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Why so many of the protagonists in horror films are mothers

HORROR FILMS used to feature a “final girl”. The term, coined by Carol Glover in her book “Men, Women and Chainsaws” (1992), refers to a young woman, usually virginal, who is the last survivor of a violent psychopath and acts as the “investigating consciousness” of the film. She shrieked her way through the 1970s and 1980s in “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”, “Halloween” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street”; “Scream” (1996), a slasher movie which mocked the worn tropes of the genre, more or less finished her off. So horror has shifted its emphasis onto another female figure: the mother.

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