What is it about Jaws, Alien, Little Shop of Horrors and Poltergeist that plays on men's fear of women? And what is it that they fear most?
The Monstrous-Feminine examines the role of women in horror films. The author argues that when a woman is constructed as monstrous, it is almost always in conjuction with reproduction and mothering functions. In this exploration, using detailed analysis of Carrie, The Exorcist, Psycho and Alien among others, Creed identifies the seven faces of female monstrosity--archaic mother; monstrous womb; vampire; witch; possessed monster; deadly femme castratrice and castrating mother.
The argument then moves on to challenge the Freudian concept that a woman terrifies because she is castrated--Creed holds forth that the woman acting as castrator is what creates horror for men. The Monstrous-Feminine goes on to discuss and analyze what these images mean for feminist film theory, as well as revealing important clues about masculinity.