Students at the University of South Carolina are collaborating with the Nickelodeon Theater and Unsweetened Magazine on a presentation series examining femininity in horror films.
The series, titled Medusa’s Gaze, examines three different archetypes of women in horror, the monstrous maiden, the gruesome mother, and the wicked crone. Additionally, the series explores the connection between the monstrous-feminine, the male gaze, and what makes female sexuality such a taboo topic.
The first film to kick off the Medusa’s Gaze series is Jennifer’s Body, a combination of a dark comedy and a grotesque horror that alludes to the societal fear of young women going through puberty. Jennifer’s monstrosity is depicted through her sexuality, a powerful weapon used to paralyze all of her targets. Her sexuality is also what makes her monstrous in the first place.
Each group in the class, taught by Professor Julia Elliott, has spent countless hours creating marketing strategies for the screenings – making posters and writing film descriptions, blog posts, and program notes to make the series a success and further develop their knowledge of the monstrous-feminine.
To start off the series, the group chosen to work on Jennifer’s Body has decided to transform the Nickelodeon lobby into the infamous spring formal scene from the film, also implementing an eerie twist to symbolize the horrific reality of coming-of-age femininity throughout the movie.
Jennifer’s Body will be showing at the Nickelodeon Theater on Thursday, October 4th at 7pm, and will be accompanied by some high school horror movie trivia before the screening. The other films in the series, Lyle and The Hunger, will be showing on October 11th and October 25th at 7pm.
Natalie Fischer is a student at the University of South Carolina.