Terror Prefers Blondes

A24 and DirecTV will release the horror film THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER in theaters and On Demand March 31, 2017. In the film, the central character of Kat, played by Kiernan Shipka, slowly becomes possessed while inside of a boarding school. To commemorate the release of this film, World Film Geek takes a look at eight prime examples where Terror Prefers Blondes.

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Helen Chandler’s Mina is about to fall victim to Bela Lugosi’s iconic DRACULA (1931)

One of the earliest examples of horror films preferring blondes is Dracula, the 1931 Tod Browning film. In one of the pivotal scenes of the film, Count Dracula, played by the iconic Bela Lugosi, finds his latest conquest in turning young Mina Seward, played by Helen Chandler. After biting her neck, Mina has become a vampire and it is up to the hunter Van Helsing, played by Edward Van Sloan, to find a way to kill Dracula in order to bring Mina back to normal so she can reunite with her true love, John Harker.

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Janet Leigh as Marion Crane in PSYCHO (1960)

Another iconic horror film that has a taste for blondes is the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic Psycho. In what is now one of the most famous scenes not only in the film itself, but the horror film as a whole, Janet Leigh’s Marion Crane checks into the famous Bates Motel. It is while she is showering that a mysterious figure comes up with a knife. Cue the famous music, the constant stabbing, and the shower drain shot.

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Tippi Hedren as Melanie in THE BIRDS (1963)

Hitchcock does it again three years later with another epic horror film, The Birds. Tippi Hedren’s socialite Melanie Daniels finds herself under attack from birds in the normally quiet town of Bodega Bay. She attempts to team up with lawyer Mitch Brenner, played by Rod Taylor, to find a way to escape the menacing birds.

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Mia Farrow as the titular mother in ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968)

In 1968, Mia Farrow would play the titular character whose baby was believed to be the Anti-Christ. In Rosemary’s Baby, Farrow starts out as a naïve housewife who ends up pregnant. However, as the pregnancy goes on, she discovers strange happenings. This leads to Rosemary learning that her baby is not only alive, but she has been the one chose to bear the spawn of Satan.

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Marilyn Burns as Sally Hardesty in THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974)

In 1974, in what would be a prototype for the “final girl” for the slasher genre, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre brought to life the character of Sally Hardesty, played by Marilyn Burns. Her brother and friends all fall victim to the insane Sawyer family, notably the baby brother of the bunch, the human-mask wearing chainsaw and sledgehammer wielding Leatherface, played by Gunnar Hansen. Sally would eventually escape the house of horrors and Burns would be the prototype for not only the final girl, but the scream queen.

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Sissy Spacek as the titular CARRIE (1976)

Two years later, Brian De Palma unleashed the telekinetic teen known as Carrie. The titular character, based on Stephen King’s novel, was brought to life in an epic performance by Sissy Spacek. As Carrie White, she was the victim of constant torment both in school and at home. When Sue Snell, a former bully, asks her boyfriend Tommy to take Carrie to the prom in order to actually show she is not completely bad, Carrie unknowingly becomes the victim of a vicious prank. Cue the bucket of pig’s blood and one of the most epic revenge scenes in horror film history.

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Barbara Crampton as Megan in RE-ANIMATOR (1985)

In 1985, horror film audiences were treated to an insane experience known as Re-Animator. Based on H.P. Lovecraft’s story, the story tells of a scientist who discovers the secret to bringing back the dead to life, but with horrific results. In one of the most disturbing scenes of the film, Barbara Crampton’s lead female role of Megan finds herself victimized by the decapitated head of evil madman Dr. Hill, played by David Gale, in one of the most unimaginable ways ever depicted on screen.

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Drew Barrymore as Casey in SCREAM (1996)

Finally, in 1997, the slasher film was re-energized courtesy of Wes Craven’s Scream. In the film’s opening sequence, Drew Barrymore’s Casey Becker gets a phone call from a mysterious voice asking her what her favorite horror movie is. She soon learns that the voice is actually that of the now legendary Ghostface Killer, who first disembowels her boyfriend, then goes after her with the scene ending in her death that kickstarts the franchise of films.

THE BLACKCOAT'S DAUGHTER, Kiernan Shipka (aka FEBRUARY), 2015. ©A24/courtesy Everett Collection
THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER, (aka FEBRUARY), Kiernan Shipka, 2015. © A24

There are plenty more but these eight are perhaps the most well-known examples of terror preferring blondes. Look out for the latest of these films, The Blackcoat’s Daughter as A24 and DirecTV will release the film in theaters and On Demand March 31, 2017.

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