No matter what gender one identifies with, pursuing the path of directing isn’t uncommon nowadays. Being a director is not an easy job — it takes a lot of experience, knowledge and effort to make a name for yourself among countless others. There is no doubt that the film industry is still a very male-dominated one. Nevertheless, gifted women have managed to stand out thanks to their talent and intellect.
As Halloween approaches, a mandatory movie marathon draws nearer — lucky for us, the horror genre also counts with a lot of female-directed films that we can’t seem to get enough of. While there is a wide range of great movies to choose from, these are Letterboxd’s highest-rated female-directed movies that will successfully kick off your seasonal movie session.
Captain John Boyd (Guy Pearce) and his regiment embark on a rescue mission during a 19th-century remote military outpost, but it quickly takes a dark turn when they are trapped by a sadistic cannibal. With great direction from Antonia Bird, this cannibalistic western is deliciously crafted and bizarre more often than not.
Ravenous is unique and fast-paced, making it a wonderful watch for anyone who is looking for an entertaining Hooptober pick. On Letterboxd, it has an average 3.6 score based on 18.3K ratings.
‘The Long Walk’ (2019)
Centering around a man who discovers that the ghost of a road accident victim can transport him back in time to the moment of his mother’s death, this unusual spooky tale directed by Laotian American Mattie Do is entracing and demands the audience’s full attention at all times.
Although somewhat slow-paced, The Long Walk (Bor Mi Vanh Chark) is an engaging new wave of the genre that combines crime with horror and time-traveling, counting with an average Letterboxd score of 3.6.
1989’s Celia directed by talented Ann Turner is set in mid-1950s Australia and depicts a long summer seen through the eyes of a highly imaginative 9-year-old girl who is shaken by the death of her grandmother. Fantasizing about evil creatures to dissemble her insecurities, Celia finds herself stuck in the incomprehensible world of grown-ups.
Although this movie doesn’t feature many elements of horror, it’s still a great watch — and a fazing one at times — especially for younger audiences. Celia scores an average rating of 3.6 on the beloved platform.
Writer and director Julia Ducournau’s follow-up to 2016’s Raw follows Alexia (Agathe Rousselle), who gets into a car accident at a very young age and suffers a terrible skull injury, which leads to her having a titanium plate fitted into her head. To say the least, this psychological thriller is jaw-dropping and will likely leave viewers wondering, “what the hell did I just watch?”
Offering a unique perspective on how affection is born from the most unlikely sources, the provocative movie has stunned viewers worldwide and features a 3.7 Letterboxd score.
‘Tigers Are Not Afraid’ (2017)
Centering around a group of children who seek to survive the monstrous violence of cartels and ghosts created by the drug war, Tigers Are Not Afraid — originally titled Vuelven — is a 2017 horror movie that follows 10-year-old Estrella (Paola Lara) and her everlasting wish of getting her mother back from the dead.
Written and directed by Issa López, the director’s well-crafted breakthrough film — which counts with incredible child performances — recieved tons of praise, including positive reviews on Letterboxd as well as an average score of 3.7.
Julia Ducournau’s gruesome Raw tackles cannibalism as it follows Justine’s (Garance Marillier) journey as a young vegetarian and aspiring vet born into an all-vet family that lives on a plant-based diet. When she is forced to eat raw meat for the first time, unexpected consequences come forth.
Enthralling in all its cleverness and unpredictability, this French body horror is the second Ducournau movie on this list and ranks 5th with a 3.7 Letterboxd rating and over 297K views.
‘The Other Side of the Underneath‘ (1972)
This 1972 movie directed by Jane Arden offers a unique perspective on the schizophrenia of a group of girls in a therapy session. Unsettling and at times incredibly uncomfortable to watch, The Other Side of the Underneath is a never-seen-before movie that takes its audience on a wild ride through the eyes of the patients.
With a 3.7 Letterboxd rating, the intriguing female-directed movie features an upsetting atmosphere that will not leave anyone indifferent.
‘A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night’ (2014)
If the title of the movie alone doesn’t sound terrifying, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night takes place in an Iranian ghost-town named Bad City, where people are being actively stalked by a vampire. Not only directed but also written and starred by Ana Lily Amirpour, the impressive film is guaranteed to be a great Halloween watch.
Moody and innovative, this beautifully shot black and white film movie was watched by over 100K people on Letterboxd so far and has an average rating of 3.7.
‘Helter Skelter’ (2012)
Revolving around cosmetic surgeries and their side effects, this twisted Japanese film — originally called Herutâ sukerutâ — reflects on impossible beauty standards and all the irreversible damage that comes with it. Directed by Mika Ninagawa, Helter Skelter follows the struggles of a superstar, played by Erika Sawajiri, in her career and personal life.
Not only conducted by a gifted filmmaker but also written by a talented writer (Arisa Kaneko), the thought-provoking movie counts with a solid 3.8 based on 11.3K ratings on Letterboxd.
‘American Psycho‘ (2000)
Marry Harron’s movie adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ international modern classic bestseller American Psycho centers around Patrick Bateman’s (Christian Bale) double life as a wealthy banking executive and serial killer with psychopathic tendencies and self-indulgent fantasies in 1980s New York.
Admittedly, the must-watch cult classic is one of the most beloved films in the industry, and Letterboxd users’ ratings are proof of that. With over 1.3M views and 461K likes, Harron’s masterpiece ranks high with an average rating of 3.9.