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The Descent$
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James Marriott

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781906733711

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906733711.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Chicks with Picks

Chicks with Picks

(p.61) Chicks with Picks
The Descent

James Marriott

Liverpool University Press

This chapter assesses what difference it makes that Neil Marshall's party is women only, and investigates The Descent's contribution to the thorny issue of the representation of women in horror films. Marshall admits that his original concept for the film involved a mixed group, and that he was attracted to a colleague's off-hand suggestion of making the cavers an all-female group for its novelty. This highlights the first, obvious point: it is a selling point, a distinguishing feature. As Marshall points out in 'The Making of The Descent', the film is unique among what Marshall describes as 'action horror' films in having an all-female cast. Given that the cast is all-female — and young, athletic and attractive to boot — Marshall's treatment of them is remarkably desexualised, arguably working against this selling point, for at least some of the film's audience. The decision to present the women neutrally — not only desexualised but also, perhaps, defeminised — relates to the underlying themes in the film.

Keywords:   Neil Marshall, The Descent, female representation, female characters, horror films, all-female cast, desexualisation, defeminisation

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