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Women have always been making horror, they have always been an audience for the genre, and today, as this book reveals, women academics, critics and filmmakers alike are committed to a genre that offers almost unlimited opportunities for exploring and deconstructing social and cultural constructions of gender, sexuality and the body.

Women Make Horror is designed to inspire dialogue between critics, filmmakers, industry gatekeepers, festival programmers and horror film fans. With this book we can transform how we think about women filmmakers and genre.


It has gathered a number of global award nominations and wins including: Book of the Year at the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards; Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction at the Bram Stoker Awards (ahem, the oldest and most prestigious horror awards in the world), Best Edited Collection at the BAFTSS 2021 book awards and Best Non–Fiction at the British Fantasy Awards 2021. In Summer 2022, it was the subject of a screening series of the same name at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was also put on display at the British Film Institute Library, and stocked in the Academy Museum Store in Los Angeles, home of the Oscars. All of these things made Alison very happy indeed.


Women Make Horror had an online book launch in September 2020 with the BAFTSS Horror SIG. The launch featured many of the book's contributors, including Maddi McGillvray, Martha Shearer, Erin Harrington, Donna McRae, Sonia Lupher, Laura Mee and Amy Chambers. Then, in November 2022, BAFTSS invited us back to discuss the impact and the legacy of the book, which featured contributions from filmmaker Prano Bailey-Bond, film programmer and founder of The Future of Film is Female Caryn Coleman, and two of the new generation of feminist / horror academics, Valeria Villegas Lindvall and Ylenia Olibet.

“May books like this - eloquently written - help to bring about a shift toward equality and embracing female artistic perspectives whatever they may be.”

 - Katt Shea, feature film writer-director

"Get the book."

- Gigi Saul Guerrero, feature film writer-director

"A brilliant anthology. Both fascinating and revelatory,

it should be go-to reading for any filmmaker and cinema lover'"
- Gaylen Ross, feature filmmaker and female lead in Dawn of the Dead

"If you’re interested to learn more about the film industry, this should be your pick"

-  Spooky Non-Fiction, Ladies of Horror Fiction

"This book is a fantastic tool for anyone who loves horror films and wants to
deep dive into the themes of feminism within the genre"

Mikayla Daniels, Journal of Screenwriting

"A much-needed collection of feminist horror film criticism. Highly recommended"

- Lizzy Walker,  Monster Librarian

"Peirse embeds diversity and inclusivity into this account of the construction, exhibition, and reception of horror films"

– Colette Balmain, Quarterly Review of Film and Video

"accessible but bitingly incisive"

Chris Hogg, University of Westminster

"a worthwhile addition to the fields of both film studies and gender studies"

– Heather Duerre Humann, Journal of Popular Film and Television

'"I found this collection of essays (the first all-female and female edited book of its kind)

deeply moving, oftentimes upsetting and always incredibly inspirational"

- Rebecca McCallum, Ghouls Magazine

"Women Make Horror is likely to have a true impact on how popular cinema is written about, discussed and taught in years to come'" 

- Johnny Walker,  New Review of Film and Television Studies

'"It points out the potential of the female voice in genre filmmaking and horror as a means of expression and as a challenge to the status quo, a possible path towards gender equality and resistance'"

- Tanja Bresan, Film International

" It will jumpstart a new playlist of women’s horror cinema."

 - Professor Linda Mizejewski, Ohio State University

Referenced in "We Spit on Your Grave: Women and the Video Nasties'" article

- Alexandra Heller–Nicholas, Sight and Sound Magazine

Profiled, Recent Books of Interest to Women Scholars

-  WIA Report

"Our favourite holiday present of 2020... A perfect gift for all"

- Magic Dog Productions

"It carves up space for filmmakers and the writers of the book to be recognised within the ‘boys club’ that is the industry and academia"

- Bruna Foletto Lucas, The Dark Arts Journal

"A fabulous and much–needed  collection of film criticism"

Audra, Ouija Reads

"it seeks to demolish assumptions and misconceptions based on decades of 

flawed scholarly, critical and industrial thinking about horror cinema and gender"

James Gracey, Behind the Couch: Safe Fear in a Domestic Setting

"A book to read, and reread"

Les griffes de la forêt 

Profiled, New Releases for 2020

 Ladies of Horror Fiction

"Women Make Horror excels in providing rigorous criticism of horror cinema in terms of the genre's production and reception"

- Christina Brennan, Ghoulish

"The work of incredible academics... A fundamental work of analysis for understanding how fear is embodied in women"

- Mujeresdelterror

Profiled, New Releases for October 2020

-  Horror Writer's Association

"I would've bought the collection for Alison Peirse's essay alone, a really wonderful introduction to this sweeping subject. Check it out"

- Horror in Real Life

"As a huge fan of the genre, it’s so heartening and inspiring to hear from women, about women who have worked/are working in the field"

- How to Breathe Deep

Recommended, Five Spooky Reads for Halloween

The Roarbots

"Women Make Horror is an excellent addition to any fan’s library who is interested in the scholarly examination of a genre that is often demonized or dismissed by critics."


"Even though it's a perfect read for Halloween week, it's an essential text for course correcting film history."

The Future of Film is Female

"Fantastic reading material"

- Final Girls Berlin Film Festival

"Fascinating stuff and something that has been on my mind since I started watching horror films and was told women weren't supposed to."

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