[NAUGHTY AUGHTIES] 10 ‘Blonde Woman vs Supernatural Forces’ Horror Films

The first ten years of the 21st century will be remembered by most horror fans as the decade that gave us big-budget, ‘torture porn‘ films like the Saw and Hostel franchises– alongside a seemingly endless string of gritty, gory and mostly subpar reboots (i.e. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, The Last House on the Left, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Dawn of the Dead, My Bloody Valentine, The Fog, Prom Night, The Stepfather, etc. etc.). However, there was another important export from the aughts that isn’t talked about as much today: female-driven supernatural thriller films.

After the box office success of M. Night Shyamalan’s 1999 spooky drama-thriller, The Sixth Sense, studios started green-lighting supernatural projects left and right. Many of these original films had female leads, such as What Lies Beneath, The Gift, The Others, Soul Survivors, Gothika, The Forgotten, Passengers and Premonition. I might also throw the bonkers Flightplan onto that list for its sheer absurdity. In addition to those films, Gore Verbinski’s English-language reboot of The Ring sparked a series of East Asian, supernatural-horror reboots with female leads (i.e. The Grudge, Dark Water, Pulse, The Eye and The Uninvited).

When examining those films a bit closer, another trend becomes apparent: many of them have blonde, Caucasian female protagonists. Grab a bottle of wine and let’s investigate this case further! 🔍🍷


“When Claire Spencer starts hearing ghostly voices and seeing spooky images, she wonders if an otherworldly spirit is trying to contact her. All the while, her husband tries to reassure her by telling her it’s all in her head. But as Claire investigates, she discovers that the man she loves might know more than he’s letting on.”

Michelle Pfieffer (Fabulous Baker Boys, Batman Returns) takes a lot of baths, drinks wine and talks to ghosts with a Ouija board. Do I need to say more?

WATCH: Amazon (Rent/Buy)

2. THE GIFT (2000)

“When a local woman disappears and the police can’t seem to find any leads, her father turns to a poor young woman with psychic powers. Slowly she starts having visions of the woman chained and in a pond. Her visions lead to the body and the arrest of an abusive husband, but did he really do it?”

One of two Sam Raimi entries in this sub-genre. Katie Holmes (Dawson’s Creek, Batman Begins) goes missing, and psychic Cate Blanchett (Carol, Elizabeth) has to crack the case! Hillary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry, Million Dollar Baby) is also around if you for some reason need more motivation.


3. THE OTHERS (2001)

“Grace is a religious woman who lives in an old house kept dark because her two children, Anne and Nicholas, have a rare sensitivity to light. When the family begins to suspect the house is haunted, Grace fights to protect her children at any cost in the face of strange events and disturbing visions.”

Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge, Eyes Wide Shut) is just trying to live in peace with her quirky kids until… things… happen. But wait! Those things may not be quite as they seem…

WATCH: Amazon (with Shudder)

4. THE RING (2002)

“A videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling the viewer’s death in exactly seven days. Newspaper reporter Rachel Keller is skeptical of the story until four teenagers all die mysteriously exactly one week after watching just such a tape. Allowing her investigative curiosity to get the better of her, Rachel tracks down the video and watches it. Now she has just seven days to unravel the mystery.”

Naomi Watts (Mulholland Drive, Funny Games) just had to watch that haunted VHS tape! Will she solve the tape’s mystery in under seven days? Will her son ever start calling her ‘mom’ instead of Rachel? Stay tuned, and avoid the sequels like the plague.

WATCH: Amazon (Rent/Buy)

5. THE GRUDGE (2004)

“American nurse, Karen Davis moves to Tokyo and encounters a vengeful supernatural spirit known as The Grudge that often possesses its victims. When a series of horrifying and mysterious deaths occur – with the spirit passing its curse onto each victim – Karen must find away to break the spell before she becomes the spirit’s next victim.”

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy, Cruel Intentions) returns to her Scream Queen roots in this J-horror remake. This was her first big role post-Buffy, and America was mixed on it.

WATCH: Amazon (with HBO)


Caroline Ellis, a good-natured nurse living in New Orleans, quits her job at a hospice to work for Violet Devereaux, an elderly woman whose husband, Ben, is in poor health following a stroke. When Caroline begins to explore the couple’s rundown Bayou mansion, she discovers strange artifacts and learns the house has a mysterious past. As she continues to investigate, she realizes that Violet is keeping a sinister secret about the cause of Ben’s illness.

Kate Hudson (Almost Famous, Raising Helen) gets into some white nonsense with hoodoo in New Orleans. That’s pretty much it.

WATCH: Amazon (Rent/Buy)

7. PULSE (2006)

“After her boyfriend commits suicide, a psychology student and her friends begin receiving unsettling e-mails and video messages. After a number of disappearances across campus, she teams up with a computer hacker to shut down the deadly force before it spreads to the rest of the world.”

In this meh remake of the J-Horror classic Kairo, Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars, The Good Place) teams up with Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries, LOST) to hack some computers and investigate supernatural cyber schemes. Also Wes Craven co-wrote it?

WATCH: Amazon (Rent/Buy)

8. THE ORPHANGE (2007)

Laura has happy memories of her childhood in an orphanage. She convinces her husband to buy the place and help her convert it into a home for sick children. One day, her own adopted son, Simón, disappears. Simon is critically ill, and when he is still missing several months later, he is presumed dead. Grief-stricken Laura believes she hears spirits, who may or may not be trying to help her find the boy.

Belén Rueda (The Sea Inside, Julia’s Eyes) just wants to find her son in this spookfest. Guillermo del Toro produced the film– which should tell you literally everything you need to know about it.

WATCH: Amazon (Rent/Buy)

9. TRIANGLE (2009)

When Jess sets sail on a yacht with a group of friends, she cannot shake the feeling that there is something wrong. Her suspicions are realised when the yacht hits a storm and the group is forced to board a passing ocean liner to get to safety, a ship Jess is convinced she’s been on before.”

Melissa George (Amittyville Horror, 30 Days of Night) is having a bad case of the Mondays and some serious déjà vu. Has she been on this boat before? Who is this mysterious masked assailant stalking her? Did anyone bring motion sickness pills?

WATCH: Amazon (Prime Streaming)

10. DRAG ME TO HELL (2009)

“After denying a woman the extension she needs to keep her home, loan officer Christine Brown sees her once-promising life take a startling turn for the worse. Christine is convinced she’s been cursed by a Gypsy, but her boyfriend is skeptical. Her only hope seems to lie in a psychic who claims he can help her lift the curse and keep her soul from being dragged straight to hell.”

The second Sam Raimi film on this list. Alison Lohman (Big Fish, Beowulf) just had to piss off that gypsy woman. Now there are going to be some bloody, demonic consequences. And goats.

WATCH: Amazon (Rent/Buy)


“Blonde Betty Elms has only just arrived in Hollywood to become a movie star when she meets an enigmatic brunette with amnesia. Meanwhile, as the two set off to solve the second woman’s identity, filmmaker Adam Kesher runs into ominous trouble while casting his latest project.”

I just.

WATCH: Amazon (Rent/Buy)

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