and enthusiastically viewed by folks of all genders. That’s a powerful platform and a reason to celebrate horror that subverts stereotypes and treats characters as entire humans and not simply a collection of viscerally removable parts.
Bringing us back to Anya Taylor-Joy in Brian Egger’s 2015 film. It deftly addresses centuries of patriarchy and the long-standing, still-held fear of women’s sexuality. The story brilliantly walks us through the stifling of women’s agency and the power of questioning their purity aka sanity. The film highlights the sadly enduring truth that there’s no quicker way to remove a woman’s voice than to label her a witch.
3) It has a really good goat.