Directors and terror. These are the word-words of this article to celebrate the women behind the camera of the Brazilian horror genre. Although recent and few in number, they have made a splash on the big screens and have sparked the imagination of the public inside and outside the country. If you enjoy mystery, suspense and fantasy, get ready to meet this selection of Brazilian women to tell gruesome and scary stories. Almost all of the works are available on Darkflix.
It should be noted that our selection is focused on feature films, so the directors of great short films have been left out. However, we will indicate the first works of the filmmakers listed here. [clique no nomes dos curtas, para vê-los]. If you’re still unfamiliar with female work like this across the world, check out CinePOP’s list – 10 Horror Movies Directed By Women. In case we leave anyone out, comment!
Anita Rocha da Silveira
Main work: Kill me please (2015)
Director and screenwriter of three short films, The Living Dead (2012), screened at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes; and the award-winning Handebol (2010) and O Vampiro do Meio-Dia (2008), carioca emerged in the spotlight with the work Mate-me-please (2015). Launched at the 2015 Venice Film Festival, the feature won international awards and the Redeemer for Best Director and Actress at the Rio Film Festival. With Valentina Herszage (from the Hebe series), the plot takes place in Barra da Tijuca, where a wave of murders arouses the curiosity of local youth. Among them is Bia (Herszage), a 15-year-old girl, who becomes obsessed with whether she is really alive. In a mix of sexual arousal and violence, Kill Me Please is one of my favorite movies of 2016.
Keep an eye out: the Rio de Janeiro filmmaker promises more tension and terror in the feature film Medusa. Without a release date, the film has the enigmatic synopsis: “To keep control of herself, young Bia strives to control everything and everyone around her. Until the day when the urge to scream is stronger ”.
Main work: Without your blood (2019)
A graduate in Cinema from the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF) and daughter of the famous director Jorge Furtado (Meu Tio Matou Um Cara), Alice started her career with the conception of the short films Duelo Antes da Noite (2011) and La Grenouille et Dieu (2014)), the last one carried out in France. In 2020, she released Without Your Blood on Netflix, with a stint at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The film follows the mourning of young Silvia (Luiza Kosovski), after the loss of her boyfriend with hemophilia. However, the young girl does not accept the death of her first love and seeks a macabre solution to find him.
See as well: [Exclusivo] Interview with director Alice Furtado Without Your Blood – Netflix’s National Terror
Bruna Carvalho Almeida
Main work: The Young Baumann (2018)
If you haven’t heard of Bruna Carvalho Almeida, it’s no coincidence. With her film career started in 2018, Bruna has focused her work on the islands of editing and editing two documentaries and two short films. Selected for the 51st Festival of Brasilia’s Kaleidoscope Exhibition, the director marked her directorial debut with Os Jovens Baumann. This is a mock documentary on the mysterious disappearance of young people from a wealthy family in southern Minas Gerais, in 1992. In the style of the images found, ie found house images, as in Blair’s Bruxa (1999) and Cloverfield (2008), the film was critically acclaimed for putting together a surprising puzzle and leaving viewers with their hair standing on end.
Main work: House of Cecília (2015)
With the shorts CRI4: The Alien Contract (2012) and A Bagunça Eterna (2012), Clarissa Appelt enters this list as a promise of the genre by launching A Casa de Cecília at Mostra Tiradentes 2015 and winning the commercial circuit the same year. . Produced as a concluding work for UFRJ courses, in 2013, the director admits that the team were very beginners and carried out the work in the camaraderie. The plot follows the loneliness of 14-year-old Cecília (Carol Pita) in a huge house with a swimming pool. One day, she meets the unknown Lorena (Tainá Medina) inside the house. With touches of surrealism, the director plays with the viewer’s perception and the existential crisis of youth.
Gabriela Amaral Almeida
Main work: The Cordial Animal (2017)
Graduated in Communication at the UFBA, in 2003, and in Scenario at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV (Eictv), in Cuba, in 2007, Gabriela Amaral Almeida has everything to become the queen of Brazilian horror, without exaggeration. . After directing and writing six short films, including A Mão que Afaga (2011) and Estatua (2014), Gabriela released the highly acclaimed O Animal Cordial (2017) [disponível no Sesc Digital]. In the film, the owner of a restaurant (Murilo Benício) reacts to a theft and eliminates one of the criminals, but the game turns and all the customers in the establishment begin to fear for their lives. Contrary to the accounts of his companions, Amaral Almeida invested in the subgenre slasher. In the recent A Sombra do Pai (2018), however, he establishes a path to fear through the unknown.
Also read: Review | The Shadow of the Father – Mixing the terror of abandonment and the flight to the mystic
Main work: The Good Manners (2017)
Certainly the most famous director on this list, Juliana Rojas graduated in Cinema from USP in 2005, where she met her main film partner Marco Dutra (O Silêncio do Céu). With over 10 short films to his credit, Rojas made his theatrical debut – alongside Dutra – with Trabalhar Cansa (2010), with Helena Albergaria and Marat Descartes; She alone directed the musical Sinfonia da Necrópole (2014), but it was her third film that made her part of the horror genre. Launched in 2017, Boas Maneiras – again alongside Dutra – brings the mythological horror of a werewolf back to the present day, with superb performances by the protagonist couple Clara (Isabél Zuaa) and Ana (Marjorie Estiano). With the right to an astonishing mystery and transfigurations, the film became the exponent of a refined terror and compared to the review of Baby of Rosemary by Roman Polanski (1968).
Main work: Mormaço (2018)
A film graduate from the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF) in 2006, Marina Meliande is a producer at Duas Mariola Filmes, alongside Felipe Bragança (Um Animal Amarelo) and Daniel Caetano (Rio em Flames). After several projects alongside Bragança, such as A Fuga da Mulher Gorila (2009), Alegria (2010) and Neverquiet (2010), Meliande released her first solo feature, Mormaço (2018), at the Rotterdam Film Festival. Far from horrible moments, the filmmaker uses more intimate scenes and terrorizes everyday life.
In Mormaço, Ana, a public defender, (Marina Provenzzano) works in defense of a community threatened with dismantling by the work of the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro. At the same time, mysterious purple, mushroom-like spots appear on your body. An abandoned building, very hot and weird events in the city, and Ana’s physique carry the dark tone of the plot.
Main works: The Marble Goddess (1978)
The Woman Who Raises the Dove (1978)
A forerunner of Brazilian female horror, Rosângela Maldonado starred in nearly 20 films between the 1950s and 1979, the era of the famous pornochanchadas. Known for her work alongside José Mojica Marins, the late Zé do Caixão, the actress took control of the direction and script of the films A Deusa de Midro (1978) and A Mulher Que Pomba na Pomba (1978) . In this way, she became the first woman to direct a horror film in Brazil, even if today they could be considered “terrir” due to minimal production resources.
In The Marble Goddess, the protagonist (Maldonado) sucks the energy of the people she is sexually involved with to maintain her pact with a demon. In The Woman Who Raises the Dove, Dr. Adelaide (Maldonado) encourages a group of women to hunt and punish unfaithful men and their lovers, dressed in pigeon heads. If you are curious, the second film [para maiores de 18 anos] is available on YouTube, until it is withdrawn.
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