Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film
Do the pleasures of horror movies really begin and end in sadism? So the public discussion of film assumes, and so film theory claims. According to that view, the power of films like Halloween and Texas Chain Saw Massacre lies in their ability to yoke us in the killer's perspective and to make us party to his atrocities. In this book Carol Clover argues that sadism is actually the lesser part of the horror experience and that the movies work mainly to engage the viewer in the plight of the victim-hero - the figure who suffers pain and fright but eventually rises to vanquish the forces of oppression. A paradox is that, since the late 1970s, the victim-hero is usually female and the audience predominantly male.